Botswana: Places to Explore

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Maun

The little town of Maun serves as the gateway to the Okavango Delta and the Moremi Game Reserve. And, despite the city's rapid development in the last decade, it has kept the feel of a pioneer border town. The name comes from the San word maung, which means the "place of short reeds," and Maun became the capital of the Tawana people in 1915; it's now Botswana's fifth-largest town. Although there are now shopping centers and a paved road to Gaborone, Botswana's capital, cement block houses and mud huts still give Maun a rural feel, especially as goats and donkeys litter the roads.

The town spreads along the banks of the Thamalakane River, and it's possible to take mokoro trips into the Delta directly from Maun. It's also a good base from which to explore by road the Tsolido hills and the Makgadikgadi Pans.

The bustling airport has new runways, a new terminal building, and planes of all sizes taking off and landing at all hours of the day, delivering tourists to and from the tourist camps in the Delta and Moremi. Maun itself is by no means a tourist destination—at best you'd probably stay a night or even two before setting off farther afield. There are three supermarkets, so you can stock up on supplies if you're setting off on a road trip, but in general most camps are accessible only by air, so you'll probably see only the Maun airport.

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