When you come to Botswanafor a safari holiday, you will certainly have your hotel, or tour operator, or safari starting point in Maun. This small town – 60.000 inhabitants – set in the north of the nation is the “capital of tourism“ because it is the heart of the most beautiful natural parks. Starting from Maun, you will easily reach many safari areas and some of the most beautiful natural landscapes of Botswana.
Locals call it “a village”, but Maun is a town and getting larger and larger thanks to the many opportunities tourism is giving to its people. The airport is a very important one, the second of Botswana and the first for tourist traffic. Nature is such an important part of this place that you can spot red lechwe antelopes running in the outskirts, along the banks of Thamalakane river. Do not miss the chance to visit and fall in love with Maun.
At first sight, Maun does not look like a nice place. Wide dusty streets, simple houses, very few trees around, a small historic centre … not really the city you had imagined. But if you live it from inside you will find out: shopping centres, lovely hotels, restaurants, many tour operators. You will see many donkeys, too! Do not be surprised. Donkeys and goats are like dogs and cats, here, and they can live free in the town’s streets.
Maun was founded in 1915 by European settlers coming from South Africa. They built their ranches and houses on the land of the Batawana tribe and the two populations lived peacefully together. But it was so far from other Botswanian towns that it was considered a wild place. It actually was a wild place, and wildlife and nature became its main economic activity as soon as safari tourism discovered the opportunity. The development of tourism changed Maun into a real town, a small capital too.
What to do at Maun
If you are at Maun you will probably start a safari adventure. But besides your trip in the wild nature, take your time and go visit this lovely town. You will discover the Motsana Centre, an islamic style building used as a cultural place: a gym, a theatre, cafés, food stores, a market are its main attractions, inside. You can visit Nhabe Museum, and learn about the culture and artworks of the local tribes.
Tourists have the chance to sail along the Thamalakane river on small handmade boats or “taste” the excitement of a safari before the real safari by visiting the town’s Game Wildlife Sanctuary, 2 km off the centre. With your guides and tour operators you will visit the tourist lodges all around the region and reach – after a 4-hour drive – the famous Okavango river’s flooding delta, especially in the period between March and June. You can also visit Okabango Delta with helicopter tours!
You can easily arrive at Maun by landing directly at the local airport, with national flights from Gaborone or charter flights from other nations’ airports. Maun Airport is well organized and connected both with the town itself and with Francistown, via motorway. In order to move in the town’s area you can use local bus services.
In order to know about tickets and timetables of the Nhabe Museum: firstname.lastname@example.org .