Transport in Botswana

A sparsely populated, arid country, Botswana has nonetheless managed to incorporate much of its interior into the national economy. An "inner circle" highway connecting all major towns and district capitals is completely paved, and the all-weather Trans-Kalahari Highway connects the country (and, through it, South Africa's commercially dominant Gauteng Province) to Walvis Bay in Namibia.

Railways

Botswana possesses 888km of 1067mm gauge railway, by 2002 figures, serving a number of towns and connecting the country to its neighbours.

Railway links to adjacent countries

Botswana has rail links with the neighboring countries Zimbabwe and South Africa. There is no direct connection with Namibia, but one does exist via South Africa, although an electrified railway connecting to Lüderitz, Namibia for coal traffic is/was scheduled to open in 2006.

2005

Botswana-Zambia link - A new rail link between Botswana and Zambia, bypassing Zimbabwe, was mooted in 2005 by Botswana Railways (BR) GM Andrew Lunga. The line was envisaged as running south-westwards from Livingstone, crossing the Zambesi, then continuing to a junction with the existing BR tracks at Mosetse. Lunga's proposal arose following the serious loss of traffic suffered by BR following the opening of the Beitbridge-Bulawayo line, after which annual BR freight tonnage fell from 1.1m per annum to about 150,000. Zimbabwe's economic problems had worsened the situation, prejudicing free traffic flow. The suggested line, Lunga pointed out, would provide important alternative routes linking South Africa, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. [ [http://www.railwaysafrica.com/newsafrican/botswanaranews.html RailwaysAfrica] ]

Towns served by rail

* Ramatlhabama, South Africa - border with South Africa
* Lobatse
* Gaborone - national capital
* Palapye - junction for coal branch
* Serule - junction
* Francistown
* Ramokgwebana - border with Zimbabwe
* Palapye - junction
* Morupule - branch terminus
* Serule - junction
* Selibe Phikwe - branch terminus
* Francistown - junction
* Sowa - branch terminus

Highways

Botswana possesses 10,217km of highway, of which 5,620km are paved. Since 1996 estimates, there has been a significant reduction in the total length of unpaved highway in Botswana - between 1996 and 1999 total length of unpaved highway fell from 14,139km to 4,597km.

Airports

According to 2002 information, there are 86 airports in Botswana. Of the 86, 10 have paved runways, where 2 have runways exceeding 2,438m in length, 7 have runways exceeding 1,524m (compared to 3 without paved runways) and one airport has runways exceeding 914m in length (compared with 55 unpaved runways). The remaining 18 airports with unpaved runways have shorter runways.

External links

* [http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/profile/botswana.pdf UN Map of Botswana]
* [http://www.airbotswana.co.uk/ Air Botswana UK - The national airline of Botswana]

References


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