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City Francistown

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Located in Botswana :: Eastern Botswana/Tuli  :: Francistown
Category: Places :: City

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Description [ correction ]

Francistown is the second largest city in Botswana and the only one with an English name. It was the center of southern Africa's first gold rush and is still surrounded by old and abandoned mines.

The first European to arrive in the Francistown area was the missionary Robert Moffat, who travelled to nearby Nyangabgwe village. In 1867, prospector Karl Mauch discovered gold along the Tati River and this led to southern Africa’s first gold rush, with prospectors arriving from as far afield as America and Australia.

In 1869, Daniel Francis, director of the Tati Concessions Company, established the town. It had just one street which ran parallel to the 'Cape to Cairo' railway line that was initiated by Cecil John Rhodes as a vital link between Britain’s southern and northern colonies. The town was named after Francis and grew rapidly but it was discovered that the gold reefs were very narrow, making it expensive for individual prospectors to mine, so they soon left for more lucrative opportunities.

The Great Depression of the 30s hit the town hard but its central location on the main road and railway line through Botswana propped up the town's economy thanks to cross-border trading with Zimbabwe. The town continued to grow and became a city in 1997, the second oldest city in Botswana after Gaborone.

Traveller Description

Interesting street names, such as "Blue Jacket Street", the main street (A1), running through Francistown, is a remnant of Francistown's mining history. It was named after Sam Anderson, a prospector who arrived in Francistown from Australia, pushing his wheelbarrow and wearing a blue denim jacket. Haskins Street, an extension of Blue Jacket Street, was the first tarred road in Botswana.

The A3 to Nata is notoriously bad. It is narrow, has potholes (that are fixed from time to time), and carries a lot of big trucks. For this reason, many overlanders prefer to take the more scenic route from Khama Rhino Sanctuary to Nata via Letlhakane rather than Francistown, even though the route is slightly longer.

Contact [ correction ]
Address :  Francistown Tourism Office, Plot 316 Shop D5 & D6, C.B.D, Ground floor of Diggers Inn Hotel, Francistown, Eastern Botswana/Tuli, Botswana.
Postal :  Francistown Tourism Office, P.O. Box 301236, Francistown, Eastern Botswana/Tuli, Botswana.
Contact :  Francistown Tourism Office
Tel :  +267 24 401 13
Email :  Click Here
Host Website :  Click Here
Cellphone Reception :  Good Main Cellular Network :  Mascom. Orange. Be Mobile

Directions [ correction ]

Not available

Destination Information [ correction ]
Police Station :  Yes   Police Telephone :  +267 242 3000(Central Police Station)
Hospital : Yes   Hospital Telephone :  +267(0)241 1000/+267(0)241 2518(Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital / Riverside Hospital)
Doctor : Yes   Doctor Telephone :  +267 241 7716(City Medical Centre Private Clinic)
Tourist Information :  Yes   Tourist Information Telephone :  +267 244 0113
Petrol :  Yes   Petrol Type :  LRP/ ULP
Diesel :  Yes
Towing Service :  Yes   Towing Service Telephone :  +267(0)241 2722 /+267(0)241 0824 (Francistown Panel Beaters)
Facilities :  Gas Refill, Shopping Mall, Shopping Centre, Shops, General Dealer, Bank, ATM, Foreign Exchange, Internet Cafe, Tour Services, Lodging, Camping, Butchery, Bakery, Liquor, Restaurant, Pharmacy, Airport, Car Rental, Tyre Repair, Tyre Sales, Mechanical Repair

Facilities [ correction ]
Other Facilities :  Sports Club. Auto Dealer. Court. Prison. Mine/Quarry. Fast Food. Wholesale Services. Government Services.

Activities [ correction ]
Game Viewing, Game Drives, Night Drives, Quad Bikes, 4WD Trails, Tours and Excursions, Picnics, Hiking Trails, Guided Walks, Mountain Biking, Donkey Cart Drives, Golf, Fishing, Swimming, Bird Watching, Hot-air Balloon Flights, Stargazing
Notes on Activities :  (Some activities may be offered nearby).

Travelling Information [ correction ]
Closest Main Route :  A1

EMERGENCY SERVICES:
The contact number for the police station is for the Central Police stations in Francistown. Another Police Station number in town is +267 241 5656.
Another alternate doctor number is: +267 241 7716.
There is no embassy in Francistown. All embassies are based in the capital city Gaborone.

FUEL:
Fuel is supplied by big petrol companies like Puma, Shell, Engen and Total so all types of fuel is available.

MARKETS:
There is currently no craft market in Francistown, but there is a food market.

SERVICES:
Francistown is a busy but organised town, and boasts everything a traveller may need. Accommodation ranges from budget camping to upmarket hotels, and there are good restaurants and shopping malls. Francistown is also a good spot to exchange money, draw cash etc. before heading up north, like to Chobe etc.

 Travel Tip!

Woodlands Stopover, 15km north of Francistown, is a very popular stopover and you can pre-order excellent meat from them. There are a few good butcheries in town (Legacy Meats, Senn Foods and Spar) and you can also pre-order meat vacuum-packed and frozen from A-Deli. Whatsapp Adele on +267 76 692 186.

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