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Capital City Maun

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Located in Botswana :: Okavango/Moremi  :: Maun
Category: Places :: Capital City

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Description [ correction ]

Following a dispute over chieftainship among the Bamangwato people in Serowe, a certain Kgosi Tawana and his followers (the Batawana) left and settled on the southwestern edge of the Okavango Delta near Lake Ngami. Once there, they moved around depending on the delta's water levels, alternating between Toteng, Tsau and Nokaneng. In 1915 the Batawana finally settled at Maun, on the banks of the Thamalakane River at its junction with the Boro River. The name comes from the San word 'maung', meaning 'the place of reeds'.

The village had just 600 inhabitants in 1936 and grew slowly. But with the growth of the country's tourism industry in the 80s, its population boomed. Today, the town has over 55 000 residents.

Traveller Description

Maun is the gateway into the Okavango Delta, serving as the first or last refuel point, as well as the shopping stop for travellers between Moremi, Savute and the Chobe Riverfront. Fly-in tourists land at the Maun International Airport and then hop onwards into the Delta on a charter flight.

There are several schools, a hospital, plenty of shops and restaurants, lodges and safari companies in Maun. But in spite of all these modern facilities, you'll still find donkeys, cattle and goats roaming the streets, and a large proportion of its houses are still constructed from reeds cut from the riverbanks. So, in spite of its status as the third largest town in Botswana, Maun has kept its rural village character.

The Maun Game Reserve is situated on the banks of the Thamalakane riverbank and includes the original 'Place of Reeds' from whence the town got its name. The Nhabe Museum is situated in a historical building built by the British in 1939, and outlines the culture and natural history of the Okavango Delta. It is also home to the Crafthood, a centralised marketing and sales platform that enables women to market and sell their baskets in four craft centres in Ngamiland, the nearest being the Shorobe Basket Co-operative 36km to the north of Maun.

The Hambukushu Baskets and Cultural Village sells intricately-woven baskets and portrays the life of this tribe of the Okavango Delta.

For travellers who aren't equipped to navigate Moremi Game Reserve's rugged terrain themselves, there are many opportunities to explore the Delta with a local safari operator on a day visit or an overnight mokoro trip.

Harry Riley, son of Charles Riley, a trader in British Bechuanaland, started what is today known as Cresta Riley's Hotel. In the 50s, Harry was the first person to own an aircraft in Botswana and he used to land it on what is today the Tsheke Tsheko Road in front of Riley's Garage. Flying in Botswana has come a long way since then, and a scenic flight over the Delta in a fixed wing aircraft from the very conventional Maun airport is highly recommended.

Contact [ correction ]
Address :  Maun, Okavango/Moremi, Botswana
Cellphone Reception :  Good Main Cellular Network :  Mascom. Orange

Directions [ correction ]

Not available

Destination Information [ correction ]
Police Station :  Yes   Police Telephone :  +267 686 0223
Hospital : Yes   Hospital Telephone :  +267 687 9000
Doctor : Yes   Doctor Telephone :  +267 686 5115 (The Doctors Inn)
Tourist Information :  Yes   Tourist Information Telephone :  +267 686 1056
Petrol :  Yes   Petrol Type :  LRP/ULP
Diesel :  Yes   Diesel Type :  Standard
Towing Service :  Yes   Towing Service Telephone :  +267 686 0203 (Riley's Garage)
Facilities :  Gas Refill, Shopping Mall, Shopping Centre, Shops, General Dealer, Bank, ATM, Foreign Exchange, Internet Cafe, Tour Services, Lodging, Camping, Butchery, Bakery, Liquor, Restaurant, Pharmacy, Airport, Car Rental, Tyre Repair, Tyre Sales, Mechanical Repair

Facilities [ correction ]
Internet, Wireless Networking
Other Facilities :  Auto Dealer. Auto Spares. Court. Bar/s. Fast Food. Courier Service. School/s. Distributor Services. Government Services. Commercial Offices. Medical Centre.

Activities [ correction ]
Game Viewing, Game Drives, Night Drives, Quad Bikes, 4WD Trails, Tours and Excursions, Picnics, Hiking Trails, Guided Walks, Horse Trails, Donkey Cart Drives, Fishing, Swimming, Canoeing, Makoro Trips, Sea_Kayaking, Boat Trips, Bird Watching, Whale or Dolphin Watching, Scenic Flights, Stargazing, Photography
More Activities :  Camping Safaris. Desert Excursions. Hunting.
Notes on Activities :  (Some activities may be offered nearby).

Travelling Information

ACCOMMODATION:
There are plenty of lodges, B&B's and campsites in Maun.

DWNP:
You’ll find a Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) office in town where you can prepay your park entry fees by credit card. Since the privatisation of the campsites in the reserves, all the related operators in Moremi, Savuti and Chobe have their head offices in Maun.

EMBASSIES:
There is no embassy in Maun, you will find that in Gaborone only.

FUEL:
Are several fuel stations.

INTERNET & WIFI:
You will find an internet café and free WIFI at Wimpy and Barcelos.

MECHANICAL REPAIR & TOW-IN SERVICES:
Phone Mac (McKenzie 4x4) for Tow Ins and Repairs (Mechto Workshop) Office number (office hours only) +267 68 61 875.
Riley's Garage also offers tow-in services. You can contact them on +267 686 0203 or MAC (Mechanic – Does Recovery): +267 71 303 788; there is also Ngami Toyota in Maun +267 686 0252.
There is also Lesedi Motors (Land rover Agent): +267 686 1694. There is also Arthur (Auto Electrician):+267 72 262 921. (Jan-18).

MAUN TO KASANE:
If travelling from Maun to Kasane, via Xakanaxa, Khwai, Savute and Ihaha, a LWB 3.2 diesel Pajero, without trailer but with roof rack loaded to capacity and with 2/3 passengers, the fuel consumption is averaging 7,5km per litre (using about 140 litres of fuel). Always carry spare fuel with you - camp operators may bring you fuel if you are stuck, but at about 5 times the price it would cost you in a town. (January 2015).

OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT:
Kalahari Kanvas do tent repairs and sell outdoor equipment.

HEALTH CARE:
There is a pharmacy called Okavango Pharmacy Maun, Tel : +267 686 0043 and cell number: +267 71 706 435. There is also Taurus Pharmacy in Maun +267 686 3340. There is a clinic. (Jan-18).

SHOPS & SERVICES:
Maun has all the facilities a traveller may need. Fresh produce is available at the Spar and Woolworths at the Ngami Shopping Mall, at Choppies across the road, or the large Shoprite near Riley’s Garage.

TOUR OPERATORS:
There are several local tour operators in town.

USEFUL NUMBERS:
Mechto Workshop: +267 686 1875, +267 71 303 788.
DWNP Maun: +267 686 1265.
Aquarite: +267 686 0283.
Hambukushu Cultural Village: +267 72 271 422.
Shorobe Basket Co-operative: +267 74 379 830.

WATER REFILLS:
Water tanks can be filled in bulk at Aquarite and small bottles can be purchased at their shop 300m down the road.

 Travel Tip!

Botswana’s beef is of high quality and usually far cheaper than in neighbouring countries. Pre-order your meat from Beef Boys Meat Market, [email protected] or +267 686 4771. They'll vacuum pack and freeze your order for collection. They also keep fresh vegetables, salads, anchovies, risotto rice, taco kits and salmon fillets.
Remember that you are allowed to take raw meat north and west from Maun past the vet fences. But if there is an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease, then you temporarily won't be able to do this.
Be sure to buy plenty of firewood before leaving Maun if heading to Moremi or Savuti, as you are not always allowed to pick up firewood in the reserves.


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Elephants in the Okavango Delta
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