The gateway to the Okavango Delta
Maun is the capital of the North West District (Ngamiland) and is situated in northern Botswana at the south-eastern edge of the Okavango Basin.
Founded in 1915 Maun became the capital of the Batawana tribe. At the same time Maun was an important supply base for the surrounding cattle farmers as well as hunters. At the beginning of 1990, the tourism started to develop rapidly in Botswana and with the completion of the tar road from Nata Maun was able to follow up.
The town spreads broadly along the Thamalakane River. The landscapes surrounding the town are dominated by the Kalahari, as the humid and more fertile areas of the Okavango Delta only start a few kilometres further north.
With its 30.000 inhabitant Maun is a so-called dispersed settlement as it is lacking an urban core.
The centre is dominated by the airport, the Riley’s Hotel, the numerous offices of tour operators and shops. Apart from that simple huts and houses dominate the town’s scenery. Maun forms a transportation hub in northern Botswana, offering numerous bus connections, for example to Francistown and Gaborone.
Safari capital Maun
Maun is the starting point for tours into the Okavango Delta and thus derives its main income from the Okavango-Tourism. A lot of visitors don’t even leave the airport, but continue directly with small charter planes to their Okavango destination. Numerous, experienced bush pilots are ready to take visitors to their destination, as many camps are very remotely situated and only reachable by air. From Maun, visitors also fly to the Chobe National Park, the Moremi Game Reserve as well as the Central Kalahari Region. Thus the airport resemble a busy bee hive.
Apart from safari flights Maun offers further activities:
- The Maun Environmental Educational Centre (or Maun Educational Park) aims to raise awareness for environment and wildlife. Here one can see lechwe, wildebeest, giraffe, warthogs and other animals.
- At the local crocodile farm one can view crocodiles of enormous size, seldomly seen in nature.
- The Nhabe Museum is situated in a former British military building. It is the only museum in northwest Botswana and depicts the environmental and cultural history of the Okavango Region.