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Transport in Botswana: Wikis

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Map of 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.

Contents

Railways

Botswana possesses 888 km of 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge railway, by 2002 figures, serving a number of towns and connecting the country to its neighbours.

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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. [1]

Towns served by rail

All passenger services have been suspended in Botswana, with the only remaining service being an international link to Zimbabwe from Francistown, the only railway station that is still in service. Freight trains still operate. The following stations had passenger services running from them until May 2009:

Highways

Botswana possesses 10,217 km of highway, of which 5,620 km 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 14,139 km to 4,597 km.

Airports

In 2004 there were an estimated 85 airports, 10 of which (as of 2005), were paved. 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.

External links

References


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