Saturday, September 18, 2021

How To Travel Around Botswana

AfricaBotswanaHow To Travel Around Botswana

There are very few locals who remember street names and addresses, and you will almost certainly need to obtain instructions in terms of landmarks. Botswana has a postal delivery system to addresses (only to centralized mail collection locations), thus even if streets are well-marked, people may be unfamiliar with the names.

You can travel everywhere in Botswana using a mix of buses and combies (minivans), but public transportation is sparse outside of major towns and routes, thus hitchhiking is common and extremely simple. However, hitchhiking should be done only in dire situations, since Botswana driving is often unpredictable, and having a stranger take you someplace may be a terrifying experience. It is best to arrive at the bus terminal early since the buses tend to fill up fast, and it is not unusual to spend several hours standing in the aisle waiting for a seat to open up (remember to bring water, as the buses are often not air conditioned).

By car

The roads are paved and well kept, so driving is not a problem, as long as one keeps an eye out for the cows, donkeys, and goats that spend a lot of time in the center of the road.

The Trans-Kalahari Highway is an ancient livestock road that has been paved and is readily drivable with a two-wheel drive vehicle. It connects Windhoek, Namibia, to Gaborone, Botswana, and stretches from Lobatse to Ghanzi in Botswana. It’s a long and boring journey, but you get a good sense of the Kalahari Desert. Fuel is accessible in Kang at the Kang Ultra Shop, which also has a decent variety of food, overnight cabins, and cheap camping.

By bus

Botswana has a plethora of bus companies. Seabelo is one of the largest. You may take a bus from Gaborone to any larger city in Botswana.

By train

All trains in Botswana are operated by Botswana Railways. The main line connects Lobatse, near the South African border, to Francistown, near the Zimbabwean border, through Gaborone. Train service was restored in 2016 after being discontinued in 2009.