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Botswana: Botswana Transportation Profile


 Botswana is a landlocked country


Botswana is a landlocked country which is located in the southern part of Africa. It shares a border to the south with South Africa, to the west with Namibia, to the north with Zambia, and to the northeast with Zimbabwe. This puts Botswana in the center of the Southern African region. As a result of this geographical location, its roads are put under strenuous use having to act as the central nerve of regional traffic between neighboring nations. Since independence there has been a deliberate policy by the government through the Roads Department under the Ministry of Works and Transport to provide a road network to link all people centers, cities, towns and neighboring nations.
During the years 1966 to 1986 additional than P260 million was invested in new roads. During the National Development Plan Seven, for the period from 1991 to 1997, P870 million was spent for the development of the network. During the National Development Plan Eight, for the period from 1997 to 2003, P2.6 billion was spent. For National Development Plan Nine for the period from 2003 to 2009, the estimated all was P 2.4 billion.
The paved road network has almost entirely been constructed next independence. The network consists of approximately 6,116 km of paved and 2,800 km of unpaved road. This is complemented by a further 9,000 km of district roads which fall under the responsibility of the district councils. Road transportation is the major mode of travel in Botswana, covering about 93% of the total volume of passenger transport. The railway, a single line, which runs from south to north on the eastern side of the country, together with air transport, have been responsible for about 7% of passenger transportation.
The Roads Department has established a number of rotating traffic measuring stations across the country used to closely monitor the increase rate in terms of vehicle characteristic and axle load. The in general traffic increase rate is in the order of 10 % per year. It is expected to grow by six to seven % in the coming years. The majority rapid increase of traffic has been in the eastern part of the country.
Road traffic accidents in Botswana are increasing at an alarming rate and such accident cost is estimated equivalent to one to two % of the GNP. Gaborone accounts for about 50 % of accidents and they mostly occur at night on unlit sections of the network. New road projects are beginning to focus on this problem.
A number of foreign funding agencies have been involved in road projects, studies and technical assistance. Contributions have been received from the African Development Bank, Kuwait, and USAID, part others.


For a lot of decades Botswana’s principal lifeline to the outside world was the railway running along its eastern border. With a total length of 642 km, the railway exits into Zimbabwe at Bakaranga in the northeast and into South Africa at Ramatlabama in the southeast. The original line was built between 1894 and 1897 by the British South Africa Company.
The railway has been operated by the parastatal Botswana Railways since 1994. For most of this run, roughly 85 % of the railway’s revenue was derived from freight transport. As of February, 2009, however, all revenue will come from freight transport, as passenger transport has been indefinitely suspended.


Botswana has six international airports – the major one being Gaborone International which is as well known as Sir Seretse Khama Airport – and over 80 other regional and private airports, the majority of which are not paved or heavily travelled.


Botswana does not have any seaports as it is a landlocked country. It does have access to neighboring country seaports.
Airports - with paved runways Total: 
Airports - with unpaved runways Total: 
Transportation - note: