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Tswee - a local vegetable
 
Tswee - a local vegetable
 
*<buy name="Motsana - Matlapaneng" alt="" address="" directions="On the Moremi road before Audi Camp turnoff" phone="+267 72241444" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Motsana is a new Cultural Center in Maun that boasts 7 shops, 2 dance studios, a coffee shop, stage & open air courtyard. Its strives to provide both Locals & Tourist with entertainment, shopping, food & drink within the walls of a unique yet spectacular piece of architecture!</buy>
 
*<buy name="Motsana - Matlapaneng" alt="" address="" directions="On the Moremi road before Audi Camp turnoff" phone="+267 72241444" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Motsana is a new Cultural Center in Maun that boasts 7 shops, 2 dance studios, a coffee shop, stage & open air courtyard. Its strives to provide both Locals & Tourist with entertainment, shopping, food & drink within the walls of a unique yet spectacular piece of architecture!</buy>
*<buy name="Moroko trip" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">A moroko trip a traditional dugout canoe with a poler that pushes you through the waterways of the okavango delta even combine it with an overnight stay camping or hiking. A MUST DO! Any travel agency can arrange this. Depending who you book this with the price varies.</buy>
+
*<buy name="Mokoro trip" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">A mokoro trip a traditional dugout canoe with a poler that pushes you through the waterways of the okavango delta even combine it with an overnight stay camping or hiking. A MUST DO! Any travel agency can arrange this. Depending who you book this with the price varies.</buy>
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==

Revision as of 17:57, 6 October 2013

Maun is an important village (with town status pending) in Botswana, and major gateway to the Okavango Delta.

Contents

Get in

By plane

Air Botswana [1] operates regular services to Francistown, Gaborone, Kasane, Maun and the South African city of Johannesburg. The airport passenger terminal is right in town, about two blocks from the major shopping center.

By car

Your can get to Maun using the highway from Francistown. At Nata, take the A3. (It is well-signposted.)

By bus

There are daily buses from the bus rank in Gaborone to Maun at 5:30am, 7:00am, and 11:30am (recommend catching the 5:30am one, if you wish to get to Maun before dark). However, it’s a good idea to double check with the locals if the departure times have changed. As of June 2011 the bus fare was P 150.00 pula per person (about $23 USD). There are no ticket counters at the bus rank, so the tickets cannot be purchased ahead of time. The ticket payment is collected right on the bus. The bus ride takes about 9 to 10 hrs. Buses to/from Francistown cost about 90 pula and take about 5 to 6 hours, departing Francistown about once an hour from 07:30 to around 15:30.

If you're traveling to/from Namibia, smaller buses between Maun and Ghanzi cost about 50 pula and take about 4 hours; in Ghanzi you can connect with another bus to/from the Namibian border at Charles Hill/Mamuno (P40, 3.5 hours), but there is no organised transport from there towards Windhoek so you will have to resort to (probably paid) hitchhiking. If you get the first (8:30am) bus out of Maun you will probably make it through to Windhoek in one day. There are also buses from Maun towards Shakawe and the Caprivi Strip.

If you want to travel from Maun to Kasane, it's best to get a Francistown/Gaborone bus and get off at Nata, where you can catch a northbound bus towards Kasane. The same thing works in the opposite direction; either way you'll need to start out as early as possible to be assured of making the connection.

The buses on major routes are pretty nice compared to many other African countries, but still not exactly luxurious: 5 non-reclining seats in a row, little leg-room and no bathrooms (however, they generally make frequent stops that are long enough to use a bathroom at the bus station). Smaller buses are even less comfortable and more likely to fill up completely. If travelling during the winter (Jun, Jul, and Aug) make sure to dress in layers, since it is freezing cold in the morning and toasty hot in the afternoon.

Get around

The core of Maun, say from Riley's Hotel to the airport, is walkable, but usually hot. Further out than that — and a number of popular camps are to the north-east of town — you will want to get a ride.

There is a roundabout just a few hundred metres northeast of Riley's Hotel and the Tourist office. It is a useful reference point. From here, Tesheko Tsheko road runs southwest past Riley's to the bus station and market (at Tsaro St, ~1.5km). Sekgoma Road runs southeast, crossing the Thamalakane River, past the Maun Education Park, and on to Francistown. Moeti Road runs northwest. And Sir Seretse Khama Road runs north to the Maun airport (~2.5km), and thence to the popular camps, to Moremi, and to Shorobe.

Taxis and combis have blue license plates. (Expect to pay BWP 30 for a taxi to the camps north of town.) In this area, especially on relatively high-speed roads, available taxis will honk gently once to see if you are interested. To show that you want a taxi, stick your arm out parallel to the ground, perpendicular (and towards) the road, palm-down, and flap your fingers. (Raising your hand will probably also work, but the finger-flapping is the way the locals do it.)

Note that taxis do not have a central dispatch system. Thus, if you want to call a taxi to fetch you from somewhere a bit remote, you need to have the mobile number of a taxi driver. Also note that driving after dark is dangerous (due to animals on the road), so there will be fewer taxis running after dark.

Combis (vans) run from the bus station along ten specified routes.

  • Route 1 north to the airport, and the camps north of town
  • Route 7 southeast to Maun Educational Park

The following companies offer cars for hire. Note: car hire typically carries a per-km charge. If you are coming from outside Southern Africa, you may be able to get unlimited km allowance by making your reservation with an international company on their website.

  • Maun Self Drive 4x4, [2]. Kitted out 4x4s equipped for camping at affordable rates. Backed up by in-country support, with extensive unparalleled knowledge of onroad and offroad routes, campsites and accommodation within Botswana.
  • Avis, (Opposite the airport, on street corner next to Kalahari Kanvas), +267 6860 039, 6860 258 (, fax: +267 6860 596), [3]. Local office of the international chain. 4x4: BWP550/day plus per-km charge and insurance.
  • Budget, (Opposite the airport, next to Delta Air), +267 6863 728. Local office of the international chain.
  • Holiday Safari 4x4 Hire, +267 6862 429 (fax: +267 6862 429).

See

Maun Education Park is easy walking distance from downtown and well worth 2 to 3 hours either early morning or late afternoon. It is the hidden jewel of Maun - with over 10 giraffes, wildebeest, kudu, impala, zebras, lechwe, warthogs and great birding.

Nhabe Museum has regular exibitions and friendly staff to answer your questions or give advice. Don't miss their gift shop.

There is an ancient bridge that is supported by living trees in Matlapaneng,on your way to Moremi Game Reserve. The bridge is in a poor state and you might be the last to see it.


  • Self Drive Adventures (Self Drive Adventures), Private Bag 114, Suite 28, Maun, +267 686 3755, [4]. Fully safari equipped 4x4 vehicle hire including satellite phone, GPS, logistical & mechanical support and unlimited mileage.


  • Dumela Botswana (Pty) Ltd (jody@dumelabotswana.com), Ha 117 Hak Maun Botswana (Francistown Rd Boseja), ++267 75001315, [6]. 24/7. Dumela Botswana a registered inbound tour operator in Maun offer Botswana safaris and lodge holidays for all ages and budgets in the Okavango Delta, Moremi and Chobe Game Reserves. 130US$.
  • Travel Adventures Botswana, Private Bag BO 13, Maun, Botswana, +267 686 1211, [7]. Low mileage Toyota Landcruiser or Toyota Hilux, fully equipped for 4X4 safari rental. Competitive rental prices include satellite phone, double roof top tents, medical evacuation insurance and mechanical support. Drop off and collections available in Maun, Kasane, Gaborone and Windhoek.

Okavango scenic flights

There are several small operators on or near the Maun airport. They provide a combination of transfers of tourists between Maun and safari camps in the Okavango, plus sightseeing flights, plus charter flights to other points. They mostly fly small, piston-engine propeller planes carrying three to 10 passengers (Cessna 206, Cessna 210, Cessna 172, and the like). Prices given here are a flat rate for a generic one-hour scenic tour in an aircraft carrying 3 or 5 passengers ("pax"); add a departure tax of BWP50/person. Contact the operators in advance for a specific and updated quote, or to ask about charters to other destinations.

  • Delta Air, Mathiba I Rd. (Office is across from Maun airport), +267 6860 044, +267 6861 682 (), [8]. 08h - 17h daily. A fleet of seven aircraft flies 5,000 passengers per year. Has ties to Delta Camp and Oddballs. BWP 1250 (5 pax) +P50/pp.
  • Kavango Air, +267 6860 323 (), [9]. Price is for a flight in the 4-seat Cessna 172. BWP 1,500 (3 pax) +P50/pp.
  • Moremi Air, (1st Floor, Maun Airport Building), +267 686 3632 (, fax: +267 686 2078), [10]. Based primarily in Maun, they also have one plane in Kasane. Their charter and sightseeing range includes Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Lusaka, Windhoek, Gaborone, and Johannesburg. USD 290 (5 pax) inc tax.
  • Northern Air, (Opposite the airport building), +267 6860 385, [11]. Now owned by tour operator Ker & Downey, and mostly fly to their camps. Fly Cessna 206's.
  • Mack Air, Mathiba I Rd, +267 6860 675 (, fax: +267 686-0036), [12]. A well-regarded operator, independent of the camps. Also offer charter service to Kasane, Windhoek, Livingstone, Francistown, and Gaborone.
  • Sefofane, Mathiba I Rd (In the Okavango Wilderness Safaris office block, near the airport gates), +267 6860 778 (fax: +267 6861 649), [13]. The largest of the air operators. They are affiliated with Wilderness Safaris, and thus fly most of Wilderness Safari's clients. Sefofane also gives flight instruction. BWP 2,000 (5 pax) +P50/pp.
  • Helicopters Horizons, +267 680 1186 (, fax: +267 680 1185). Mo-Fr 08-17h, Sun. Offers flights in helicopters instead of fixed-wing aircraft. This is a great experience!.
  • Merlin Air Services, Mathiba I Rd. (Just outside airport gates), +267 6860 351. Not an air operator themselves, Merlin has a long history as a booking agent and communications relay for tour and aircraft operators.
  • Safari Air, [14]. Primarily does the transfers for Desert and Delta Safaris lodges.

Do

Maun is a prime take-off location for mobile safaris into the Okavango Delta, Parks and Game Reserves.

  • Moremi Game Reserve, a world class game reserve, is only 80 km away, It offers undisturbed game viewing in varies woodland plains environments.
  • Afro Trek Safaris operates from Maun. [15] Trips generally range from overnight to 10 days.[16]
  • Bush Camp Safaris [17] is another excellent mobile safari company. Many travelers consider mobile safaris the best way to see Botswana and the big game it has to offer.

If you want to work out, there is a gym with day passes behind Hilary's (or rather, behind the naturopath next door to Hilary's).

  • Flying Mission Services, Maun Airport, [18].
  • Hemingway Safaris, PO Box 20012, +267 72299523, [19]. tailor made safaris all over Botswana and Namibia. Excellent service and experienced guides. Contact: segopa@info.bw

Buy

There are several souvenir stores right around the airport, including Bush Telegraph, and Jazella's.

Baskets @ P50
Tswee - a local vegetable

  • Motsana - Matlapaneng, (On the Moremi road before Audi Camp turnoff), +267 72241444. Motsana is a new Cultural Center in Maun that boasts 7 shops, 2 dance studios, a coffee shop, stage & open air courtyard. Its strives to provide both Locals & Tourist with entertainment, shopping, food & drink within the walls of a unique yet spectacular piece of architecture!
  • Mokoro trip. A mokoro trip a traditional dugout canoe with a poler that pushes you through the waterways of the okavango delta even combine it with an overnight stay camping or hiking. A MUST DO! Any travel agency can arrange this. Depending who you book this with the price varies.

Eat

  • Bon Arrivee is just across the street from the airport. International breakfasts, lunches , dinner and a full range of refreshments await you.[20]
  • Audi Camp has a great open kitchen, where you can watch your meal being cooked. You eat under one of the largest thatch roofs you may ever see.
  • Try Hilary's Coffee Shop near the airport - cheap and cheerful, a regular lunchtime spot for locals because the menu is full of delicious homemade dishes. The menu shows real imagination. Whether planning to eat outdoors on the verandah or inside get there early to enjoy the greatest selection.
  • Sports Bar is good for a more formal, European style dining experience.
  • Try local dishes such as papa (maize meal- the staple food), magunya (Fried dough balls- available for around 50 thebe), seswa (shredded meat- usually beef or goat), morogo (green, leafy vegetable similar to spinach). These foods are available ready made at most supermarkets or at local eateries such as "Choice" across from Riley's Garage. If you're feeling adventurous, in season, mopane worms (the caterpillar of the mopane moth) are also available in many different forms- dried and salted, stewed or fried.
  • Food is also available at River Lodge, The Bridge Backpackers, Tamalakane Lodge, and Crocodile Camp all of which, along with Audi camp, are popular places to stay for backpackers.
  • French Connection on Mophane Avenue serves bistro style food, croissants etc. Don't be put off by the simple-looking entrance and sign - this place is awesome. The owners are very friendly, and they grind all their own herbs and spices and prepare all food from scratch. Their shawarmas are to die for and coupled with their home-made lemonade there is nothing better you could ask for in the sunshine. The eating area is well shaded and relaxed, with basic furniture and serene atmosphere.
  • RAW serves smoothies, wraps and other healthfood. Nice, different concept for Botswana, doesn't feel like it is in the middle of an African village.
  • Arts Cafe, Motsana - Matlapaneng (on the Moremi RD before Audi Camp turnoff), +267 72241444. Petite coffee shop offering a variety of food and drink. Patrons sit in an open courtyard set in the center of a unique piece of architecture, Mauns Castle.

Drink

  • Trekkers Nightclub - Is popular primarily with the locals. Ex-pats will warn you not to go, but is perfectly safe if you're reasonably cautious.
  • Bon Arrivee - have a drink and wait for your friends to arrive.[21]
  • Okavango River Lodge
  • Audi Camp
  • Back to the Bridge Backpackers
  • Sedia Riverside Hotel, [22]. Sedia Riverside Hotel - Maun offers rooms, chalets, accomodated camping and conference facilities. They have an internet cafe, craft shop, large pool and terrace bar. It combines the best of African Values and World Class Value. Come and experience the unique ambiance provided by our staff and facilities.
  • Wine and Dine. Great way to try a lot of different local dishes at one time! As well as a Mopane worm if you are up for the challenge!

Sleep

There are a couple of hotels (most notably Riley's) and some unimpressive B&B's in Maun proper. A number of campsites and hotels popular with travellers are clustered on the road to Moremi and Shorobe, about 6-10 km north-east of Maun Airport. The landmark for this cluster is a roundabout on the the south side of the Thamalakane River, just after the road crosses from the north side. A combi ride into Maun costs about BWP 3, while a tax costs about BWP 30.

  • Audi camp, +267 6860-599 (, fax: +267 6865-388), [23]. Offers camping, bedded tents, and a self catering house for larger groups. Restaurant on site. Makes an effort to employ local businesses and return wealth to the community. Transfers to town, safaris, and excursions available. Skype: okavangocamp camping BWP 45/person; tents 150-300/2 people (inc bkfst); ensuite tents BWP 490/2 people (inc bkfast); house for 2, 4, or 10 people at BWP ~200/person (inc bkfast).
  • Okavango River Lodge, Email:info@okavango-river-lodge.com, [24]. simple accommodation, camping, trips into the Okavango Delta. Good if you enjoy a party but can be noisy.
  • Back to the Bridge Backpackers, email:thebridge@botsnet.bw, [25]. A unique, comfortable and historic surrounding and friendly owners. Bar can be noisy.
  • Crocodile Camp, tel:+267 680 0222 (sales@crocodilecamp.com), [26]. Beatiful chalets, peaceful atmosphere and campiste for overlanders/backpackers.
  • Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Tel: +267 686 0822/3 (Email: reservations@motsentselatreelodge.com), [27]. Perfect if you are looking to get away from it all. In a bush setting, peaceful, luxurious and pristine.
  • Riley's Hotel. Mauns oldest hotel is centrally located and ideal for the business traveller with conference rooms etc. it has a small pool with a abr and plenty of seating. The restaurant does amazing traditional meals and also the regulars. Oxtail and pap or chicken mayo sandwiches with chips - absolutely delicious. There is also a curio shop at reception, and the hotel is only a stones throw away from Riley's garage and a couple of the local shops.
  • Motsebe backpackers, Plot 11159 Wenela Maun (Koro road) (From the airport, take the Airport Rd a few 100 meters and turn left unto Sir Seretse Khama Rd and follow it for about 2.5 km, until you see the sign on the left of the road, telling you to turn right. If taking a taxi, tell the driver it’s next to the BDF camp (if they hear the word backpackers they will normally take you to the Old bridge backpackers)), +267 6860803, [28]. Nice local vibe, self camping and pre-erected tents, nice pool, free WiFi and digital TV. Right next to the river, where hippos can be seen from time to time. (19º58'15.55''S,23º26'59.75E)


Get out

Maun is known as the gateway to the Okavango Delta and this is a must see when in Botswana. Many tour operators are available and from Maun, self drive in a 4x4 is possible to either Khwai community area (booking office in Maun) or Moremi with careful research and planning. Other beautiful national parks in Botswana are :




This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



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