Selebi-Phikwe

Travel Guide Africa Botswana Selebi-Phikwe

edit

Introduction

Selebi-Phikwe is a mining town located in the Central District of Botswana. It had a population of 49,724 in 2011 which is now estimated to have risen to c.52,000. The town is an administrative district, separate from the surrounding Central District.

Nickel mining commenced in 1973 and has been the main activity since. The complex includes a mine and a smelter. All operations are now deep mining. Originally there were two tiny places called Selebi and Phikwe, which straddled a large undiscovered deposit of copper and nickel in the area. When the mineral wealth of the area was discovered in the 1960s a mine and a township were built in the woodland between the places with the combined name of Selebi-Phikwe.

The main source of employment was the BCL Limited mine which excavated and smelted mixed copper-nickel ore from several shafts in deep and opencast mines. The opencast pit is now unused. Ore is transported from the shaft by rail for smelting. The locomotives used were steam-powered, having been bought from National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and South African Railways (SAR).

BCL only intended to stay in operation until 2010 and more recently 2013. It finally ceased operations in September 2016 putting thousands out of work.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

The town is on a tourist route from South Africa to the popular destinations of Okavango and Chobe. There is significant potential for birdwatching and fishing (bass and bream are well established but are not indigenous) at the Letsibogo Dam but, unfortunately, it is difficult to gain access to the dam due to rough terrain and necessity to camp on the shore. An experimental population of tigerfish (indigenous to the Limpopo basin) was introduced in 2009 which has proven that the environment would be suitable. The introduced population is thought to be insufficient for breeding. There are some local camp sites a few kilometres away from the dam. The water and wildlife at Letsibogo do not appear to have been negatively impacted by the pollution from BCL.

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

Selebi Phikwe hosts the biggest marathon in Botswana, the Phikwe Marathon; it was started by the late Boet Kahts and Phill Roberts who was a teacher at Selebi Phikwe Senior Secondary School in 1985 as a gesture of Community Service.[clarification needed] The Marathon is classified as one of the best in the world by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). A report for SPEDU (Selebi Phikwe Economic Development), a local Regional Development Agency, suggests that there is significant potential for expansion of the marathon and also to apply the skills and experience gained by running that event for other events such as cross country cycling and quad biking and for bass fishing competitions at the Letsibogo Dam. The latter site also offers potential for bird watching and sailing if the infrastructure mentioned above were to be established.

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

The town has a small airport which only operates during daylight hours but does not have refuelling facilities.

Top

edit

Sleep

There are four in-town hotels (Hotel Stonehouse, Cresta Bosele, Syringa Lodge and Travel Inn), several guest houses and a number of serviced apartment complexes. The Phokoje Bush Lodge is about seven kilometres from town.

Top

edit

Learn

Selebi-Phikwe has seven government schools and across the town, S Phikwe Senior Secondary School. Private schools include Kopano, Marula and Mount Pleasant.

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Botswana is 267. To make an international call from Botswana, the code is 00.

Post

BotswanaPost is the national postal service of Botswana. It is operating more than 100 post offices and 70 agencies throughout the country and is fairly reliable, albeit not overly fast. All post has to go overland through Gaborone first and international mail by plane might go via Johannesburg, so count on several weeks for your postcard or letter to be delivered to places in Europe or North America. You can use them for parcels as well, though faster and more expensive services are available by companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.

Top

Selebi-Phikwe Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Selebi-Phikwe

This is version 3. Last edited at 12:13 on Jul 31, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License