No description of safaris in Botswana would be right without taking heed of the town of Maun, the safari capital of the country and the gateway to all regions. With a population of a little over 60,000 it has been described as an eclectic mix of modern buildings and huts… We at Safari Lifestyles call it home as we all live here.


With a historical and just reputation of being a “wild west” town, Maun went from gaining one of its first European settlers in 1882, Charles Riley, to going through a time when tough hunters ruled the bars with tales of swagger and danger… the opening of the first two-wheeled track intersecting from east to west of the country during WWII… through independence from the British in 1966…. to today where the original Riley name is still prevalent with the Cresta Rileys Hotel, an accommodation establishment directly descended from Charles himself.


Whatever style of safari you undertake you will either arrive in Maun as a transit stop before being taken by light aircraft to your lodge or driven direct to your camp with a Mobile Camping Safari. Maun is becoming a stop off point and is slowly becoming a tourist attraction in its own right.


We still regard it as a frontier town, just with modern amenities.

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There actually is a wildlife sanctuary in Maun but this isn’t really used for tourism. It is only at Royal Tree Lodge where you find a small game park within its grounds on the Thamalakane River.



The peak season for an area can differ and is dependent on wildlife movements and the weather itself



Peak Season

Winter is between June and October.

Considered the dry months, this is actually when the Delta floods with waters from Angola (there is no rain during the time), affecting this whole area


With the floods, the animals gather in vast numbers to the abundant but localised water sources



Off Season

Summer is between November and May

Considered the rainy season. Depending on the year, the rains can be heavy or light and have the effect of filling up waterholes far and wide.


The result is that animals scatter as there is no need to congregate around a scare water source.



There are a few activities in Maun itself, such as the excellent Thamalakane River Ride, which is a horse-riding excursion within the wildlife filled grounds of the Royal Tree Lodge.


However most of the accommodation options listed offer a wide variety of short and longer excursions from Maun itself and include mekoro trips, boating trips, day trips into Moremi Game Reserve, Helicopter and light Aircraft flights over the delta and even full Mobile Camping Safaris.



Perhaps the best accommodation is to be had at Royal Tree Lodge on the outskirts of town with its small game park and at the  Thamalane River Lodge. However, Maun is not a luxury lodge destination and most lodges and hotels cater for the medium and budget traveller.


In the centre of town you will find Cresta Rileys Hotel and Maun Lodge, both of which offer excellent standards of accommodation with full facilities.


Good quality accommodation with flexible choices in a range of chalets and camping sites are offered at Audi Camp, Crocodile Camp, Okavango River Lodge, and Island Safari Lodge.


Catering more for the budget and overland traveller is Sitatunga Camp and The Old Bridge Backpackers. There is a wide scope of accommodation available in Maun and situations can change quite regularly, please contact us for further choices and further information.

Lodges in the Maun area


How to get there

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