Travel to Francistown – On the Old ‘Cape to Cairo’ Railway.
Although not on the normal safari circuit, travellers do occasionally have need to stop-over in this pleasant city en route between Botswana’s far north and Gaborone, or en route to Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. Francistown is the second largest city in Botswana.
The city is located in eastern Botswana, about 400 km north-northeast from the capital, Gaborone. Francistown is also located at the confluence of the Tati and Inchwe rivers, and near the Shashe River (a tributary of the Limpopo) and close to the international border with Zimbabwe. Francistown was the centre of southern Africa’s first gold rush, and is still surrounded by old and abandoned mines. The city is named after Daniel Francis, an English prospector who acquired prospecting licences in the region in 1869. The ‘Cape to Cairo’ railway line used to run parallel to the main street many years ago.
There is not much of real interest for travellers in Francistown, though the Supa-Ngwao Museum depicts the history of Francistown and is the cultural centre of north-eastern Botswana. Well-kept parks and colourful markets also provide an interest for those with some time here.