So you’ve booked your bucket list riding safari in the Okavango Delta, Botswana – WOO HOO, sorry I’m shouting but I seriously can’t contain my excitement for you. It will be the highlight of your riding career, the ride you’ll remember for the rest of your life, the memories made will have you smiling even in the darkest of times. Ok, so I’m being a little dramatic, but you get the picture. Anyway, whichever transfer option you’ve chosen to get to the safari – whether it be by helicopter, air and land, or on the ground – your starting point will be the town of Maun, the gateway to the Okavango Delta and Botswana’s primary tourist hub. And we’ve got you covered with some things to do/see/eat if you have some spare time in the area.
To be honest, Maun cops a pretty bad wrap from most tourists, it’s sprawling and dusty and most just fly straight in and straight out to their safari in the Delta. But underneath the faded paint and knock-down structures, if you give it half a chance you’ll discover just why the locals adore it. It’s the perfect balance between city and village life!
SIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES
Housed in a British colonial building used during WWII as a surveillance post keeping tabs on German Namibia, the Nhabe Museum offers an excellent collection of wildlife exhibits and cultural artifacts which depict the rich cultural diversity of the region. The staff get a shout out for being so welcoming and generous with their time, be sure to chat with them if you have any questions about anything you see. There is also a centre for local artists, and all proceeds go directly back to their makers in the local community.
The timeless Thamalakane River meanders lazily through the town and is the perfect place to whet your appetite for the adventures that lay ahead on your riding safari through the Delta. With a drink in hand, you can marvel at the astonishing birdlife and keep an eye out for those cheeky hippos! Most accommodation options will be able to organise you one.
Botswana baskets are widely regarded as some of the finest in Africa, their high quality, outstanding workmanship and originality seeing them also exported to many countries around the world. Here at Globetrotting we’re all about diving head first into the local culture, so what better way than to learn how to make these incredible baskets yourself!
PLACES TO EAT
Here are just a few of our favourite eateries you should keep an eye out for.
If you’re a vegetarian or just looking for some wonderfully earthy meals, then Hilary’s is the place to go. It’s healthy, it’s home cooked with fresh ingredients and it’s located a short walk from the airport in an oasis of cooling plants and welcome shade. The bread is freshly baked and you simply must try the homemade lemonade, so refreshing!
Who would have thought that a French Bistro would be in the middle of Maun? And it serves delicious food full of flavour in a shady garden setting. It too is close to the airport but on a quiet back street. Try the Meze Platter – a wonderful arrangement of savoury pastries and homemade sauces, each with their own inventive twist.
This is the place to go if you need a hit of coffee to keep you going, or a tasty lunch (think fresh baguettes and wraps). It’s a convenient 100m walk from the airport and also has a gift shop attached with some nice paintings and jewellery. Did we mention there’s also free wifi?
RECOMMENDED HOTEL IN MAUN
Close to the airport with a FREE airport shuttle service (yes please!), free wifi, swimming pool, a restaurant on site and 15 lovely rooms tastefully furnished, this hotel has everything you need for your stay in Maun!
Have a wonderful time, as we know you will!
Images via Select Travel Holidays, Your Botswana, African Safari Tours, Study Abroad Botswana