Djibo: Oasis du Sahel
Cultural atmosphere and local geography:
Djibo is pretty dry and dusty, with a lake. The population is predominantly Peul and thus Fulfulde is predominantly spoken and élévage is important. This is the capital of the Soum province. There is a substantial Mossi population with some others sprinkled in (Karumba, Bella).
How to get there and away:
From Ouaga, you can go almost directly north through Kongoussi, which is shorter but unpaved the whole way (STAF), or go through Ouahigouya (Ouaga-OHG is paved, but OHG-Djibo is not) and change busses there (STMB, SOGEBAF). 4000 CFA one way; 7000 CFA round trip.
- STMB: daily 7:00, 14:30 to OHG, 11:00, 17:30 from OHG. Be sure to ask about their Carte de Fidelité (sort of like frequent flyer programs), which can be obtained in Ouaga or Ouahigouya.
- STAF: daily 7:00 (to and from Ouaga)
- SOGEBAF: daily 6:30, 13:30 to OHG, 10:00, 17:00 from OHG. There is a third bus to OHG on Wednesdays that leaves at 17:00. They are
consistently very late and undependable.
Places to stay :
- PCV House: Andy lives here and is quite generous with his pad.
- DPEBA hotel: 1000 CFA (teacher rate), fantastic if it’s available
- Hotel Massa: 5000 CFA for room with fan and bathroom in hallway, A/C is available but keep in mind that electricity in Djibo cuts off at from 1:00-7:00. Some Volunteers have had a terrible time here.
- The Auberge: sketchy, on edge of town
Open M-F 7:30 – 12 and 15:00 – 17:00, Saturday 7:30 – 12.
Daily, relatively large and in the middle of town.
Wednesday is marché day: there is a large animal market, vegetable selection is great, and the town is very crowded. The faux type factor is low
There are typical boutiques around the town but the largest are:
- “the drive-thru” – near Hotel Massa - really nice people and a good selection including jam and oatmeal
- “the one near Meillure Pain Locale” – also really nice people and good selection
- “the one near the Caisse des Artisans” – also really nice people and good selection
- Supermarché – not really super, but an interesting variety of things
- The lady next to the STMB gare is talented, but a little expensive.
- The guy next to the Caisse des Artisans is talented, but likes to overcharge people with white skin.
There are a few kiosques around (notably Kiosque Beldal and Kiosque Soutien) and meat is plentiful. Also:
- Hotel Massa – A variety of Togolese food. Sometimes you can get salad. The most expensive around.
- La Causette – Tanti makes good, inexpensive riz-sauce and tô.
- PDES – The ONG’s on-site restaurant has such novelties as chocolate croissants and sausage sandwiches. It’s only a tiny bit more expensive than other places; the walk from centre-ville is the real cost.
Street food and snacks:
There are little “benga lady” operations around the marché; typically they offer benga, rice and sauce, and tô. Also:
- milk products – Peuhl milk keeps yogurt, gappal, and cappal plentiful in Djibo. The ladies at Kiosque Soutien have good yogurt.
- bread – Djibo is home to some of the best bread in Burkina. The standard pain locale is 50 CFA per loaf and is delicious, but Bol d'Or or "Meillure Pain Locale" has a large loaf of fantastic bread at 120 CFA.
- buur-maasa and other forms of fried dough and potato-like produce are available around the marché
- Mariam at the Secretariat Publique near SOGEBAF has fantastic yogurt, bisap, and toydo
- Hotel Massa – a fonctionnaire hot-spot (if you’re trying to find a particular fonctionnaire, starting here and asking patrons if they’ve seen him/her is a good way to start); a bit more expensive.
- La Detente – sort of a younger crowd with lots of flirting
- 215 – great for an afternoon beer, the owner “tink-tink” enjoys Americans
- Calypso – popular for dancing on Saturday nights
There are some movie places—a popular one is one block east of the marché
There is a traditional healer not too far from Djibo