Estimate population 17,268,900 - Capital City Ouagadougou
Burkina Faso is a country surrounded by other countries having no coast line in the southern part of Africa. It was known as Upper Volta and used to be affiliated with France which ruled it for more than 60 years. It was originally named for the three upper branches of the Volta River: the Black Volta, the White Volta, and the Red Volta. A tributary, called the Sourou, joins these in the north as they flow toward Ghana and unite to form the wonderful Volta River. Burkina Faso has an area of 274,378 square kilometres (105,946 square miles). On the north and west lies Mali, on the south Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana and Togo. On the east lies Benin and Niger.
Much of the country is covered in native grasslands or desert because many forested areas have been cleared for farming. Luckily some of the few remaining forests have been set aside as wildlife preserves, containing buffaloes, hippopotamuses, monkeys, antelopes, lions, elephants and crocodiles. The tsetse and simulium flies inflict diseases and are widespread. Because the south part of the country is only about 10 degrees north of the equator, the climate is generally hot and dry.