What to see & do
Maun is really much more of a place to get organised than it is a destination in its own right; so few visitors are really looking for activities here. That said, if you have half a day to kill, here are a few suggestions:Birding walks
Richard Randall leads birding walks in the Maun area. Allow between two hours and a whole day, and you can cover any area from parts of the Thamalakane Riverbed as it passes through Maun, to the Game Sanctuary (see below) or the Boteti River bed, south of town. Expect this to cost about US$10 per person per hour, for a minimum of two people. (Contact Richard at Afro Trek on tel/fax: 6862574; tel: 686510; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.afrotrek.com)Maun Game Sanctuary (Tel: 6861390)
Found on the northeast side of the Sekgoma Road, barely 2km from the centre of town, this small, fenced park is only about 3km long by 1km wide. However, it's 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 last of the natural habitat that used to be found in and around Maun – before goats and people wreaked havoc on its vegetation. Here you'll find some some fine stands of real fan palms (Hyphaene petersiana), various acacia thickets and some lovely 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 often find zebras, wildebeest and warthogs grazing.
Other animal species found here include blue wildebeest, red lechwe, kudu, impala, giraffe, chacma baboon, vervet monkey and a variety of smaller mammals. Most of the larger mammals are very relaxed and it's often possible to walk up close to them.
In summer here a keen bird-watcher should be able to count 80 to 100 species of birds here in three hours, although in winter it is more likely to be 50 to 80. Ones to look out for specially include red-necked falcon, bronze-winged courser, giant eagle-owl, lesser jacana, spotted dikkop, pied and Hartlaub's babblers, yellow-bellied eremomeia, and swamp boubou. Fish eagles and crimson-breasted boubous are fairly easily seen residents, whilst bat hawks are sometimes spotted hawking in the early morning or evening.
You can wander through here yourself – and cover most of the area in two to four hours, but better would be to come for a few hours of serious 'birding' with Richard Randall (see Birding walks, above) who knows the sanctuary well.
Admission: free. Open 07.30–12.30 and 13.45–16.40 most days.Maun Sports Complex
About 2.5km southwest of the Engen Garage and the old turn-off to Francistown, this large and impressive new sports arena stand beside the road to Ghanzi and is used for political rallies as well as sports matches. It's worth going just to marvel at the stadium, but check with the Ngami Times for what's on there.Crocodile Farm
PO Box 66, Maun; tel: 6864539; email: email@example.com
On the same site as Sitautunga Camp the turn-off for this is on the road to Toteng and Ghanzi, about 10.8km past the old left turn to Francistown and the Engen Garage.
Follow the signs to the camp and farm about 2km down a sandy track, and you'll find tours of the farm starting on the hour 09.00–16.00. You'll get to see crocodiles from hatchlings to fully-grown adults, and learn much about the morphology of these amazing reptiles.
Rates: P10 per person for the tour.