Maun, Frontier Gateway to The Delta

© Donkeys are the main wildlife of Maun
Maun is the capital of the tourism industry of Botswana and the gateway to the legendary northern game parks of the country.

By Leigh Kemp

Pleasing to the Eye

There are many more 'pleasing to the eye' places in Africa but few have a more colourful history than this frontier town on the edge of the Okavango Delta. I had read of Maun in a number of records of the early days of the country before I saw it for the first time.In the 1980's the town was still relatively untouched by development but by the late 1990's the access road from the south had been tarred, allowing access for two wheel drive vehicles and all manner of humanity suddenly had access. Gone was the frontier town charm, although donkeys and stray dogs still wander the streets and raid the rubbish bins.My first visit to Maun left me enchanted. This is not the prettiest town in the world. In fact it can be said that Maun may be one of the dustiest and dirtiest provincial capitals on earth, however the luxury tourism market gives the town a strange sort of sophistication.

Pre Development

In the days before the access route was paved there was only a small section of tar in the town and the 300 km drive from Nata was a marathon in shocking road conditions. Huge potholes and soft sand were prevalent on the road.

In the town itself I recall getting bogged down in the thick sand in front of the bank in a 4x4 vehicle.

Maun into the Future

The future of Maun is secure as long as the tourism industry in Botswana is strong and as if to indicate the future success of the town the Thamalakane River, which overflows from the Okavango, has begun to flow freely again after many years of been dry, giving Maun some sense of revival.

Journey Through Botswana Series

Botswana Journey
Chobe River Journey
Kalahari Journey
Maun Journey
Moremi Journey
Okavango Delta Journey
Savuti & Linyanti Journey

Maun Travel Guide

Maun is the third largest city in Botswana. It is the tourism capital of Botswana and the administrative centre of Ngamiland. It is also the...more
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