Getting there & away
Maun is 950m (3,100ft) above sea level, and fairly easy to reach, however you are travelling.
Maun is well connected by scheduled Air Botswana flights. These connect with Gaborone and Johannesburg every day, and with Kasane on Monday, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
For more detail contact Air Botswana at their stylish office near the airport (tel: 6860391). Maun also has a number of air charter companies, where you can hire light aircraft for private flights and transfers. These can sometimes be economic if you have four or five people travelling together.
Air Namibia runs regular flights between Windhoek and Maun on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, though using fairly small aircraft so these flights are frequently sold out far in advance. Note also that there are inherent risks in relying on these flights to fit in with a complex, 'fixed' trip itinerary in both countries – as the schedules for them can, and do, change relatively regularly. (There are moves to run a regular charter service on this route, but nothing's materialised yet.)Maun Airport
On the north side of town, Maun's airport has always been a focal point of the safari industry here. Inside you'll find it's fairly small, with a few relaxed check-in desks and toilets downstairs, and a café with places to sit upstairs. There's no 'hassle' as such, as you find at some airports, though there are often a lot of reps from safari companies waiting with name-boards for travellers to arrive.
The airport itself has no left luggage facility, though if you're passing through to visit camps in the region by light aircraft, then most safari companies will collect any spare baggage from you, and return it to you as you leave.
By busLocal buses
The fairly chaotic local bus station is around Tsaro Street, where the local market is. Here you'll find frequent departures for Francistown (P45), which take about seven hours; Ghanzi (P30), which takes about four hours; and Shakawe (P35), which takes about seven hours and stops at most of the larger towns on the way. To reach Kasane, hop on a bus towards Francistown and change at Nata.
Until recently, Audi Camp Safaris ran a 2-night/3-day 'shuttle' between Maun and Kasane, camping one night in Moremi and one in Chobe, for US$200 per person – given a minimum of four people, with everyone bringing their own tents, sleeping bags and mattresses. This is no longer on offer, though organising a very, very swift mobile like this might be an option for a group wanting to get to Kasane and have a swift glance at Moremi and Chobe as they pass. Talk to any of Maun's budget operators; you may find one who needs to reposition a vehicle and will be happy to do this for you for a good rate.Windhoek shuttle
Audi Camp Safaris (tel: 6860599) still have a scheduled shuttle service (usually a 16-seater air-con bus) between Maun and Windhoek costing US$50 per person. It takes about nine hours on the road and leaves Maun on Mondays and Fridays at 08.00; departing Windhoek on Saturdays and Wednesdays at 08.00. The best place to book this in Windhoek is at Africa Tourist Info (tel: (264) 61 247668; email: firstname.lastname@example.org), though any of the backpackers' lodges there will book it for you.
Ignoring the odd tiny bush track, there are only three significant roads linking Maun with the rest of the country.Northeast towards Kasane
Routing right through Chobe National Park, it's about 360km of bush and thick sand (accessible only by 4WD) to Kasane. For details of the track northeast of Maun, through Shorobe to Moremi and Chobe, see the separate section, The road north of Maun, at the end of this chapter.Southwest towards Ghanzi
It's about 286km of good tar road to Ghanzi. About 2.5km past the old T-junction and Engen garage, you'll pass the Maun Sports Complex on your left – a huge, modern floodlit stadium and sports area. If you're hitch-hiking then consider catching a bus, or taxi, or walking this far out as it'll get you beyond most of the local traffic.East towards Nata
Nata is about 305km due east, again along a good tar road which crosses between the Nxai Pan and Makgadikgadi national parks. If you're hitching, then at least cross to the south side of the Thamalakane River as far as the 24-hour Caltex service station. If you prefer, continue for a few kilometres south until the road starts to bend west and you're beyond the outskirts and the local traffic.