Maun and the Okavango, tourist capital of Botswana.

We traveled in October 2014

Maun is a big town (for Botswana standarts) on the shores of  the Thamalakane river, near the Okavango Delta. You find in Maun and its surrounds accommodation, supermarkets, gas stations, safari companies, even an international airport.

But Maun is very african traditional style, with thousand of huts and cattle around. 


  Cheap accommodation in Maun - Camping  

Most of the cheap options are spread out, mostly along the 10 first km on Moremi Road, passing the airport, on the river shores. Many shared taxis from Maun center if you don´t have a private car to reach the places.

We stayed in Sedia Riverside Hotel (5 km from Maun on the Moremi Rd). www.sediahotel.com
Price for Camping: 50 P/pp (4.5 €). 
Sedia Riverside Hotel
Big pool, free wifi at the reception.

It´s a 3 stars hotel with a camping area, on the river shores, many trees. It´s really big and you have plenty of space to choose your site, even in front of the river. BBQ.
Overlanders trucks stay here. The staff do traditional dances at 18:30 (free to watch for everyone).
Very nice place, clean and really cheap camping. 

There are rooms too, but the price is not for low-cost travelers. The price for a double room is 850 Pulas (75 €!).

Other camps around Maun, smaller and not so cheap and further from Maun.
We had a look to Old Bridge Backpackers. The location is ok, but it´s really small, all the tents are packed together. The price for camping is 60P/pp.
At Island Safari camp, the price is the same: 60P/pp.

If you are looking for a cheap room, try to get a dormitory at Alpha (3 km out of Maun on the Moremi Rd); we saw a “100 P/dorm” offer (9 €).

                                                              Camps around Maun

  Where to buy food and drinks - Shopping in Maun  

Two comercial areas in Maun. One near the bus station (Choppies supermarket and small market) and another new one near the airport (Choppies, Spar supermarkets, shops, etc.).
Not too many restaurants in Maun, outside the hotels/camps.
If you are on a budget, it´s better to cook or buy take away food at the supermarkets.
Different banks with ATM.

  What to do in Maun?   

It will depend on your budget and avalaible time. And if you travel independently or with an organised tour.
Keep in mind: Maun and its surrounds are very sandy and not many roads around are tarred. So if you have a sedan normal car, not many options.
  • Look at the Thamalakane River, most of the accommodation lays on its shores, or from the 2 Maun bridges. Birds, cows… maybe crocodiles (there are signs). Nice to have a look at the "old traditional bridge” (close to Old Bridge Backpackers), 10 km north of Maun, and 4 km up north (near Audi Camp) there´s a small mokoro station, where local people bath and take water from the river.
  • Rural african life around Maun, small villages with tradicional huts and cattle. 
  • Maun Game Santuary (near the old bridge): when we went, the place was closed (before, there were animals and was free). Ask around.
  • Moremi Rd (south gate): tarred road til Shorobe (26 km north of Maun), just before the south gate of the national park. Nothing special on the way, we didn´t see any animal but some people do...
  • For Moremi NP, you need a 4x4 and get the entrante ticket in the NP office in Maun.
The best thing to do in Maun, for us, was the scenic flight. We enjoy a lot and was not so expensive.

  Scenic flight over the Okavango Delta 

We really recommend it, incredible! If you have to choose an activity in Maun, do it! You will not regret it! We will always remember those memories!
If you want to do something different and get an idea of the wilderness of the area with its herds of animals. Elephants, antilopes, giraffes, rivers, lakes and channels…

45 minutes or one hour flights (we took a 45 minutes one, enough to get close to the delta, flying 25 km away from Maun).
Departures: morning (around 8:00) or afternoon (around16:00). We did the afternoon one, more opportunities to see animals.

With the group and Kiwi pilot.                    Elephants from the plane.

Companies: a few companies with different prices, the agencies are in front of the Maun airport. Major Blue, Kavango Air, Delta Air, Mack Air, Moremi Air.

Just go and ask, it´s cheaper than via the backpackers or hotels. Book just a few hours before.
Carry your passport (control at the airport). Possible to pay with card (usually no extra fee).

Prices for the scenic flight in Okavango delta
The prices are not that expensive compared with other activities in Africa and for once flying in a small plane will not break your wallet.

The price depends on how many people share the plane: 3, 5 or 7 passengers. The more people, the cheaper. You can always try to ask people at your accommodation (as we did and created a group)…or ask at the flight companies if any group is already avalaible.
Okavango Delta from the plane

We used Major Blue company, the cheapest option and the service was great.
www.majorblueair.com

Prices with Major Blue for a 45 minutes-flight: 

  • 890 P/pp if 2x
  • 690P/pp if 4x
  • 570 P/pp if 6x (50 €).
  • 525 P/pp if 7x.
We were 6 passengers. You don´t need to pay any park fee.
Note: helicopter flights are much more expensive (around 200 $ / person). 


Safari in the Moremi National Park:

We did not go.
If you have your own 4x4 car, you can self-drive.
If not, there are safari tours, for the day, costing from 1.000 P/pp (90 €) if 6 people group, NP entrance fee included.
Renting a big 4x4 car with a driver is around 3.500 P/day (300 €), til 8 people. It can be a good idea if you do a group and share. Always tourists around in Maun.
Note: these prices were exposed in Old Bridge Backpackers and we copy the information. Maybe more options and negotiations around Maun, bargain if interested.
NP Price: the entrance fee is 120P (10 €) or 70P (6€) if joining a tour, and 10P/car. The campsites inside the NP cost 30 Pulas /pp. The national parks are really cheap in Botswana!

Mokoro trip in the Okavango delta:

We didn’t do the activity. You have to join a group. Difficult independly, in the proper delta. A "mokoro" is a small wood canoe.
Most of the organised tours do it. 
Other travellers told us: "not too many animals, mainly birds, but silent trip on the waters".

The prices start from 700 Pulas/pp/day (60 €) in a tour. If overnight, camping in the area too, 900 P/pp for 2d/1n (80 €) and 1.500 P/pp for 3d/2n (130 €), with your own tent and food, and more than double if everything´s included (from 2.200 P). 
Prices seen at “Old Bridge Backpackers”.
We prefer to fly over the delta!

Tours departure is around 8:00 from Maun, getting by 4x4 to Boro Mokoro Station (1 hour, northwest of Maun).

  Transport Maun   

We were driving a rental car, so we didn´t use public transport in Botswana.

Around Maun, there are many taxis (also shared taxis) and vans, connecting with villages in the surrounds. Maun is very spread out.

There´s a bus station in the center, near Choppies supermarket (between 1st and 2nd bridges). You have buses to Gaborone, Francistown, Kasane. Ask around.

In Maun there´s even an international small airport
But if you budget is tight, connecting flights here are quite expensive.
There are many small planes (private companies) for transfers to lodges in the middle of nowhere (expensive and luxry), reserves... and Okavango flights too. 
Also domestic and international flights. Check www.airbotswana.co.bw. There are flights to Kasane-Chobe, but expect to pay around 100 $. For Johannesburg flights, check also with South African Airways and for Windhoek flights with www.airnamibia.com.

2 comentarios :

fernando 5 dijo...

hola me podias decir como reservo en los parques moremi chove savuti camping

Sonia y Ainara dijo...

Hola.
Nosotras no reservamos nada. Directamente in-situ no suele haber problemas... sobre todo fuera de temporada. Suerte!

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