Getting a Visa for Burkina Faso in Bamako

There’s really no other way to put it, this is maybe the easiest visa you’ll ever get.  I strolled into the Burkina Faso embassy at about 10am and after exchanging a couple of jokes and stories with the embassy staff, I took off and was told to return at 3pm.  At 3pm, I was awarded my visa.  Too easy.

bamakoIn regards to the logistics of it all, there really isn’t all too much to that too.  The embassy is located in the part of the city known as ace2000.  It’s the area that has the American Embassy, the Administration City and Mali’s Immigration office.  There are a number of other embassies in the area including Ghana.  If you need passport photos there is a spot on the corner near the Mali Immigration office that does them for 2,500 CFA and you’ll have them instantly.  Ask any cab driver in town you’re going there and they should know.  A taxi ride will cost either 1,000 or 1,500 CFA depending on what part of the city you’re coming from.  You need 2 identical passport photos for your visa.

As far as price goes, it doesn’t matter your nationality everyone pays the same price.  Rather all the prices are based on the length of time you want to spend in Burkina Faso.  It really is one of the only countries in the region, perhaps along with Mali, that has it right.  You can get visas for 1 month single entry, 3 months multiple entry, hell you can even get a visa for 1 year if you’d like.  My 3 month multi-entry visa was 31,000 and as I mentioned it was issued in the same day with no hassles.  No one I talked to ever had any issues getting that visa in Bamako. Ever.

There were rumours swirling that you can get your visa at the border of Burkina Faso and Mali but at a hefty price.  Well that was true for a short time, it seems to have changed now.  From the few reports I heard, and when I questioned at the embassy, the price of a visa at the border should be the exact same as it is at the embassy.  In fact, they should show you a list with your options.  Personally though, I’d just get it down in Bamako to save you the worry.

When crossing the border into Burkina Faso the border official asked me to turn to the page of my passport that showed my visa.  He glanced at it for no more than 2 seconds before stamping the passport with no questions asked.  Easily the easiest border I’ve crossed to date.

Anyways, this was last updated on December 23, 2012 if you have any new advice, or you had a different experience, please let us all know in the comments below.

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