Francistown is the second largest city in Botswana and also one of the oldest. Located in the east of the country near the border with Zimbabwe. In the mid-19th century gold was found in this area by the Europeans (British), the beginning of the first ‘gold rush’ in southern Africa and the birth of the city of Francistown. The locals had been aware of the presence of gold for much longer and already had small mines where they dug up the gold. The British took over and started a large mining industry. The city is named after the English miner Daniel Francis. Even now you can still see old abandoned gold mines around the city. Other raw materials such as nickel and copper are still being extracted.

Due to the presence of raw materials, it was important that Francistown was easily accessible and that is why roads and railways were laid from the South African border to Zimbabwe. Tourists still make grateful use of the (rail) roads built on their way to Chobe National Park and the Victoria Waterfalls on a daily basis.

In Francistown you will find modern supermarkets, restaurants, clubs, large (covered) shopping centers, hotels and lodges. A number of colonial buildings can only be found in the center. For those who want to know more about the history of Francistown, the Supa Ngwao Museum is a must. Don’t forget to visit the museum shop with items made by local craftsmen and artists.

The Tachila Nature Reserve is a reserve just 5 kilometers away from the city, it has been established for both the local population (including nature education for school children) and tourists. You have the chance to see zebras, giraffes, hyenas, leopards, kudus, impalas and various other goats and antelopes here. Over time, more and more animals will be reintroduced including rhinos.

The temperature here is actually always good, in the African summer months the temperature is around 30 degrees during the day and it stays nice and warm at night, this is also the time of year that most rain falls. In the winter months (May to August) it is dry with a temperature during the day between 20 and 25 degrees, at night it is around 10 degrees.

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