Tenkodogo: Unearthing Burkina Faso’s Captivating Hidden Treasures


Uncover the hidden wonders of Tenkodogo in Burkina Faso, an off-the-beaten-path destination that combines cultural heritage, historical marvels, and natural beauty. Embark on an authentic journey to explore the Palace of Tenkodogo, the Sacred Forest of Kari, and the Bazoulé Crocodile Pond.

Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa, may not be the first destination that comes to mind when planning a trip abroad, but it is certainly worth considering. Tenkodogo, the capital of the Boulgou Province, is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of cultural, historical, and natural attractions.

In this article, we will explore the sights and little known places that make Tenkodogo an ideal destination for adventurous travelers looking to explore off the beaten path.

The Land of the Chief’s Palace

Tenkodogo is known as the “Land of the Chief’s Palace” and is home to the largest chief’s palace in Burkina Faso. The Palace of Tenkodogo, also known as the Koulpelogo Palace, is an impressive structure that reflects the history, culture, and traditions of the Mossi people. It was built in the early 20th century by the then-king, Naaba Kango, and has been declared a national heritage site.

The palace, located in the heart of Tenkodogo, is an architectural masterpiece with an intricate design that showcases the skills and creativity of local artisans. The interior is decorated with intricate carvings and colorful murals that depict the history and mythology of the Mossi people. Visitors can tour the palace and learn about the customs and rituals of the Mossi people.

The Sacred Forest of Kari

The Sacred Forest of Kari is a hidden gem located just outside Tenkodogo. It is a unique eco-tourism destination that offers a glimpse into the traditional beliefs and practices of the Mossi people. The forest, which covers an area of approximately 7 hectares, is considered sacred and is believed to be inhabited by spirits that protect the community.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the forest and learn about the traditional healing practices and spiritual beliefs of the Mossi people. The forest is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including medicinal plants, giant baobabs, and monkeys.

The Bazoulé Crocodile Pond

The Bazoulé Crocodile Pond is another must-visit destination for travelers to Tenkodogo. It is a natural wonder located approximately 30 kilometers from the city and is home to over 100 crocodiles. The pond is considered sacred by the local people, who believe that the crocodiles have supernatural powers and bring good luck to those who visit them.

Visitors can watch the crocodiles sunbathe on the banks of the pond and even get up close and personal with them. Local guides can offer insight into the cultural and spiritual significance of the crocodiles and provide a safe and educational experience for visitors.

The Craftsmanship of Tenkodogo

Tenkodogo is also known for its skilled craftsmen who create traditional handicrafts such as pottery, textiles, and jewelry. The artisans use locally sourced materials and traditional techniques to create unique and beautiful pieces that reflect the culture and heritage of the Mossi people.

Visitors can visit the local markets and workshops to see the artisans at work and purchase authentic handmade souvenirs to take home.

Why Visit Tenkodogo?

Tenkodogo is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of cultural, historical, and natural attractions that are not found in more popular tourist destinations. The city is relatively unknown, but this only adds to its charm and authenticity.

Traveling to Tenkodogo is an opportunity to experience the rich culture and traditions of the Mossi people, who have lived in the region for centuries. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local way of life, learn about traditional beliefs and practices, and witness the natural beauty of the region.

Furthermore, Tenkodogo offers an opportunity to escape the crowds and commercialization of more popular destinations. The city has a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, and visitors can explore at their own pace without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

Finally, visiting Tenkodogo supports the local economy and provides much-needed income to the people of the region. Tourism is an important source of income for many families in Tenkodogo, and by visiting and purchasing locally made souvenirs, travelers can make a positive impact on the community.

In conclusion, Tenkodogo, Burkina Faso is a hidden gem that offers a unique and authentic travel experience. From the Palace of Tenkodogo to the Sacred Forest of Kari and the Bazoulé Crocodile Pond, there is no shortage of cultural, historical, and natural attractions to explore. Visitors can also witness the traditional handicrafts and support the local economy while immersing themselves in the local way of life. If you are looking for a truly unique and off-the-beaten-path travel experience, Tenkodogo should be at the top of your list.