With a population of around 45,000 Maun is the fifth largest town in Botswana. The name Maun is derived from the San word 'maung', which means 'the place of short reeds'. It is set along the Thamalakane River and serves as the gateway for many trips to the Okavango Delta.
Maun itself lacks a lot of sights and activities, but is a good way to visit nearby Okavango Delta.
The Okavango Delta, a massive inland delta and world famous natural park, is the biggest draw in the area. Flights over the delta, as well as longer safaris can be arranged in Maun.
The safari/game drives are the key activities in this region. With the Okavango Delta and the nearby Moremi Game Reserve, wildlife enthusiasts will be in 7th heaven. There are several safari tour operators in Maun. Most of the lodges/camp sites also offer activities such as game drives, mokoro (dugout canoe) rides and bush walks.
Some of the safari service providers are:
A one day mokoro trip booked through an agency in Maun will cost about P600 (Oct 2009), but note that the poler himself will receive maybe 1/15th of that. You may want to consider contacting one of the poling collectives directly (e.g. at Boro) in order to ensure that more of your money goes to the local community.
Around two hours from Maun on the Maun - Francistown road, close to Gweta is the Nxai Pans National Park entrance. The salt pans are surreal and it is a privilege to see the 3,000 year old baobab tree called the Chapman's baobab or the Seven sisters. The zebra migration seasons are spectacular to watch as are the friendly meerkats that are present the year round. The Nxai Pan is part of the larger Makgadikgadi Pans in northeastern Botswana and was added to the National Park System to enlarge the bigger Makgadikgadi Pans National Park thus providing an enlarged contiguous area of natural protection. The Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans together form a 2,500 square kilometre big park, located only 37 kilometres north of the main Francistown to Maun road.
For those interested in souvenir shopping, there is not much on offer as Botswana as a country has not invested much on souvenir production targeting tourists. However, en-route to the Okavango Delta from Maun by road, one passes the Shorobe village where one can buy directly from the weavers, like the intricate Shorobe baskets.
With public transport in Botswana fairly limited, hitching is much more common here than in other parts of the world - though remember the usual safety caveats. In particular, there are plenty of tourists seeing the major sights in southern Africa by car so, as Maun is on that tourist trail, you may be able to hitch directly from as far afield as Windhoek in Namibia or Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
Several buses per day leave Kasane for Nata, costing P54.4 (Oct 2009) and taking about 3 hours and 45 minutes. Several buses per day go through Nata for Maun, costing P54 (Oct 2009) and taking about 3.5 hours. You may need to wait for a couple of hours in Nata for a through-bus to Maun.
Maun is quite spread out, in particular with much of the accommodation several kilometres northeast from the centre in Matlapaneng.
Taxis from the centre to Matlapaneng cost about P30 (Oct 2009). You can also hitch, but bear in mind the possible safety hazards.
Kombis between the centre and Matlapaneng cost about P2.75 (Oct 2009).
You can walk around the centre but going anywhere else will require transport.
Internet access in the centre costs P30 per hour (Oct 2009).
See also International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to Botswana is 267. To make an international call from Botswana, the code is 00.
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.
as well as Kieran-M (4%)
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