There is a risk of armed groups stopping vehicles (including public buses) on major roads to rob them, particularly at night.
Street crime poses high risks for visitors. Most incidents involve opportunist snatches of purses, wallets, jewellery and other valuables. Thieves are particularly active in crowds. The areas near and around the UN Circle and the former Central Market in Ouagadougou experience the highest amount of street crime. You should take sensible precautions. Don’t carry valuables in public places or walk alone at night.
British nationals are increasingly being targeted by scam artists operating in West Africa. The scams come in many forms: romance and friendship, business ventures, work and employment opportunities, and can pose great financial risk to victims.
You should treat with considerable caution any requests for funds, a job offer, a business venture or a face to face meeting from someone you have been in correspondence with over the internet who lives in West Africa.
You should avoid travel between towns by road at night, particularly from Bobo Dioulasso to Côte D’Ivoire, and Fada to Benin and Togo, due to a history of incidents in these areas.
Incidents are not confined to principal routes. Secondary roads (notably roads in the east to Benin, Bogande and Gayeri) are also affected.
You should also take care if you are travelling by road between Burkina Faso and Niger. You should travel in convoy where possible and seek local advice before setting out. Where possible you should follow a police patrol.
Armed roadside banditry is a problem across the country, and the number of attacks is increasing. Drivers who have refused to stop for robbers have been shot at. Remote and border regions are particularly vulnerable but there have been attacks on the main road between Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso.
You can drive in Burkina Faso using a UK driving licence.
With a few exceptions, roads are poor with few street lights. There is a risk of banditry and hitting stray livestock. Road conditions off the main roads are often difficult, especially in the rainy season (June-September). Vehicles do not always have headlights and are often in poor condition.
Stay on clearly marked roads or tracks and avoid minor roads in remote areas unless travelling in convoy. If you break down off a main road you may not be able to attract help. Carry drinking water with you.