I think of all the countries in West Africa, Burkina Faso might be the best value. I found good accommodation, nice meals, and tours all to be a bargain. Nothing will really blow up your budget in Burkina Faso unless you want to travel by private car and driver everywhere. I spent $36 a day in Burkina Faso and did absolutely everything I wanted to do, including an expensive safari. I think a reasonable budget for travel in Burkina Faso is about $40 a day.
- Food: $12/Day; I really made an effort in Burkina Faso start eating more local meals which are much cheaper. I did, however, eat a fancy-ish meal every couple days. Meals ranged from $2 to $15, but I usually stuck closer to the low end of the spectrum.
- Accommodation: $9/Day; Burkina was a really good value. I got good rooms for $8-10. I also camped one night for $5. The one place that was more expensive was Ranch de Nazinga which was $20 for the one night.
- Transport: $2/Day; This was my first country on the scooter, I travelled quite long distances and still only spent $2/Day on fuel.
- Activities: $10/Day; I did quite a bit in Burkina Faso: New year’s eve party, hippo safari, 2 parks, 1 waterfall, and 24 hours with a 4×4 and driver in Ranch de Nazinga.
- Misc: $3/Day; I had a flat tire to repair; I also bought two new tires and had a service.
- Total: $36/Day; Had I not done the expensive 4×4 in Nazinga I could have dropped this to about $30/Day, but the trip was worth the price. Burkina was amazing value for what you get to experience. Even flashpackers would be hard pressed to spend more than $50 a day.
- Local currency: In Burkina Faso, they use CFA which is tied into the Euro at 656 francs per Euro. You can change Euros in the big cities without a problem. Some hotels and fancy restaurants will accept Euros as well.
- Banks and ATMs: There are bank machines in the major cities. I think the machines are all visa only, although there might be a couple EcoBanks that have maestro availability.
- Traveller’s Cheques: Don’t worry about bringing traveller’s cheques, they are a pain to change and not worth your time when there are plenty of bank machines.
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