Catching the Sunrise with Hippos in Burkina Faso

It was still dark when I left my hotel in Banfora to head to Lake Tengrela in western Burkina Faso. The goal was to set sail on the lake in a wooden canoe before the sun came up to try to spot a hippopotamus or two. While we floated along in the rickety canoe, I became just as enthralled with the colorful sunrise as I was with the prospect of spotting a hippo. I was terrified the entire time that I would tip over and fall into the lake, but I managed to get some great pictures of both the hippos and the sunrise.

Sunrise on Lake Tengrela in Burkina Faso

Sunrise from Lake Tengrela

Complete coverage of here canoe trip here


Katie Aune is a former attorney who quit her job in 2011 to spend 13 months traveling through all 15 countries of the former Soviet Union. Now back in Chicago and working full-time in higher education fundraising, she continues to travel as often and as far off the beaten path as possible. Find out more about her travels and mission at Also follow her on twitter here: @katieAune


When a month rewards us with 5 Sundays in a month I try to do something a little different here on the Sunset Sunday Series. This week Katie, someone I met (and still meet) at travel blogger events agreed to help. Here she provides us with a special sunrise from her recent trip to Burkina Faso in West Africa. Thanks to supporting travel to West Africa and thanks for sharing your moment here on the Sunset Sunday Series.

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  • sia

    Nice blog post..

  • Traveling Ted

    I wonder if I might see this photo hanging on my wall in 2016?

    • craig zabransky

      Happy to hear you are already ordering the 2016 Sunset Calendar…. speaks volumes. But since it is a guest post (thanks Katie) and a sunrise…it’s unlikely..but it is certainly calendar worthy, stay supportive, Craig

  • The World Wanderer

    This reminds me of my mokoro ride to watch hippos in the Okavango Delta! Oh Africa, no other sunrises/sunsets in the world compare.

    • craig zabransky

      Absolutely, Africa is certainly magic for sunrises and sunsets… Stay Magical, Craig

  • Francesca

    I’d be afraid of falling out of the boat, too, and being eaten by a hippo! Katie managed to get a great shot, though.

    • craig zabransky

      Really a great shot, make sure you click on the link to see all her images from her post… it seemed like a special morning indeed. Stay Special, Craig

  • TripsByLance

    A beautiful sunrise and what an awesome experience.

  • Pingback: Sunset Sunday Video Recap May-August 2015 | Stay Adventurous | Mindset for Travel Blog()

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Wow hippos. Amazing. Plus I am ashamed to say I never heard of Burkina Faso LOL. That is OK though. I will visit eventually.