Easily Burkina Faso’s biggest natural attraction, Ranch de Nazinga is a dry savanna land which teems with wildlife. Down near the border with Ghana to the south, this national park is most famous for its wild and populous herds of elephants. Aside from the elephants, Ranch de Nazinga is also home to a large number of different species of antelope including bush buck. It also sees a large number of baboons, bird life, and crocodiles as well. No trip to Burkina Faso is complete without a voyage into Ranch de Nazinga.
Backpacker’s Budget: 50-65 USD per day
Time Needed: 1-2 Days
Things to Do in Ranch de Nazinga
- 4×4 Wildlife Safari: If you don’t have a 4×4 you won’t be able to experience the park. However, you can hire a 4×4 for quite cheap. I needed to get a vehicle, so I paid 40,000CFA (80USD) for 2 game drives with a driver and a guide. I did, of course, have to bargain pretty hard to get that price. You’ll also want to try to call in advance to make a booking if this is the case.
- Waterhole Watching: If you can’t afford a safari, you can always just sit by the waterhole and hope the elephants come by. In the dry season, it’s pretty likely that they do. If they don’t there are always crocodiles, antelope, and some birds hanging around.
- Safari Walks: Although they refused to do them when I was around, because the elephants had been aggressive of late, I’m told that Ranch de Nazinga is a really good place for walking safaris. Inquire when you get there.
Where to Stay in Ranch de Nazinga
There is really only one option for where to stay inside the national park. The lodge at the waterhole in the national park has pretty standard accommodation but at a pretty good value. I paid 15USD for a private single room with a shower and bathroom. There is electricity on at the lodge until about 10pm.
If you want to stay outside of the ranch, there is a hunting lodge just outside the gates that is much more luxurious than the lodge on the inside. You’ll likely pay around 60-80USD a night.
Where to Eat in Ranch de Nazinga
Like most lodges in Africa, the best place to eat in Ranch de Nazinga is at the lodge itself. You’ll find all meals at the restaurant. The food is good and ranges from beef to game. They also have a bar, and the food is quite reasonably priced.
Getting Out of There
The truth is that getting to Ranch de Nazinga would be an absolute mission if you don’t have your own transport. The best way to do it would be to get to the turn off on the highway to Ghana, then hire a car to take you to the park. It will, of course, cost you. You’re likely to pay about 40USD or more to get a car to take you to the park. Public transport is available as far as a couple kilometers from the gates, but you’ll be stuck hitching from there and it could be long waits in the sun.