It is the gateway to the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve. The name Maun is derived from the San word "maung", which means "the place of short reeds". The village was established in 1915 as the capital for the Batawana people after the victory over Ndebele King Lobengula. Maun is currently the tourism capital of Botswana and the administrative centre of Ngamiland. Originally a rural frontier town, Maun has developed into a sprawling metropolis along the wide banks of the timeless Thamalakane River where red lechwe can still be seen grazing next to local donkeys, goats and cattle. Due to the growth of the tourist industry over the last 30 years, and the completion of the sealed road from Nata in the early 1990s, Maun’s population has grown to 30,000. Maun has several good shopping centres, a choice of hotels and lodges as well as car and four-wheel-drive vehicle hire. The Maun Airport is one of the busiest airports in southern Africa, and the departure point of many of the air charter safaris.
Other areas of interest around Maun include the small 8 square kilometre Maun Game Reserve. The game reserve follows the Thamalakane riverbank upstream from the causeway near the Best Western Riley's Hotel and includes the original "Place of Reeds" from which the town takes its name. The reserve is full of walking trails and open every day for a small entrance fee.
The best time to go to this area is during the winter months from May to October when the days are warm and cloudless and there is minimal rainfall. Nights get quite cold so don’t forget to pack a jacket! The summer months can be very hot, with most rainfall occurring between December and February.
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