Burkina Faso is one of those lesser known countries that travel agents don't normally beat the drum for, and holidaymakers hardly ever inquire about. No supply. No demand. Or the other way round, but the bottom line is the same. Skimpy natural resources, distressing droughts, and marred prospects for economic growth have accelerated the country's descent towards the gloomy bottom of the Human Development Index, let alone travel rankings.
There lies hidden a considerable potential though. In the south west, the city of Banfora is a gateway to a number of natural marvels, including the Karfiguela Falls cascading over the rugged jumble of rocks, the hiker-friendly, wacky formations of Sindou Peaks, and the jungle-fringed Lake Tengrela, where you can float in a rickety pirogue just meters away from congregations of delightfully muddy hippos asserting their territory with occasional snorts. Throw in the bike and hike from Bobbo-Dioulasso to the sacrificial site of La Mare aux Poissons Sacres de Dafra (squeamish types had better steer clear), and you've got good enough reasons to go.
Architectural heritage is sparse, but perhaps that's why unearthing those precious gems is so rewarding. Make sure you trace the spiky contour of La Grande Mosquee in Bobo and study the elaborate ornamentation of Bani's seven old mud mosques, whose striking resemblance to Star Wars set will be nosed out by an avid fan hand over fist.
Yet those who know Burkina inside out hint that the country's greatest magnet is neither geography nor architecture but the people themselves and their culture. Burkinians are exceptionally skilled at crafts, of which there's no better place to learn than the Gorom Gorom Thursday Market, adorably rustic and permeated with the essence of ethnicity, while Burkina Faso's remarkably developed movie industry is considered by far the best in West Africa, if not on the entire continent. Tourism development in the region would most definitely give Burkina the overhaul it needs to stand up and be counted, and this time the role of demand must not be underrated. So why don't you go spread the word then and make it happen?