Maun – Okavango Delta
We travel through to Maun today. When we reach the area, we will pack our bags in preparation for our impending two-day excursion into the Okavango Delta. The rivers flowing to the Delta have no way to reach the ocean and instead irrigate around 15,000 square kilometres of Kalahari Desert, creating the world’s biggest, and only, inland delta.
The fifth biggest town in Botswana, Maun is renowned as the tourism capital and gateway into the Okavango Delta. It is a diverse contrast of modern structures and traditional huts. Presently home to over some 30,000 people, the town was established in 1915 as the tribal capital of the Batawana people. Maun initially serviced the local cattle ranching and hunting industries and gained a reputation as a ‘wild west’ town. Maun grew rapidly with the swift development of the tourism industry and the completion of the tar road leading from Nata. Sadly, this means that it has by now lost much of its old town character, but it remains well-known for its overpopulation of donkeys and goats that can easily be spotted roaming freely as the local farmers sell their goods on the curbs.
Due to the influx of dollars gained from the tourism industry, Botswana’s typical rondavels (round huts) of the past have been somewhat upgraded to moderately sized square cinderblock homes with roofs of tin or tiles. It is not peculiar to spot mud rondavels equipped with satellite dishes, indicating the increasing wealth of the country as well as the rising dependability of electricity in the town. The stunning contrast between traditional and modern is also evident in the multi-level air-conditioned shopping malls bizarrely surrounded by potholes, dusty gravel parking lots and bustling market places.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Facilities: Swimming pool, bar, restaurant, hot showers, shared ablutions
Route: Kasane to Maun +/-680 km
Travel Time: +/- 8-12 hours
Optional Activities: Crocodile farm visit, Scenic flight over the Delta (time-permitting)