The country’s vegetation ranges from trees and thick bush in the south to near-desert conditions in the north. The landscape changes dramatically according to the seasons. In the driest months, extreme drought and the harmattan, a dusty cold wind from the Sahara, desiccate all vegetation; widespread manmade bushfires add to the burnt aspect of the landscape. With the first rains, leaves sprout on trees and bushes and the savanna grass grows to several yards high within a few months. (from www.everyculture.com/Bo-Co/Burkina-Faso.html)
Burkina Faso’s flora and fauna are protected in two national parks and on several reserves. The Pô and Nazinga reserves and the Parc d’Arli and Parc du W provide a refuge for antelope, baboon, buffalo, elephant, hippopotamus, hyaena, leopard, lion, and warthog, as well as a wide variety of birds. The country is home to West Africa’s largest elephant population.
Close to Burkina Faso’s northernmost border is a freshwater lake, the Mare d’Oursi, which is fringed by sand dunes. The lake is a magnet not only to local farmers, herders, and livestock, but also to many species of bird that migrate across the Sahara twice a year, breeding in Europe and spending the winter in Africa. Many species of wading birds feed here during their journey, and sand martins and swallows can be seen passing through during their autumn migration. (from www.oxfam.org.uk/coolplanet/ontheline/explore/journey/burkina/geography.htm)