A Gourmantché overview
A tour through the Gourmantché country!
Gourmantour gathers various tourism professionals in the eastern region of Burkina Faso. As independent actors, we share our strengths and skills to present our region and its tourist potentials. Our shared vision to reach a responsible tourism in the Gourmantché country is built around the following three basic themes such as nature, culture and adventure!
Wealth and diversity to protect!
The Gourmantché country is in the Sudano-Sahelian area, made of woodlands and wooded savannas. The low population density, the history of local development and the culture of the Gourmantché people helped preserve this nature like nowhere else in the country.
The eastern region has two national parks. The National Arly Park is located on the border with Benin, between the Gobnangou cliffs to the east and the cliffs of Madjoari in the west. We also have, the W Park. The latter is a cross-border park: a park shared among Burkina Faso, Niger and Benin so that each country manages its National W Park in accordance with the neighbouring countries.
Also many areas of the Gourmantché country are classified according to various conservation statuses. Thus, a large portion of the territory is uninhabited to allow nature to endure it.
The balance between the natural conservation process and the fair needs for development by the people is not easy to keep.
Ecotourism can contribute to this, and Gourmantour has committed itself on this path with you!
It would be a shame to come to the Gourmantché country without enjoying any safari in one of the national parks in the region. The right season for vision tourism runs from December to April.
Quite a unique cultural heritage!
Since the Gourmantché people are very close to their land and culture, they did not "melt" in the sub-region as compared to the Mossi or the Fulani for example. So, the Gourmantché still remain the most dominant in the eastern region although there is an important sedentary and / or nomadic Fulani community.
The Gourmantché culture which is highly embedded with the surrounding nature is very special. The Gourmantché people endowed the Gourmantchéma language with a specific word to call each animal and plant species. As a comparison, Mooré, the language spoken by the Mossi people, the most dominant ethnic group in Burkina Faso, builds its flora-related vocabulary by associating "foot" and the fruit of the tree in question ...It is quite anecdotal, for this is nonetheless symbolic of a culture rooted in its natural environment.
Handicraft, cooking, music and social events (weddings, funerals, etc.) provide opportunity to access their day to day culture. You will discover with amazement the Gourmantché traditional weavings, terracotta pottery, traditional costume celebrations or the very genuine initiation ceremonies of the youth that shows their passage into adulthood.
Today the Gourmantché and the Fulani live together!
The Fulani live on a very wide geographical area from Senegal to Lake Chad. Owning, or at least, caring for herds, the whole family constantly travel from north to south, and vice versa, depending on the season. Due to the existence of protected natural parks, transhumances are framed so that the herds can go through the Gourmantché land without interfering with wildlife. However, some families have settled in the Gourmantché land, especially in the Gobnangou cliffs where ethnic cohabitation is reinforcing day by day.
A wide land of freedom
The region has many assets for the practice of nature activities, starting, of course, from the vast protected natural area. Walking, cycling, riding or even going by donkey or canoe is quite delightful when watching some fabulous sceneries. It is also a unique opportunity to make such unusual and strange encounters with very welcoming local people.
You will find on the spot some guides, bikes, motorcycles and everything needed to go on an adventure in the Gourmantché country.
Over fifty tracks equipped for climbing the Gobnangou cliffs
Climbing sites are not legion in West Africa. However, in recent years, such a very "climbing spot" has been growing in the Gobnangou cliffs thanks to the devotion of some local lovers of climbing and the support of foreign fellows who lent a hand to equip and secure the tracks while being in tune with the local environment.