Getting Around, Botswana Travel, Transport and Car Rental
(Botswana, BW, Southern Africa)
Visitors to Botswana should be aware that public transport is somewhat limited. Whilst trains, buses and minibuses are all viable options for getting around the country, visitors who wish to travel extensively and with few limitations to their itinerary would be well-served by hiring a car.
In some areas of Botswana, where road surfaces can make driving tricky during the rainy season, a four-wheel drive vehicle is a real boon. For short journeys between nearby towns in Botswana, local taxi transport is a popular and highly convenient way to travel to your chosen destination.
Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (GBE) / Arriving by Air
Address: Airport Road, Gaborone, Botswana, BW, Southern Africa
The Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (GBE) is Botswana's main airport and is located 15 km / 9 miles north of Gaborone. Whilst there may not be regular bus transport travelling between the centre of Gaborone and the airport, the city's major hotels do run minibuses for their guests.
It is also possible to hire a taxi for the journey, which takes approximately 45 minutes. The Sir Seretse Khama Airport has a number of facilities, including a bank, bar and restaurant, and post office.
Regular domestic air services (Air Botswana) link Gaborone with the towns of Maun and Kasane in Botswana, while South African Express regularly flies to both Cape Town
. Small charter flights also operate, using simple bush runways, and are another option for visitors who plan to travel around the northern region of the country.
Other noteworthy airports located in Botswana include:
- Francistown Airport (FRW)
- Ghanzi Airport (GNZ)
- Jwaneng Airport (JWA)
- Kasane Airport (BBK)
- Maun Airport (MUB)
- Orapa Airport (ORP)
- Selebi Phikwe Airport (PKW)
- Shakawe Airport (SWX)
Many roads in Botswana are simply gravel or sandy tracks. Visitors who choose to drive around the country should therefore take any necessary precautions, such as carrying spare fuel and water, and hiring a four-wheel drive vehicle. Care should be taken in particular during wet weather as this may make some tracks impassable.
That said, there are over 2,500 km / 1,550 miles of surfaced road in Botswana, allowing visitors to travel around the country with relative ease.
Buses and Coaches
Many of Botswana's towns can be visited by using local bus transport. These regional buses usually operate on a frequent basis and are cheap to use. However, don't expect much in the way of comfort and do bear in mind that the routes are somewhat limited, as these services are really geared towards transporting locals, rather than tourists. That said, buses are good ways to travel around if you would like to get to know Botswana and its people.
Regular train services travel between Botswana and South Africa, and between Botswana and Zimbabwe, with connections to Gaborone, Francistown, Ramatlhabama, Lobatse and Palapye. However, at present, travellers should note that these services are now freight and cargo only. Passenger services are currently under review and may well resume in the near future.
Taxis are a good way of getting around neighbouring towns, although it is worth agreeing on a fare in advance. It is more common to share a taxi or minibus, known as a 'combi'. If you want to travel on your own, you need to make this clear to your driver.