Burkina Faso greets you with broad smiles and big hearts of the local Burkinabé people. The country is a hiker's paradise with four magnificent rivers of Niger, Mouhoun or Black Volta, Le Nakambé or White Volta and Le Nazinon or Red Volta draining the landscape from different sides. These gigantic flows contribute to Burkina Faso’s previous naming as the Upper Volta. The rivers also bequeath in creation of the expanded peneplain, which is a dominating feature in the topography of Burkina Faso. On other parts this West African nation is dominated by a precambrian massif and a sandstone massif. Apart from small hilly regions, the country also has some lakes like the Tingrela, Bam and Dem and ponds of Béli, Yomboli and Markoye.
The regions of present day Burkina Faso has been inhabited since 12 000 to 5000 BC. The Mossi and Gurma people immigrated to the region in the 14th century and the Mossi Empire became a French protectorate in 1896. By 1903 France subjugated the other ethnic groups of Burkina Faso and included it into French West Africa. Known as Upper Volta at that time, it became a separate colony in 1919 and emerged independent on August 5, 1960. After years of military regime in post-independence era, Burkina Faso, meaning the "the land of upright people", now follows a parliamentary system.