The town itself is very compact, with the railway station at the northern end and the bus station at the southern end – both just a few minutes' walk from the centre. The airport is a few kilometres away to the southeast of town and, unless you're hiring a car, you'll need to get a taxi – there's no public transport.
Air Botswana has daily services during the week between Francistown and Gaborone.These take an hour and typically cost about US$85 one-way per person. The Air Botswana office is in the Cresta Thapama Lodge on Blue Jacket Street in the centre of town (tel: 241 2393; fax: 241 3834; web: www.airbotswana.co.bw). There is also an office at the airport (tel: 241 2394).
Botswana's railway runs along the eastern edge of the country, linking Ramtlabama in the south to Ramokgwebane to the northeast of Francistown. Botswana Railways (tel: 241 3444)has daily services linking Francistown with Gaborone. Trains depart from both Francistown and Gaborone at 10.00 every day except Friday, when departures are at 08.00 and 14.30. A one-way ticket is approximately P35/20 for first/second class. There is also a night service linking Francistown with Gaborone (and ultimately Lobatse in the south). This takes almost nine hours and costs P120/100/25 for first/second/third class.
By roadBy bus
Buses and minibuses link Francistown with Gaborone (433km), Maun (492km) and Kasane (490km). Most buses run in the morning, and then only when they're full enough! The main bus station is to the south of the city centre, beside the railway line. It's best to get there by 09.00, or try to check the latest times the day before departure. In general, buses run as follows:To Gaborone
At least one each day, and as many as five spread throughout the morning. Costs around P35. To Kasane
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – though small, crowded combies will ply this route every day, costing around P45. To Maun
Lots of buses, up to one an hour in the morning and early afternoon. Costs around P45.To Bulawayo and Harare
There are services, but they're much less regular. Check locally.
Bus companies include the following:Mahube Express
Tel: 241 2074Motswere Express
Tel: 240 1605Seabelo's Express
Tel: 241 4199Sesennye Bus Service
Tel: 241 2112Tjemoyo Bus Services
Tel: 241 0898Car hire
Both Avis and Imperial have offices at Francistown airport, to the southeast of town:Avis
PO Box 222, Francistown; tel: 241 3901 (after hours 241 5867); fax: 241 2867; web: www.avis.comImperial
Tel: 240 4771/2; fax: 304773; web: www.imperialcarrental.co.za
If you take a taxi out of town, you'll find it relatively easy to hitchhike along the main tar arteries, including to Maun via Nata. Frequently, hitching is a faster option than taking the bus, though it's not advisable for single women, or even two women travelling together. You should expect to pay for your lift, at slightly more than the going bus fare. So pay perhaps around P50 to Maun or Kasane, and slightly less to Gaborone.