Francistown Airport (FRW or FBFT) is Botswana’s third-largest airport, measured by passenger traffic. It’s situated in the east of the country, just outside the town of Francistown on route A3.
Francistown’s history stretches back to the 19th century gold rush, and indeed the area remains a major mining centre in Botswana. The airport itself is a modern facility that was upgraded with a new terminal building in 2011. However, although the upgraded airport has international status, it is mainly used for domestic flights. Visitors arriving here are most likely to have flown from Gaborone, although at the time of writing flights are also available via Air Botswana to Johannesburg on selected days each week. (Information believed correct at the time of writing – Jan 2018)
Car rental at Francistown Airport, Botswana
At the time of writing (Jan 2018), we were able to obtain quotes for car hire from the following well-known companies at Francistown Airport:
- Bidvest Car Rental
A full range of car and minivan vehicles was available, including compact, intermediate, SUV, pickup, premium and 7/9-seater minivan models.
Driving in Botswana
UK licence holders can drive using an International Driving Permit for up to 90 days, according to the UK Foreign Office. As in the UK, vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road in Botswana.
The country has a good network of tarmac roads, but many rural roads are unsurfaced and some areas are extremely remote. Make sure you are prepared if you plan to visit such areas.
Driving standards are generally lower than in western Europe or the UK and wildlife can be dangerous at night in rural areas, so it pays to be extra careful and drive during daylight hours when possible.
Petrol stations are said to be fairly scarce in rural areas, so always top up your tank when passing through a town.
You are reportedly likely to encounter government checkpoints periodically, who may check your car and vehicle papers.
- Foreign & Commonwealth Office (UK govt) travel advice for Botswana
- Earth Trekkers personal blog covering a trip from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Kasane, Botswana.
Two of Botswana’s largest industries are diamond mining and tourism. Visitors flock to the country each year to see the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and other wildlife attractions, where animals such as giraffes, zebras and cheetahs can be seen in their natural habitats.
Other popular parks include Chobe National Park and the Moremi Game Reserve on the Okavango River.
Many visitors will fly between destinations in the country, and safari flights are also popular as they allow visitors to cover a wide area (and see a lot of animals) in a short time.