In my last post, we talked about planning a trip to Africa, in this post we are about cool things to do in Maun, one of many cities and towns in Botswana that we visited. With summer is around the corner and everyone is planning to travel to exotic and cool locations to vacation and have the time of their lives. Only a few people have the luxury to travel without keeping in account a budget; rest are looking to travel to affordable locations which won’t cause a hole in their pockets.
Botswana is one of the world’s leading countries as a safari destination Maun is a small town Mokoro in Botswana, nestled on the Thamalakane River. It is Africa’s one of most treasured places in terms of wildlife and scenic views and least visited as well. So, if you are one of those to be wonder just what is there to do in Maun, Botswana? Well, there is plenty! There a lot of entertaining things which you can do in Maun and make your trip worthwhile:
FUN THINGS TO DO IN MAUN BOTSWANA
There are many things that bring people to Botswana; from one of the world’s largest salt flats to a country that is a haven for wildlife and amazing safaris. You can see some of my pictures from our safari in Botswana on the blog. Below I take you through just some of the amazing things to do in Maun, Botswana.
Mokoro Trips Into The Delta
Mokoro trips in Maun as a must! A visit to Maun would be incomplete without venturing on the traditional Mokoro trips. Mokoro is a dugout canoe that is shaped into a boat. Maun lies adjacent to the Okavango Delta and these traditional Mokoro trips are the most authentic way to experience the delta. These trips are arranged by different companies and could be done on one’s own as well. Activities that could be done include fishing, bird watching, motor boating, Island walks and different guided games. You can check out the wide range of Mokoro safari trips which range from day trips to multiday Mokoro trips that also including camping.
Aerial Delta View
Among one of the most fun things to do in Maun Botswana. It’s acceptable if the stay trip in the delta is not enough to quench your thirst because it’s kind of impossible explore the full delta in a restricted timeframe. Well worry not, because helicopter flights are offered from Maun which let you experience the delta with its majestic aerial view and give you the chance to catch wildlife in its complete candid.
Safari Trips From Maun
One of the coolest ways to enjoy this country, of course, include drives in Maun. Maun could also offer you your dream African Safari. You can go on with a team or hire your own 4×4 to go solo and drive in the wildlife; watch wild buffalos grazing across the delta, elephants walking with grace, hippos resting alongside the river banks etc. You can book the tours and safari trips via Viator to bring down costs or as part of Safari package trips with the likes of GAdventures, Contiki or Exodus Travels. Maun also has the Maun Game Sanctuary that you might want to add to your itinerary for the city.
Learning Local Cultural Dance
Africans are rich in terms of their cultural practices and dance is one major cultural practice. In Maun, you can take the cultural dance classes to learn the traditional Botswana dance and take this skill back home as a souvenir.
Thamalakane River Cruise Or Crocodile Camp Safari
Safari and mokoro trips can make you tired, and it’s important that you do some relaxing activities as well. So, plan a Thamalakane river cruise. Zone out for an hour or two. Don’t forget to take your binoculars. Pour yourself a drink and relax while watching the sunset on a cruise. If you are staying at Crocodile Camp Safar and Spa, you have easy access to river cruise tours. If you have an interest in crocodiles be sure to also check out the Maun Crocodile Farm which has over 80 crocodiles of the Nile in enclosures.
Maun Arts Festival
Every year, a two-day international arts festival, the Maun Arts Festival is held in Maun to celebrate art, culture and poetry. Artists from around the world come to perform. There is Music, food and cultural dance performances. For poetry lovers, this festival is a pure African delight. So, if you have a thing for poetry, make sure to arrange your Maun trip around the festival.
Learning Traditional Basket Weaving
Just like the traditional dance, another skill which you can learn and recount later at home is traditional basket weaving. Attend a one-day workshop in Maun where you learn how to make different patterned baskets out of straw and interact with locals.
Apart from culture and wildlife, Maun offers history as well. The Museum is a colonial-era built building, which contains local relics as well as colonial era artifacts. You can also interact with local artists in the Museum.
Taste The Local Food
Botswana cuisine is heavily influenced by other Southern African cuisines yet still unique. However, in Maun local food is not as readily available in most places but you can find it in local bars and markets. You can easily find French and middle eastern food delicacies’ in Maun. Apart from trying local street food, dine in some famous restaurants like, Nandos, French connection, Marc’s Eatery and the Raft Floating Restaurant.
Shopping For Souvenirs In Botswana
One of the best things to do in Maun is checking out the local talent. A vacation is never complete without shopping. In Maun, there is no shortage of souvenir and curio shops. Even when on a budget you can find stuff in really great quality. Locally made leather, shoes, belts and hats are a must buy. Again you can also meet local artists and crafters.
Nightlife in Maun
Maun offers a hustling and bustling nightlife. You can easily find pubs and bars for a drink out at night and if you are an adventure freak, you can find some adventure night clubs as well. People love meeting by local bars some of which offer beautiful and scenic views as you chill with friends and locals over a couple of drinks in the evening then if up to more partying some of these also have dance floors but there are also nightclubs you can venture on to.
Getting to and around in Maun | How To Get To Maun
Maun airport is close to the town center and hence hiring a cab from the terminal is easy enough to reach the town center. It is advised to book your hotel in advance, for better rates, however, you would have some decent options for booking on spot as well. For getting around in Maun, you can either rent a car or a motorbike; or hire a taxi. You can arrange a daily rate if you want to have the taxi car accessible to you all day or duration of your stay. You also have the options for shared taxis as well as small mini buses. All of these dont cost a lot of money just a couple of pulas.
Maun is quite a large city and not really the best for walking around as most hotels and campsites are not within walking distance to the town centres.
For additional tips on how to get to Maun from Kasane or Livingstone to Maun read my linked post.
Things To Know When Visiting Maun
While Maun is perfectly safe to travel, there are some things which you should keep in mind while on a trip in Maun:
- The local population in Maun is really very friendly and social. However, when travelling in crowded places, be mindful of pocket pickers who might be on a lookout for your cellphone, wallet much like any other place you travel to.
- In Maun, animals move openly on roads and streets hence be careful when driving at night. For more details see my post on driving in Botswana.
- Since you would be out in the wildlife, anything can happen. Most companies take safety seriously but it is always advisable to purchase travel insurance before embarking on any adventurous trip.
- If you want to do Botswana on budget check out Choppies and Spa in the city centre of Maun to stop on food and snacks.
Where To Stay In Maun
As I mentioned in my post on how to plan a trip to Africa, Botswana and Africa, in general, offer amazing adventures and can be done on a budget too. There is a wide range of accommodation in Botswana to choose from. From hostels camping in Maun, midrange hotels and lodges to beautiful luxury safari camps.
Some of the cool places to stay in Maun Botswana include:
- Senthaga Guest House & Safari
- Staymorr Boutique Guest House
- Mokoro Lodge
- Thamalakane River Lodge
- Jump Street Chalets
- Enviro Villa
- The Waterfront In Maun
- The Old Bridge Backpackers
- Maun Lodge
- Maun Rest Camp
How To Plan Your Trip To Maun And Botswana
I have recently shared a post with tips on how to plan a trip to Africa but Botswana is a country that is very easy to explore by doing a self drive tour. I would highly recommend renting a car to make the most of your trip to Maun.
As we were on a long trip, we landed in Zambia and flew to Livingstone before driving to Botswana but you can fly into one of the main cities in Botswana depending on where you are coming from or can even drive from Namibia, South Africa or Zimbabwe. The roads for the main highways are mostly good. Check flights via Expedia to see which is the best city being offered and from there you can plan your route for buses or car rentals.
Also, book your accommodation in Maun in advance as some seasons can be busy. Maun offers a wide range of places to stay from campsites to beautiful luxury lodges.
So have you been to Maun before or Botswana? Which one of the above have you managed to tick off the list? If not, do you see yourself visiting Botswana in the near future?
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It’s great to hear that there are so many interesting and fun things to do in Maun! I’m so excited about going there in a few months! MOKORO trips into the delta are the first thing I will do. Also the THAMALAKANE river cruise looks very cool.
Oh for sure one of the biggest draws for this kind of trip is the safari! To see these majestic animals walk and congregate freely out in the open is both beautiful and yet intimidating, which makes it all the more fun! I can’t imagine looking at a group of lions just laying there a few feet away from me without a typical fence like at a zoo. But I would surely love to see it! And yeah those are great tips about the locals being friendly but also being mindful of pick pockets and to be careful of wildlife when driving at night. Great tips!