By Katrina Manson and James Knight
[pounds sterling]14.99 Bradt Guides
For many people, and even a good number of dedicated Africologists, Burkina Faso is something of a backwater. As Hilary Bradt, the publisher of the eponymous and highly respected Bradt travel guides, herself admits, if Burkina Faso is known at all, it is known principally for hosting the Fespaco film festival--sub-Saharan Africa's film industry's most important event. Now Katrina Manson and James Knight have written a guide that could well serve to make this fascinating country far better known to the outside world. Taking a sabbatical from their extensive journalistic assignments for a number of magazines, including African Business, they have spent the best part of a year in Burkina Faso researching this book. In fact, they did not make a complete break from filing reports for us--they covered the WTO cotton trade talks with a superb cover story for African Business' December 2005 issue. They also report in this issue on Africa's telecom pioneer Celtel's move into the Nigerian market (see page 32).
But their extended stay in Burkina Faso gave them an intimate insight into a country that stands a good chance of becoming the next 'hot' destination for the international tourist looking for a holiday off the beaten track. Actually, Burkina Faso is already a 'hot' destination--in the literal sense of the word. It may sit across three climatic zones but the weather is rarely anything but very, very hot, or very, very hot and wet. But even if the average day time temperatures are seldom lower than the mid C30s all year round...