The name Maun is derived from the San word 'maung', meaning the place of short reeds. The village began as the tribal capital of the Batswana people. It grew as a rough and ready place of local cattle ranchers and professional hunters with a Wild West atmosphere. In 1920, Harry Riley built the first Riley's Hotel, which was then nothing more than a small bar catering to the men who arrived from Francistown - a gruelling 35-hour journey by horse and cart. But with the completion of the tar road from Nata and the growth of tourism, Maun has developed into a thriving town.Read More
Maun is also the gateway for the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve. This little region has spread along the Thamalakane River and comprises an eclectic mix of modern buildings and native huts. Found on the northeast side of the Sekgoma Road, barely 2km from the centre of town, Maun Game Sanctuary is a small, fenced park, only about 3km long by 1km wide. It is a good, easy option for those who want to walk in a scenic area amongst non-dangerous game species and an impressive variety of birds.
The sanctuary preserves the very last of the natural habitat that used to be found in and around Maun – before goats and people wreaked havoc on the landscape. In the sanctuary are real fan palms, various acacia thickets and riverine woodland. It's bordered by the Thamalakane River, which attracts many aquatic bird species, whilst there are also a few open, grassy areas where you'll find a whole host of beautiful creatures including zebras, wildebeests and warthogs grazing.
Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Maun. Alternatively, if you would like to include a visit to Maun on a bespoke touring itinerary to Botswana, take a look at our tailor-made holiday planning section.