Maun is the fifth largest town in Botswana. It is an eclectic mix of modern buildings and native huts. Maun is the “tourism capital” of Botswana and the administrative center of Ngamiland district. It is also the headquarters of numerous safari and air-charter operations who run trips into the Okavango Delta.
Since Maun’s founding in 1915 as the tribal capital of the Batawana people, it has had a reputation as a hard-living ‘Wild West’ town helping the local cattle ranching and hunting operations. However, with the growth of the tourism industry and the completion of the tar road from Nata in the early 1990s, Maun has developed swiftly, losing much of its old town character. It is now home to over 30,000 people.
Although officially still a village, Maun has developed rapidly from a rural frontier town and has spread along the Thamalakane River. Maun is today a thriving tourist town, infamous for its infestation of donkeys and to a lesser extent goats. These animals can be seen standing around town as the local farmers arrive in the innumerable taxis to sell their wares on the curbside.
With the influx of tourism dollars, the typical traditional rondavels have been replaced by square, cinderblock homes roofed with tin and occasionally tiles. It has resulted in rise of many building materials shop like A to Z Hardware .Mobile phone service in Maun is excellent out to about 20 to 25km, depending on weather.
Tourists fly into the Maun International Airport, opposite the CafÃ© Bon Arrive. Often, these tourists take the road to Nata, or otherwise fly to several tourist camps in the Okavango Delta.