Maun is a town on the Thamalakane River in northern Botswana and is Botswana’s primary tourist hub as it is the gateway to the Okavango Delta. Most travellers spend their time in the camps and lodges in the Okavango Delta, and not so much in Maun unless they are using it as a stopover for a day or two. There are great accommodation options, and the ambience is usually quite fun as the town gets a good mix of bush pilots, tourists, campers, volunteers and luxury-safari-enthusiasts passing through.
MAP OF Maun
A vehicle is useful for getting around, but if you don’t have one then taxis can be hailed from the street. If you want to pre-book a taxi for a specific reason, you will need to phone and order one in advance.
Combis (mini buses) also drive up and down the main road all day which cost very little (about P10) and are very easily accessible!
Does the town have an airport?
Yes! The airport in Maun is located on the north side of town and is easily accessible by taxis and shuttle buses. This airport is well connected by scheduled Air Botswana flights. These connect with Gaborone, Johannesburg, and Kasane.
Most places in town accept credit cards and some will even accept travellers cheques. The main banks in Maun have ATM machines that travellers can draw money out of with most international cards including Visa and MasterCard. This is usually the easiest, quickest, and cheapest way to get Pula. If this is not an option, you may visit Barclays Banks or Standard Chartered Bank, and cash travellers cheques, but this will mean spending time in queues.
There are a few Bureau de Change around town – Sunny’s Bureau de Change, located above Steers Restaurant, being the most obvious one.
The currency in Botswana is the Pula (BWP). Travellers can draw Pula out of ATM’s dotted around Maun, they can swipe using their banks cards or they can exchange foreign cash and travellers cheques for Pula at the banks or at the airport. The US Dollar is also widely accepted.
Maun has large shopping centres, garages, banks, bars, camping shops and so much more! Regular provision of almost everything can be bought in Maun. These shops are perfect for the 4×4 self-drivers and of course, suppliers for the surrounding hotels, lodges, campsites and tour operators.
Maun’s main supermarket is the giant Shoprite on Tsheko Tsheko Road, as well as the two newer and well stocked Spar shops. The main local market is on Tsaro Street and has a variety of small stalls and local sellers and is worth visiting if shoppers want to find some good fruit and vegetables. You can also find more unique foods such as mopane worms!
Curio shops are not hard to come by in Maun, but some of the better ones to visit would be: The General Trading Company, Bushman Curio Shop, The Craft Centre, and African Arts & Images.
Hours of Business
Most businesses’ working hours are from 08:00 – 17:00 on weekdays. Supermarkets are open from 08:00 – 19:00 on weekdays; 08:00 – 17:00 on Saturdays and 08:00 – 13:00 on Sundays.
Botswana is both a malaria area and a yellow fever area, which your doctor should explain to you. You will need to take precautionary measures against both, which again, your doctor will guide you through.
We have listed a few (but not all) facilities that travellers can visit if they feel the need to whilst they are in Maun:
- Delta Medical Centre – Along the main road, offering 24-hour emergency service.
- Maun General Hospital – Approximately 1 kilometre southwest of the town centre.
- MedRescue – for evacuations in the bush.
The most commonly used plug in Botswana is the plug type M (three round pins), and sometimes, but less often the plug type G (three square pins) is used.