1. Cultural atmosphere and local geography (languages, ethnicities, unique characteristics)
Dori is located between two very large barrages. One barrage is very old and the other is under construction. It should be finished in 2005. There are also many slightly smaller barrages that form all over town during the rainy seasons. These smaller barrages make Dori a difficult place to navigate in the rainy season. Sand is another obstacle encountered in navigating Dori. During the dry season it is difficult to ride your bike through the sand.
There are several languages spoken in Dori. Most people speak Fulfulde, but there is also a lot of Mooré, and lots of children speak French, at least well enough to ask white girls for gifts, candy and or money. You can also find people of many different ethnicities and hence many other languages that are spoken in different cartiers. There are Peuhls, Mossi, Songrai, Bella, Gulmance, Tauregs, Mauritanians and others.
2. How to get there and away
To get to Dori from Ouagadougou there are 3 options: SOGEBAF, TSR, and STMB. SOGEBAF and TSR go from Ouaga to Dori twice daily, and occasionally SOGEBAF will add additional busses if there is demand or to go to Gorom and Markoye. SOGEBAF and TSR both leave from the Sankariare gare de SOGEBAF. (The TSR station is directly next to the SOGEBAF station) They both leave at 7h and 16h. Ouaga- Dori costs 5000 cfa. On Wednesday SOGEBAF sends a bus to the marché of Gorum-Gorum, this bus leaves at 10h and can be very crowded. On Sunday they send a bus to Markoye at the same time. STMB goes from Ouaga to Dori but only once a day. The bus leaves from the main STMB bus station at 15h. It costs 5000cfa.
To get from Dori to Ouagadougou there are the same 3 options: Except the times of departure slightly vary. SOGEBAF leaves at 7h and at 13h30m every day from their gare just past the round point on the left, and it costs 5000cfa. TSR leaves from their gare, which is on the other side of the block from SOGEBAF. They leave at 6h30m and 13h00m. and cost 5000cfa. STMB leaves only once a day at 8h00m, from the gare right next to the marché and it costs 5000cfa.
To get from Dori to other parts of the Sahel go to the gare routiere de Dori. It is actually the same place as the STMB gare. At the gare you will find lots of bush taxis going to all sorts of destinations. It is uncertain where or when they actually go. It can be said that they don’t go there that often. Marché day in Dori will definetely provide more options. Definitely only once day or maybe only once a week. Good luck.
To get from Dori to Gorum-Gorum go next door to the TSR gare and ask about anything going to Gorum. There is almost always at least one camion per day going to Gorum. The rainy season will definitely make the trip a lot more difficult, offering fewer cars and depending on the level of the water can be impassable in places. Alternatively, as stated earlier, SOGEBAF and maybe TSR go direct from Ouaga to Gorum on Wednesday at 10h and to Markoye Sunday at 10h. The bus goes to Gorum and Markoye respectively the night before the Marché and then leaves to go back to Ouaga supposedly the following morning, but usually it takes a little longer to leave the Marché.
3. Places to Stay
1. Auberge Populaire- 3000 cfa per night. Shared toilet with private shower, fan and mosquito nets. If you are lucky you can hear the prisoners next door. Yes the hotel is on the road to Gorum-Gorum right next to the prison.
2. Sahel Herbergement and Annex.- Daynese prefers the annex. It is a 3 or 4km walk from the bus station if you don’t have a Land Cruiser. Yes of course they have air-conditioning and satellite TV. From ouaga turn right at the round point and go until the T, turn left and go 300 meters.
3. Hotel Oasis- Even further away from the bus station than the Herbergement. Ask a guide how to get there.
4. Post Office
Post opens 7h30m until 12h and 15h until 17h. **Note it should take at least 30 minutes to cash a check so please plan to be there 30 minutes before closing. Straight at the round point pass the prison and turn right. Turn left at the church then right at the T. Post should be on the left.
Turn left at round point. The Marché will be ahead on the left after the STMB Station. Marché day is Friday, but it is possible to buy most things any day of the week. There is a decent selection of fruits, vegetables, meat, and peanut butter. There are also assorted leaves, rocks and dirt. The specialty of Dori marché is the blankets. They are all handmade in a small village near Dori. Also available are turbans, boubous and pagnes of all varieties.
Bathilly’s Boutique - world-famous Peace Corps boutique. They provide things that we might like, including corn flakes, tuna, Quaker oats, frozen goods, butter and lentils. Yes they are very nice people and have lots of supplies and other locations in the Sahel. Just past the Marché on the right. Other boutiques are around with the standard selection.
1. Porc-au-Four- Best pork in Dori, excellent atmosphere and friendly staff. They make the pork almost everyday. But be there early cause it goes fast. You can place orders in the morning but it is usually ready by 10h30m and finished shortly thereafter. Directly across the street from the prison and the Auberge.
2. Tele-poulet- Rotisserie chickens, stuffed with couscous. Very good, usually only in the evenings. Again they go quick and certain nights of the week it may be necessary to order in advance. Turn right at the round point and it is ahead on the right.
3. Le Relais- Excellent brochettes, fried chicken (yes kentucky fried), french fries, green beans, peas and a seasonal salade. Almost always a sure thing open for lunch and dinner. Turn right at the roundpoint and walk to the end of that road, yes it is pretty far, but a the end of the road le Relais will be across the street to the right.
4. Mouton-au- Four- available between 10h and 12h at the Ambiance Seno. From the round point walk through the gare de STMB and turn right. Walk a while and the Ambiance will be on the right.
5. Restaurant Togolese- FuFu and other west african delicacies. Right next to the Ambiance Seno.
6. Crepuscule- Convenient restaurant right next to the gare de STMB. They serve rice with a variety of sauces everyday, as well the occasional special depending on what’s available. They also make excellent yogurt, and have lots of ice cold water on hand, and the people that work there are very nice.
7. Auberge- Next to the prison also provides convenient lunches and dinners although slightly more expensive than the other restaurants in the area. But you can almost always find something to eat there: chickens, brochettes, couscous, spaghetti and rice and sauce. The people there are not the friendliest, but sometimes you got to eat.
8. Street food and snacks
1. Across the street from the Auberge they have excellent meat and omelet sandwiches in the morning and through lunch. Really nice guy that makes them next to the bakery. At night they grill excellent chickens too.
2. Across the street from SOGEBAF there are lots of options for grilled meat.
1. Rev nightclub is the really the only place to find dancing in Dori on a regular basis, generally every Friday and Saturday night. Right at the round point then left at the intersection with the billboard, take the second right and it should be approximately 5km ahead on the right.
2. Auberge Populaire next to the prison. The prisoners get especially rowdy at night and can put on a good show if given the right music.
3. Dori attracts many of Ouagadougou's world-renowned rappers and they come up to give concerts on a pretty regular basis. Also there are several festivals every year, the end of Ramadan, Tabaski, and the festival of the cows. All bring live music and interesting entertainment options.
Internet in Dori is a tricky thing. There are two possible places to get connected. Contact Service and Columbe, both near the Gare Routière, are your two options. However at both places the customer service is horrible, the computers are old, and it is hard to come by a computer that can read floppy disks and/or CD’s. Read below for additional information on each.
1. Contact Service. Hours are 7h-22h Monday-Sunday. In theory a connection should be possible during the hours of operation but who knows what might happen. Prices are as follows 500CFA for each 15 minutes with price reductions available for multiple people who connect simultaneously.
2. La Columbe. This Internet cafe is much cheaper than Contact Service, but has the restrictive Cyber Café monitoring program that restricts your use of the computer. Also the keyboards there are really old so it is hard to type emails fast and effectively. However its 300CFA price for 15 minutes makes it an attractive option. Hours are 8h-21h, and it is occasionally closed during the repos.
Dori has very many tailors but not many who can make your Swear-In caliber outfits. If you are looking to get curtains or clothed hemmed there are many tailors right in the middle of the marché. However for more detailed tailoring you should go to Ideal Couture. From the round point head straight in the direction of the marché, keep going to you pass the
Bathily’s on your right with the marché on your left. Keep going until it seems like you are going into a neighborhood and it will be on your left across from a construction store (quincaillerie). This guy has made stuff for generations of Peace Corps volunteers.
12. Recreational activities
There is a Satellite TV place where you can watch soccer games and watch VCDs. It is located straight down from the round point headed toward the marché, in between both Internet cafés. Every so often national stars make up the trip up to Dori and perform. So when you go to the
internet look for a poster to see is anyone is stopping through. On Friday’s and Saturday’s you can go to le Rêve the happening nightclub (see Bars for directions).
13. Regional tourist attractions
Look for Amadou Dicko in the middle of the marché to get a famous Dori blanket. He has sold tons to Peace Corps volunteers. Also you can pick up turban to complete your Tuareg look for
the dusty season. No turban would be complete without the silver jewelry. For authentic Toureg silver accessories go straight from the round point headed once again towards the marché. Just after you pass the end of the marché make the next right. The little workshop (basically a hangar with guys working under it) will be 50 meters up on your left. Additionally there are some small sand dunes 7km from Dori in the small village of Djamga. You can bike out there, or take camels. If you take camels the prices should be close to the following: 10-15 mille for a half-day trip, and 15-20 mille for an overnight trip.
14. Additonal Information
The festival of the cow is in December, come into Dori to celebrate cows for a week.