With a population of more than half a million, Bobo-Dioulasso is the second largest city in Burkina Faso.
Somebody once said that “Bobos,” or those Burkinabe who have spent a significant amount of time in Bobo, and have adopted some of the “Bobolaise” mannerisms – are the most hospitable Burkinabe, and perhaps one of the most hospitable groups of people, in the world. Strangers are welcome in general, and just about anyone from strangers to neighbors are always invited to drink tea or some bissap and eat food. In every neighbourhood, you will see mini block parties of tea drinkers, old ladies out walking, schoolkids in clumps – to a degree not to be found in many other towns and villages. Bobo is social. That said – some PCVs say that Bobo also holds the highest rate of Faux Types, merchant hawkers, and the like, on the hunt to chat it up, or sell something to a “Tubabu” (that’s you, silly). French and Jula are spoken in Bobo, along with Bobo (a dialect) and many other regional dialects. Bobo is often called the commercial capital of Burkina. You can get almost anything that you can get in Ouaga (OK – no Jimmy’s Bar, or Ice Cream like there is at Chez Simone). In general prices for things are a little cheaper than Ouaga. It is also much more temperate in Bobo (not too hot not too cold) due to lots of greens, trees, etc. in and around the area.
There are several bus companies with daily services to Bobo-Dioulasso from Ouagadougou and other regional cities as well as a few international destinations. Rahimo (+226 76643860), STMB (+226 50314472), TCV (+226 50301303), SOGEBAF (+226 50344255), TSR (+226 50342524) and Rakieta amongst others.
Also, the twice weekly train between Abidjan and Ouagadougou makes a stopover here. Although a scenic and rather comfortable ride, the train is slower the bus services and delays are common. 1 Bobo-Dioulasso railway station, a prominent example of Sudano-Sahelian architecture built during colonial times, is centrally located at Place Tiefo Amoro.