Botswana Self-Drive Safari | Maun Self-drive Past and Present

Trans-Kalahari-Highway to Maun. Ian MichlerTrans-Kalahari-Highway to Maun
Maun is the gateway to the northern parks of Botswana and the last outpost to stock up on supplies for the trip through the parks. Read more on getting to Maun by road and air. Many old timers speak fondly of the old days when all roads leading to Maun, and in the town itself that is, were rutted and sandy. It was a time of a 'wild frontier' charm to the village but in recent years the town has been connected on three sides by tarmac road, leading to almost uncontrolled development.

Shopping centres abound and luxury goods are easily accessible, making things much easier for self drive safari-goers. Even so, despite the fact that many people bemoan the changes, Maun is still basically a dust-bowl. But it has an international airport.

Accommodation for Self drive Safaris

Today there are many styles and budgets of accommodations to choose from for self-drive safari stopovers, from deluxe lodges and comfortable hotels to rustic chalets and basic camping.

Self drive requirements and supplies

It is advisable to bring all necessities for a self-drive safari but if needed most requirements for a Botswana self drive safari can be acquired in one of the shops in Maun.

Vehicle repairs and spares in Maun

Maun was built on adventure and in the past the town was only accessible by four wheel drive vehicle - because of this the shops were stocked with necessities for surviving the hazards of the wild terrain of northern Botswana. This trend has continued ensuring that almost everything needed for vehicle repairs and service can be got in Maun.

Despite been a dusty town of mixed repute Maun is the lifeblood for all travellers in the north of Botswana and provisions are made for all requirements with respect to the great outdoors.

Maun 4 x 4 Vehicle Hire

There are hire companies that operate in Maun catering to the 4x4 self drive market, but it is advisable to reserve a vehicle WELL in advance as trying to hire one on the day of arrival will probably be impossible.

Getting to Maun

Most people who go on safari in Botswana have to pass through Maun be it by road or travelling by air. Situated at the heart of the safari industry, Maun is accessible from all directions. Drive in or fly in.

Getting to Maun by Road

From the Gaborone, the capital city - Maun can be accessed from the Gaborone by tar road via Nata and Francistown. The distance is 950 km with a number of stops at veterinary control checkpoints along the way. Cattle are a problem along the route and the last section from Nata has the added dangers of wildlife crossing the road. It is advised to travel during the hours of daylight to minimise the risks posed by animals.

Access from Namibia - Access from Namibia is at two major checkpoints, from Windhoek via the Buitepos border post and Ghanzi and from the Caprivi Strip via Mohembo travelling parallel to the Panhandle. Both routes are tarmac roads.

Access from the northern parks - this route is only advisable for 4x4 vehicles as the roads are very sandy and rough. Getting to Maun from the parks is normally part of a self drive safari.

Access from Victoria Falls - it is possible to drive from Victoria Falls to Maun on a tarmac road. This route passes through Kasane and Nata and is about 700km

Find out more about Maun
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