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Burkina Faso: Karfiguela waterfalls

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Karfiguela waterfalls | Burkina Faso | Africa

[Visited: May 2013]

Burkina Faso has been a country of cycling for a long time, although modernity has reached the country and more and more people are using mopeds. Directly upon arrival in Banfora, I asked for a bike - I wanted to do it the good old, pedal-power, way. The bike did not look too bad, even though the saddle was completely loose, the gear was stuck in the low position, and only one brake was working. When I cycled away, I felt extremely happy. For the first time in more than a month, I myself was in charge of transportation. I did not have to wait for a bus that never left, I did not have to squeeze into a heavily overloaded car, I did not have to take care not to put my feet on live chicken, I did not have to be scared for a speeding driver drinking beer - I was in charge of my own speed. Moreover, there was hardly any traffic, and the unsealed road was in a good condition. I cycled past sugar cane fields, and when I reached a lane lined by huge mango trees, I knew I had arrived - it had only taken me half an hour. I paid the entrance fee, and a little further on, parked the bike which did not have a lock.

Picture of Karfiguela waterfalls (Burkina Faso): Looking at one of the waterfalls of Karfiguela

The sound of the waterfalls could already be heard, and when I reached an open space, I could see the upper part of Karfiguela falls. I struggled through some bush to reach a small beach from which I had a better view. A short hike up took me to an open space: the top of the falls. I started to roam around - the falls are actually a set of smaller and bigger falls, pools, rocks: all easily discovered on foot. I found ways to cross to the last waterfall; here, you come close to the first set of falls. Climbing down the rocks took me to a lower level; here, I was able to see the waterfalls from below. I found several pools in which I could have taken a bath; sure enough, the cycling and hiking had made me hot enough, and I was dying to dip into it.

Picture of Karfiguela waterfalls (Burkina Faso): Water falling down at Karfiguela and disappearing behind a big rock

After I walked through one of the streams, it was again easy, because of the natural steps in the rocks making them look like stairs, to reach a point where I was surrounded by waterfalls above and next of me, and also next to the edge of the rocks from where the water made a final, bigger fall to the rocks far below; in several places, rainbows were visible. Here, I found a great small pool just under a powerful small waterfall. It was deeper than I expected, and the water surprisingly cold. Just what I needed: within minutes, it managed to cool me off to more normal temperatures. My clothes, soaked with my sweat, were dry within 15 minutes on the hot rocks and under the merciless sun, helped by a breeze. I had been warned that there might be guys out there to steal stuff, but I did not see anyone, and felt privileged to have the falls and the views all to myself.

Picture of Karfiguela waterfalls (Burkina Faso): Jacuzzi pool just above one of the taller falls of Karfiguela
Picture of Karfiguela waterfalls (Burkina Faso): Water tumbling down the rocks at Karfiguela
Picture of Karfiguela waterfalls (Burkina Faso): Larger falls of Karfiguela seen from the side
Picture of Karfiguela waterfalls (Burkina Faso): View of the Karfiguela falls
Picture of Karfiguela waterfalls (Burkina Faso): The entrance to Karfiguela falls: a lane of mango trees
Picture of Karfiguela waterfalls (Burkina Faso): Water streaming down the rocks at Karfiguela
Picture of Karfiguela waterfalls (Burkina Faso): View of waterfalls and surrounding landscape at Karfiguela
Picture of Karfiguela waterfalls (Burkina Faso): The upper part of Karfiguela: water pushed through a narrow opening in the rocks
Picture of Karfiguela waterfalls (Burkina Faso): Small falls and pool at the upper part of Karfiguela falls
Picture of Karfiguela waterfalls (Burkina Faso): One of the many falls of Karfiguela
Picture of Karfiguela waterfalls (Burkina Faso): View from the top at Karfiguela waterfalls
Picture of Karfiguela waterfalls (Burkina Faso): View from the top at Karfiguela falls
Picture of Karfiguela waterfalls (Burkina Faso): Upper falls of Karfiguela just visible on top, with the bottom pool in the foreground

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