On our drive west from Bobo- Dialaisso to Banfora we stopped to take a picture of a particularly green valley below and it was only in the process of framing the picture that we noticed a waterfall tumbling across a field not 100 metres from where we were parked. What a great picnic spot!
Our destination that day was Sindou, site of the most amazing natural landscape. We did a bit of an unplanned detour toward Cote d’Ivoire because on our map it appears to be straight through the town of Banfora and, unbelievably, the dirt track turn-off for Sindou in the town of Banfora is not markedl. Great road, but the mille bournes (milestones – a legacy of the French colonial system) all kept counting down the distance to the border town of Koloka, which was not on our route. We caught this after about 10 km and turned around to go back to Banfora. The correct road was only dirt, but it was much more attractive than the highway.
The Sindou Peaks are quite special. Created by limestone rocks on one side of a very fertile valley that have been eroded into narrow stalactite-type structures. The guidebooks all refer to landscape as reminiscent off “Planet of the Apes” although somehow that does not quite seem appropriate.
Walking tours of the area are provided by the Association Senoufa, a local community development group that uses the proceeds to help pay for childrens’ school fees. One can get tours that range from 1 hour to more than a week and involve hiking back to Bob0-Dialasso, the distance we had driven over two short days. We took the two hour option and that allowed us to hike to the upper plateau and get a great view.
There was a special bonus to our visit to Sindou, in the form of what has to be one of the best campsites in the world, at least the best we had on our trip. We had been told about a campement in Douna, a town 10 km shy of Sindou, by Alain, the French owner of the B&B we stayed at in Ouga. He did not rave about it, he just mentioned it, but we decided to have a look because it was getting late afternoon and it was before Sindou. We are very glad we did. As a campement it had also had rooms, but they were just very basic huts that were not really even furnished. But as a campsite for us it was perfect.