Botswana : 40th Anniversary of ICAO


Issue date: 08/10/1984



Avro 504K of South African Aerial Transport Company, registered G-EAFU (named The Rand Queen) in Great Britain. The Serial number H2383 is painted on the aircraft.


This aircraft was piloted by Major Allistair Miller, who had be granted the first airmail contract in June 1922 by the Resident Commissioner of the Bechuanaland Protectorate; with this Avro aircraft, he established the first regular fortnightly passenger service between the Rand and towns in Bechuanaland using Palapye Road airfield as pivotal point.



Westland Wessex Trimotor of Imperial Airways Ltd, registered G‑ABEG in United Kingdom.


Charismatic Chris Kock piloted this first tri-motored aircraft in service in Bechuanaland; this opened up the Northern parts of Bechuanaland between April 1934 and November 1935, being very popular with the hunting fraternity, and enabled administration officials to reach the furthermost corners of the country.

The aircraft G-ABEG was leased to Rhodesia and Nyasaland Airways (universally condensed to the euphonic "RANA", 1934) by Imperial Airways.



Junkers Ju 52/3m (with three engines) of South African Airways, registered ZS‑AJF (named The Earl of Caledon) in South Africa.


On 9 August 1937, the inaugural flight with this aircraft included the South African Minister of Foreign Affairs and the leader of the South African Dominion Party. The route was Rand Airport – Palapye Road – Maun – Gobabis – Windhoek; the regular service was continued at fortnightly intervals without a break until the outbreak of the Second World War. The Junkers 52 was the first aircraft fitted with a radio communication system in South Africa.



de Havilland D.H.89B Dominie (Dragon Rapide, originally known as "Dragon Six") of Imperial Airways, registered VP‑YCJ in Anguilla.


In 1935, this aircraft operated a regular fortnightly service on the route Bulawayo – Francistown – Palapye – Francistown. Over the years, no less than 12 Dragon Rapide aircraft covered part or all of the various routes; they were a well-known and welcome sight.



Douglas DC-3 C-47B Dakota of Wenela Rhodesia, registered VP‑YSM in Anguilla. Previously with registration number ZS-DHY in South Africa, it was used by Wenela Air Services.


With this aircraft, WENELA Air Services, based at Francistown Airport, carried thousands of mine workers from Shakawe, Maun, and Katima Mulilo to the railway at Francistown, where the passengers were on-routed to mines in South Africa. This company maintained a very efficient service for many years and their regular Douglas DC-3 and DC-4 flights also ensured that airfield maintenance and radio communication facilities were constantly improved.



Fokker F‑27-200 Friendship of Air Botswana, registered A2‑ADG in Botswana.


This Fokker aircraft used to be the flagship of Air Botswana and was used on both internal and international routes to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.


Gutter pairs.







Lower-left blocks of 4 stamps.




Lower-left blocks of 4 stamps, Cancelled to Order (CTO) at Francistown, with the date of issue printed in the lower margin. Francistown is the second largest city in Botswana.




Blocks of 4 stamps. Cancel at Gaborone, with the date of issue printed in the upper margin.




Strip of 3 stamps imperforate.


Official First Day Cover. The illustration, designed by Viera Larsson, commemorates the first operational day (8 October 1984) of Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, Gaborone, Botswana. Seretse Khama was the first president of Botswana (1966–1980), after the former Bechuanaland protectorate gained independence from Great Britain in 1966; his name means the clay that binds together.


Official First Day Cover autographed by Viera Larsson, designer of the stamps and the cachet.


Painting by Basil Smith, based on the 25-thebe stamp (de Havilland Dragon Six). Aircraft registration number: G-ACTT (de Havilland DH-89A Dragon Rapide) in Great Britain. Designer and Painter, Basil Smith was born in 1925 in Hove, Sussex, England. In the ICAO collection, another Smith’s painting can be found at the following link: Turks and Caicos Islands - 1985 - 40th Anniversary of ICAO.

Being the first British monarch to fly, King Edward VIII purchased in 1935 two Dragon Rapide biplane registered with the British civil markings G-ACTT and G-ADDD respectively. The actual aircraft were decorated externally in the scarlet and blue of the Brigade of Guards; the wings were silver.


Background : This stamp issue portrays some of the aircraft which played such a vital part in the development of flying in Botswana.