Transport in Botswana

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Flag of Botswana

Transportation in Botswana is provided by internal and extensive network of railways, highways, ferry services and air routes that criss-cross the country.[1]

Rail transport[edit]


BR Express[edit]

BR Express Interior.jpg
The new comfortable chairs of BR Express

All passenger services were discontinued in 2009, with the only remaining service being an international link to Zimbabwe from Francistown. Freight trains still operate. Passenger service was expected to resume in late 2015.[2] Passenger services were later re-introduced in March 2016.

Freight trains[edit]

Freight Train of Botswana

Over half of BRs freight traffic is in coal, grain and intermodal freight, and it also ships automative parts and assembled automobiles, sulphur, fertilizers, other chemicals, soda ash, forest products and other types of the commodities.

Regional trains[edit]

Botswana Railways run 2 nightly passenger trains, one from Lobatse to Francistown, and the other from Francistown to Lobatse, with stops in Gaborone, Mahalapye, Palapye, and Serule. The passenger train is termed the "BR Express" (Botswana Railways).

Commuter/Suburban trains[edit]

In Botswana, the (Botswana Railways) "BR Express" has a commuter train between Lobatse and Gaborone. The train is scheduled to depart in Lobatse at 0530hrs and arrive at Gaborone 0649hrs. This train return to Lobatse in the evening, well departing in Gaborone at 1800hrs. Arrival time at Lobatse is 1934hrs.

The train stops at Otse, Ramotswa and Commerce Park Halt.

BR Express Sleeping & Dining Department[edit]

BR Express Dining Department

The BR decided from the very beginning that it would operate its own sleeping cars. Bigger - sized berths and more comfortable surroundings were built. Providing and operating their own cars allowed better control of the service provided as well as revenue received, although profit was never a direct result of providing food to passengers. Rather, it was for those who could afford to travel great distances expected such facilities and favourable opinion would - well attracting others to Botswana and the BR's trains.


BR Express Train from Gaborone to Francistown
BR Express 2.jpg

Diesel locomotives

As of March 2009

  • 8 General Electric UM 22C diesel-electric locomotive, 1982.
  • 20 General Motors Model GT22LC-2 diesel-electric locomotive, 1986.
  • 10 General Electric UI5C diesel-electric locomotive, 1990.

8 new gt142aces delivered in 2017 from emd.


Botswana rail network
  • total: 888 km (since 2015)[3]
  • number of stations: 13
  • standard gauge: 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) cape gauge.

Railway links with adjacent countries[edit]


  • South Africa

South Africa-yes- same gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

  • Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe-yes- same gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

Currently under construction

  • Zambia

Zambia- being built at Kazungula Bridge in Kazungula.


  • Namibia


  • Mozambique


Road transport[edit]


  • As of 1996, Botswana has 10,217 km of highway.


  • total; 10,217 km
  • paved; 5,620 km
  • unpaved; 4,597 km (1996 est.)

Existing highways[edit]




Motorways in Botswana have a set of restrictions, which prohibit certain traffic from using the road. The following classes of traffic are not allowed on Botswana motorways:

  • Learner drivers
  • Slow vehicles (i.e. not capable of reaching 60 km/h on a level road).
  • Invaild carriages (lightweight three-wheeled vehicles)
  • Pedestrians
  • Pedal-cycles (bicycles, etc.)
  • Vehicles under 50cc (e.g. mopeds)
  • Tractors
  • Animals

Rules for driving on motorways include the following:

  • The keep-left rule applies unless overtaking
  • No stopping at any time
  • No reversing
  • No hitchhicking
  • Only vehicles that travel faster than 80 km/h may use the outside lane
  • No driving on the hard-shoulder

The general motorway speed limit is 120 km/h.[4]

Road Sign[edit]

Botswana's old "caution curves" sign
New sign

Traditionally, road signs in Botswana used blue backgrounds rather than the yellow, white, or orange that the rest of the world uses on traffic warning signs. In the early 2010s, officials announced plans to begin phasing out the distinctive blue signs in favor of more typical signs in order to be more in line with the neighboring Southern African Development Community member states.[5]



  • Boatle Interchange in Boatle.


The Government of Botswana is building three (3) interchanges along K.T Motsete Drive (Western Bypass) in Gaborone. This project started on August 2019, and deadline date is set 2021.

Longest Bridges[edit]

Botswana will have two (2) longest bridges by span and the following are:

Under construction

Kazungula Bridge under construction

Roadway links with adjacent countries[edit]


Mass Transit[edit]


In most parts of Botswana, there are many taxiscabs of various colours and styles. Botswana has no limitation in taxicab design, so each taxiscab company adopts their own design.

Minibus Taxis[edit]

Kombi (Minibus taxi)

Minibus Taxis is also known as Kombi are the predominant form of transport for people in urban areas of Botswana and mostly of them they're found within cities, towns, major villages and even least populated areas.

They also have their own minibus station within that particular area, they only transport people within that specific area, and all of them they have different routes. This is due to their availability and affordability to the public.

Most minibus taxis they do not have depart time that's allocated by the state and mostly of them they have 15 seaters. Currently, they're owned by many minibus owners.

Coach Bus[edit]

Coach buses are used for longer-distance services within and even outside Botswana. They're normally operated by private companies and they're the only ones that have depart time that's allocated by the ministry of transport.

All couch buses have different time for depart and they also have different routes, and they also have their couch bus stations all over Botswana.


Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone, Botswana

In 2004 there were an estimated 85 airports, 10 of which (as of 2005), were paved. The country's main international airport is Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone. The government-owned Air Botswana operates scheduled flights to Francistown, Gaborone, Maun, and Selebi-Phikwe. There is international service to Johannesburg, South Africa; Mbabane, Swaziland; and Harare, Zimbabwe. A new international airport near Gaborone was opened in 1984. Air passengers arriving to and departing from Botswana during 2003 totalled about 183,000.

International Airports[edit]

Botswana has 4 international airports. The following are:

Sir Seretse Khama International Airport's new terminal building

Kasane International Airport
Kasane International Airport

Maun International Airport
  • "Mophane International Airport" is yet to be established in Palapye Sub-District near Moremi village.


Currently under construction

North-South Carrier[edit]

Botswana NSC and extension

NSC is a pipeline in Botswana that carries raw water, south for a distance of 360 kilometres (220 mi) to the capital city of Gaborone. It was done in phases. However, phase 1 was completed in 2000.

Phase 2 of the NSC, still under construction, will duplicate the pipeline to carry water from the Dikgatlhong Dam, which was completed in 2012.

A proposed extension to deliver water from the Zambezi would add another 500 to 520 kilometres (310 to 320 mi) to the total pipeline length.

Lesotho-Botswana Water Transport[edit]

The Lesotho-Botswana Water Transfer is a project which is expected to provide Two Hundred Million Cubic Meters per year, to transfer water to the South-Eastern parts of Botswana is also ongoing.

The scheme involves the supply of water to Gaborone from Lesotho via a Six to Seven Hundred kilometer 600 to 700 kilometres (370 to 430 mi) pipeline.

The project commenced on the 1 August, 2018 and is set for completion in June, 2020.


Sea Water Desalination Project[edit]

The Government of Botswana intends to sign the Sea Water Desalination Project from Namibia. The project is at a tendering stage.

Water transport[edit]



Border crossing (ferry) from Botswana to Zambia

Kazungula Ferry is a pontoon ferry that crosses 400 metres (1,300 ft) wide Zambezi River between Botswana and Zambia.

Border Posts[edit]

Pandamatenga Border Post Sign
  • Bokspits Border Post
  • Kazungula Border Post
  • Ramatlabama Border Post
  • Ramokgwebana Border Post
  • Mamuno Border Post
  • Pandamatenga Border Post


Pedestrian Elevated Walkway[edit]

Botswana has many pedestrian elevated walkways at different places.

Gaborone's Pedestrian Elevated Walkway
Gaborone's Pedestrian Elevated Walkway

Tour Boats[edit]

BW Tour boats

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Mupimpila, C (2010-09-30). "Internalising the Externalities of Public Transport in Botswana". Botswana Journal of Economics. 5 (7). doi:10.4314/boje.v5i7.60307. ISSN 1810-0163.
  2. ^ Passenger train is coming back, Tue 09 Dec 2014, Mmegi Online,
  3. ^ "Figure 7.13. Total Length of Rail Network/ Country Area". doi:10.1787/806740202414. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ "ROADS AND RAILWAYS: Botswana". Africa Research Bulletin: Economic, Financial and Technical Series. 53 (3): 21217C–21219A. 2016-04-27. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6346.2016.07003.x. ISSN 0001-9852.
  5. ^ "Mmegi Online" staff writer Maranyane Ngwanaamotho (Dec 21, 2011). "Old road signs are being phased out". Archived from the original on November 29, 2012. Retrieved Oct 5, 2012.
  6. ^ Ketumile, Kesentse (Jan 25, 2016). "Hello spaghetti, bye bye traffic circles". Botswana Daily News. Archived from the original on 2016-10-14. Retrieved Oct 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "Francistown Spaghetti Junction Opens for Public Use". The Midweek Sun. Dec 16, 2016. Retrieved Oct 4, 2017.[permanent dead link]