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Francistown is a city in the Northeast region of Botswana, near the border with Zimbabwe. The city is principally an agricultural services hub, however in recent years, as with Gaborone, there has been a retail boom with several shopping malls opening. Francistown has few tourist attractions of note, however there is sizeable tourist traffic, in particular as a halfway stop for tourists travelling between Gauteng and Maun and the Ocavango delta.


Get in[edit]

Francistown is a major transportation hub in Northeastern Botswana and is the gateway to northern Botswana.

By Car: A1: Connects Francistown to Gaborone in the south and to Zimbabwe in the north. Note that Francistown is the principal gateway for migrant workers from Zimbabwe - hence the border at Plumtree can get very busy, in particular if a bus from Zimbabwe has just arrived and 50 migrant workers are having their papers scrutinised by Botswanan officials. This risks a 2 hour wait at immigration unless you engage in some shameless queue-jumping. The border near Kasane is considerably quieter.

A3: Connects Francistown to Nata and Maun to the west.

By Bus: Buses about every hour to and from Gaborone and the trip takes 5-7 hours. Note that there are a handful of police checks on this route which stop all buses and coaches in order to inspect travel documents (for purposes of catching Zimbabweans without work permits). For the tourist this makes for a disturbed journey.

Because it is a transportation hub, Francistown connects to most other villages and towns in the northern part of the country. Direct buses travel to tourist destinations like Maun and Kasane.

There are also several buses that leave daily for Bulawayo and Harare in Zimbabwe.

By Plane: Francistown has its own International airport which is currently undergoing a P500 million expansion.

Currently the airport is only served commercially by Air Botswana [7]

Air Botswana offers two daily flights to Gaborone, and flights to Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

By Train: As of April 2009, Rail Botswana no longer offers passenger service. There is rail service from Francistown to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The train departs Francistown on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Staurdays. [8]

Get around[edit]

Share taxis go all over the city for only 4 Pula (about 40 cents U.S.)

See[edit][add listing]

Supa Ngwao Museum (New Maun Road) contains exhibitions on the culture and history of the Kalanga people, as well as a photographic exhibition on the early history of Francistown and Botswana.

Tachila Nature Reserve covers approximately 8 200 hectares of well preserved natural habitat in an area adjacent to Francistown city. Visitors can enter the reserve for game drives. This is on a self-drive basis, and on arrangement only. Tel: +267 241-2313, or +267 74- 086-277, email [email protected]

Domboshaba ruins near Musunga a 50km drive north of town. Modest remains of a settlement thought to be a tributary of Great Zimbabwe. Dry stone walls and the like. There is a lodge with restaurant nearby. Signposted from the tarred road and free entry. [9]

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

Prices are comparable to the U.S.

  • The "Hype" store and "Game" are similar to a Sam's Club or Cosco and Wal-Mart.
  • Pick & Pay and Shoprite are a Supermarket.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Barbara's Bistro, (at the Sport Club), 241 3737.  edit
  • Calabash Coffee Shop, (on the corner of Baines and St Patrick), 240 3360.  edit
  • Nando's Chicken. The Chicken at Nando's is excellent with Caribbean flavors.  edit
  • Spur Restaurant. Spur has decent burgers and steaks.  edit
  • Danesi Caffe, in the Village Mall (off St Patrick's Drive), [1]. 7 days a week. Francistown's expat coffee shop - set in a quiet mall away from the main road  edit
  • Barbara's Bistro Restaurant, In the sports club (Southwest of town behind the hospital, off Boiphosu Road), 71 603 486, [2]. lunch and dinner Mon - Sat. Barbara's Bistro Restaurant is located at a sports club and offers delicious inexpensive continential and local cuisine like beef stew and pap  edit
  • Mma Africa Bistro & Coffee Lounge, Loja Mall, Doc Morgan Avenue (to the east of town in Somerset East), +267 240 6276, [3]. Run by a professional chef Mma Africa is the stand out eating place in Francistown - some dishes verge on fine dining, but also serves up a tasty burger and chips. Recommended. [4] (21°10'56S,27°31'45E) edit
  • Merilicious, Plot 3237/1 Guy Street, Francistown ((21°9’40”S 27°30’56”E)), +267 716087889. 8am - 5pm. A tea garden on a route through Francistown with safe parking, clean ablutions, WiFi and fresh food made daily. Outside seating under a thatched gazebo and serving meals like vegetarian lasagne, burgers and chips and great fresh salads. P40 - P100.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Merilicious, Plot 3237/1 Guy Street, Francistown (21°9’40”S 27°30’56”E), +267 71608789. 8am - 5 pm. A tea garden on a route through Francistown with safe parking, clean ablutions, WiFi and fresh food made daily. Outside seating under a thatched gazebo and serving meals like vegetarian lasagne, burgers and chips and great fresh salads. 5 - 15 US$. (27°30’56”E,21°9’40”S) edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Woodlands Stop Over, (10km north of town.), [5].  edit
  • Cresta Thapama Lodge. One of the first hotels in modern Francistown, it has 3 lovely pools in the backdrop of geen grass, palm trees and a stocked bar. The pool table usually has a ball missing, but it adds to the character of the place. Watch out for bees with your sugary drinks. The rooms nice and simple, but the facilities are more attractive than msot hotels in Francistown, with the pools, a gym and a squash court. Prices however, reflect the added benefits.  edit
  • Tati River Lodge. A lovely hotel on the banks of the Tati River - It has lush greenery surrounding a swimming pool and bar. The rooms are varied to suit your price range, from a basic room to an executive room with a balcony. There is also the option of camping if you are so inclined, with water and open fire facilities. It's a lovely place to stop off and the restaurant at the far end of the hotel does lovely food.  edit
  • Emoyo Villa (A Francistown Guest House), Plot 21616, Tati River South (Molapo Estates 8oo metres after Adonsonia), +2672406854 (), [6]. checkin: 19:00; checkout: 10:00. Emoyo Villa offers 7 en suite rooms in a serene neighborhood. All rooms are air conditioned with Satellite television. Contact us for additional services provided on site. Emoyo.  edit

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