The Elephants of Nazinga

In the South-West of Burkina Faso we went on an elephant-safari. Over 600 elephants live in Nazinga-Forest and we met a few of them. First, we went on a safari on our own, discovering lakes and small dirt-roads into the wild. Our second safari with a guide was very eye-opening, as he spotted many more animals: Eagle owl, antelope, monkeys, crocodiles and warthogs. Here comes the descripting of how to reach Nazinga and where to stay.

 

Directions

From the intersection of the N4 near Ouaga200 to Pô is 145 km. This entire (Ouaga to Pô) stretch took about 2.5 hours.

 

In Pô there is a little white sign saying “Nazinga” where you turn right on the dust road. It is right after the city square, opposite of ECObank and Pharmacy Nahouri. This road is in very good shape for a dirt road, sedan car will make it! After 16 KM (20 minutes) you reach an intersection. Follow the Nazinga-Sign to the left and continue to the entrance of the park. You cannot miss it, it is a huge gate where you will take your first photo, probably ;) there is also a register-checkpoint….If you stay in Campement d´Elephant, you don’t need to register now, because the Campement is just before the official entrance. It is a decent camp, clean, nice rooms and swimming pool.

 

If you decide for one of the hotels inside the park, Campement Touristique or Campement de Chasse (same owner), register at the entrance check-point. The officer will ask you how many nights you plan to stay, if you bring a camera and how many game-drives you plan with a guide. He gives you like a facture-pro-forma but you don’t pay here! You pay later at the reception of your hotel. He was very friendly and helpful and it did not take longer than 10 minutes.

 

Once in the park, it is 35 KM to both of the Campements and a restaurant. Only straight on the dust road, that a Sedan car can drive, even though there is one stone-bridge that was a little adventure for our RAV4 but in any case manageable.

 

Hotel-Options

 

Campement d´Elephant: (phone: 25 35 93 93) Outside the park, at the entrance gate

 

Campement Touristique: (phone: 72664795) Inside the parc. Very basic and not very clean either but suits the safari-atmosphere. Two advantages: You only pay the park fee once and the way to the hotel is already a game-drive just without guide. We explored some smaller paths to our left and right and discovered a small lake. On the way to the hotel, we already saw monkey and a big elephant herd. Bring your own Mosquito-net. The Campement has a restaurant which offers tasty food (rice, beans, steak, frites). Only the breakfast was rather simple and a bit overpriced (2000 CFA for dry bread).

 

Campement de chasse: (phone: 72664795) Also inside the park but a bit more luxury. Including swimming pool. I had the impression they want to separate tourists and hunters…. which I appreciate very much.

 

Game Drives

 

Every morning at 6.30am and every evening at 4.30pm there are many Guides waiting in front of the Reception of Campement Touristique. You can book in advance or decide spontaneously whether you go on a game drive with guide or without. Fact is, the guides have seen so much more animals (even the hidden ones) that we would not have been able to spot. We came by a RAV4 and cut the ground two times on the Game-Drive. I was surprised about the good conditions even of the tiny dirt roads that lead straight into the bush…