- Ouagadougou; 821,000
- 274,200 square kilometers (105,869 square miles)
- French, native African languages
- Muslim, indigenous beliefs, Christian
- CFA franc
- Life Expectancy:
- GDP per Capita:
- U.S. $1,100
- Literacy Percent:
Burkina Faso Facts Flag
Half the population of Burkina Faso, or "land of the honest people," claims descent from the Mossi warriors who ruled over one of the most powerful empires in West Africa from the 11th to the 19th century. The landlocked country, desert in the north and savanna in the center and south, is home to 63 ethnic groups. Formerly known as Upper Volta, the French colony gained independence in 1960. Its mostly agricultural economy has been hurt by droughts and political instability. Parks protect the largest elephant population in West Africa and other wildlife.
- Industry: Cotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap
- Agriculture: Cotton, peanuts, shea nuts, sesame; livestock
- Exports: Cotton, livestock, gold
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
On fields throughout Africa, plastic bags, old clothes, and shredded tires transform into magic orbs—soccer balls.
The Niger Delta holds some of the world's richest oil deposits, yet Nigerians living there are poorer than ever, and violence is rampant.
A refuge in Chad gives endangered central African elephants armed protection—and a fighting chance.
2014 Traveler Photo Contest
Submit your best shots for a chance to be featured in our weekly galleries and to win a grand prize trip for two to Alaska.