Fire and rescue services
Call 1010 or go to the hospital.
Call 1010 or go to the nearest police station.
We haven't changed our overall level of advice:
Reconsider your need to travel to Burkina Faso overall due to the high risk of terrorist attack and kidnapping.
Higher levels apply in some parts of the country.
Do not travel to all areas along the borders with Mali, Niger, Benin and Togo, and all areas of the northern, eastern and western regions.
Do not travel to the northern, eastern regions and western regions:
These areas have a high risk of banditry, terrorist attack and kidnapping. See Safety
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
There's a high risk of terrorist attacks and kidnapping.
Local extremist militant groups have attacked targets in Burkina Faso. The threat of kidnapping is highest in the north and east of the country.
Terrorists could launch an attack any time. Targets could include places with foreign interests or popular with foreigners, such as:
On 31 December 2018, the Burkina Faso Government declared a state of emergency. This applies to several provinces including northern and eastern Burkina Faso along the Mali, Niger, Togo and Benin borders. The emergency measure gives security forces powers to search homes and restrict movement.
Follow directions from local authorities and obey curfews.
In May 2018, terrorist organisations warned attacks would target Westerners and Western companies in the Sahel. Mining companies in Burkina Faso have been reviewing their security practices and procedures for possible terrorist incidents.
Militant local groups pose a serious kidnapping threat in the north, particularly extremists from Mali. AQIM has stated it aims to target foreigners for terrorist attacks and kidnapping. This group has claimed responsibility for several local attacks since 2006, and taken hostages from remote areas.
Other recent major terror attacks include:
The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.
Australian officials visiting Burkina Faso adopt extra security measures in response to the changing security environment.
If you travel to Burkina Faso despite the risks:
Be alert to possible threats, especially in public places.
Avoid possible targets for terror attacks, or have an exit plan if you must go.
If there is an attack near you, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Burkina Faso's political situation has stabilised since presidential elections in late 2015. The elections followed an attempted military coup in September 2015.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Airports and land borders may close at short notice. You'll have limited access to consular help if this happens.
To reduce your risk during periods of unrest:
If a protest happens near you, leave the area as soon as it's safe.
Purse snatching, muggings and thefts from hotel rooms are common, especially in Bobo Dioulasso and Ouagadougou.
Muggings often happen in Ouagadougou around the:
Thefts are sometimes committed by one or two people on a motorbike.
Security risks increase at night.
Armed thieves operate across the country. They attack buses and other vehicles on roads connecting major cities within Burkina Faso and nearby countries.
Attacks can happen anywhere.
Armed thieves use roadblocks to stop vehicles, and may open fire.
Some thieves use spotters to identify victims at roadhouses and checkpoints.
Most attacks occur at night, but can happen during the day.
To reduce your risk of crime:
Commercial internet fraud is common in West African countries. Fake internet friendship, dating and marriage scams also operate from West Africa.
Internet scams may be in the form of romance, friendship, business or job offers. These scams usually start in internet dating sites or chat rooms.
People have lost money to internet scams.
Scammers usually operate by either:
To avoid scams:
If you're the victim of a scam, get legal advice.
Don't travel to Burkina Faso to get your money back.
Flooding may occur in the wet season from June to October. Floods can close roads.
If a natural disaster or severe weather occurs:
Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries.
Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Burkina Faso. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa was the most serious in recorded history. The outbreak is now over, but more cases may occur.
Yellow fever is common in Burkina Faso. Yellow fever is a potentially fatal virus spread by mosquitoes. It's prevented by vaccination. Get vaccinated before you travel.
Malaria and other insect-borne diseases are common.
To protect yourself from disease:
Get medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection is high. Take precautions if you engage in activities that may expose you to the virus.
Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases are common. These include:
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.
To protect yourself from illness:
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
Medical facilities are poor and emergency services are very limited, particularly outside Ouagadougou.
Doctors and hospitals often need cash payment before they'll treat you.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be moved to a place with better facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
It's illegal to take photos of military zones, assets or personnel.
It's also illegal to export art without approval from the Ministry of Culture. This can include:
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas.
If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Burkina Faso recognises dual nationality.
Burkina Faso has conservative standards of dress and behaviour.
Same-sex relationships are legal, but locals are often intolerant of them.
Take care not to offend. If in doubt, ask for local advice.
If you decide to travel to Burkina Faso despite our advice, be aware that entry and exit conditions can change at short notice.
Contact an embassy or consulate of Burkina Faso for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The local currency is the West African Franc (CFA Franc, or XOF).
Declare all foreign currency and CFA on arrival.
It's hard to exchange Australian dollars in Burkina Faso.
You can exchange US dollars and euros at commercial banks and exchange bureaus in major centres.
Some large hotels and restaurants in Ouagadougu accept credit cards.
Few businesses outside of the capital accept credit cards. There are few ATMs outside major cities.
Plan ahead and have enough cash to meet your needs. Contact your bank to make sure you can use your cards.
To drive in Burkina Faso, you need both:
Get your IDP before you leave Australia.
You're 5 times more likely to be killed in a road accident in Burkina Faso than in Australia.
Apart from the national highways, most roads are in poor condition and poorly lit.
Many vehicles are also in poor condition.
Driving outside Ouagadougou at night is dangerous. Vehicles don't always use or have headlights. Livestock can stray onto roads.
Armed thieves target vehicles across the country. See Safety
If you plan to drive:
To reduce your risks:
If you travel outside Ouagadougou:
Make sure your travel insurance covers you when using a motorbike, quad bike or similar vehicle.
Always wear a helmet.
Use registered taxis and limousines. It's best to book them through your hotel.
Don't use public transport due to safety concerns and the risk of crime. Many public buses are poorly maintained, and serious accidents occur.
If you do use public transport despite our advice, protect your belongings, especially during overnight travel.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Burkina Faso's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Call 1010 or go to the hospital.
Call 1010 or go to the nearest police station.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia doesn't have an embassy or consulate in Burkina Faso.
You can access consular help from the Canadian Embassy in Ouagadougou. It can issue provisional travel documents.
You can also get consular help from the Australian High Commission in Ghana.
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
2, Second Rangoon Close
(cnr Josef Broz Tito Ave)
Phone: +233 302 216 400
Fax: +233 302 216 410
Facebook: Australian High Commission, Ghana
Check the High Commission website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
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