Like the population, transport resources are concentrated to the eastern parts. In 2009, the road network covered 25,800 km. The main asphalt road goes from Gaborone via Francistown to Kazungula in the border area between Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The main railway is the track that cuts through 888 km through Botswana on the Mafikeng (South Africa) –Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) route. International airport is located in Gaborone, and other major airports are in Kasane, Francistown and Maun.
The mountainous terrain in Lesotho has meant that much of the country was accessible only by horse transport or by light aircraft. Lesotho is therefore heavily dependent on the road and rail networks in South Africa. However, several road construction projects and the construction of a network of easier roads for off-road vehicles have improved the situation. In total, there are 7 100 km of road in the country, of which about 800 km are paved. In Maseru there has been an international airport since 1986, and from Maseru 3 km goes by rail which connects the city with a railway line in Marseille, South Africa.
Namibia’s transport network is strongly oriented towards South Africa. The most important railway runs from Nakop at the border with South Africa to Windhoek and then on to Walvis Bay. In the country there are approximately 2 600 km of narrow gauge railway with a gauge of 1,065 mm (so-called Cape gauge). The road network in 2010 consisted of 44 100 km of roads.
The country’s only deep port is in Walvis Bay and handles almost half of Namibia’s foreign trade. Another port is located in Lüderitz in the south. The airport in Windhoek is the only one that is classified as international.
Since independence, the transport and communication networks have been expanded, tied with other Swedish assistance. In 2009, Swaziland had approximately 3,600 km of roads, of which 25 per cent paved. Swaziland’s first railway was the completed 225 km eastbound route from Ngwenya to the port of Maputo, Mozambique in 1964. In 1978, it was linked by a 93 km southbound line to the South African port city of Richards Bay. Finally, in 1986, a northbound line was opened to Komatipoort in South Africa, whereby northeastern South Africa via Swaziland was given a direct connection to Richards Bay and Durban. From the Matsapa International Airport, Royal Swazi Airways began flights to South Africa in 1978.
South Africa’s transport and communication networks are well developed according to Countryaah. In 2014, the road network comprised 747,000 km, of which one quarter was permanently covered. The railway network, which is narrow-gauge (1,067 mm), covered 21,000 km at the same time.
South Africa has no navigable rivers, but shipping between the country’s port cities is important. The major ports (Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and East London) also provide significant transit traffic to and from Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Southern Congo (Kinshasa) and Malawi. The port of Saldanha Bay is the largest on the west coast of Africa.
Air traffic plays a prominent role. It was deregulated in the early 1990’s, and in addition to the state-owned South African Airways, there are several private companies with traffic on domestic lines. The airports in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban serve international traffic.