"The Swamps at last!" Top 5 Page for this destination Maun by CatherineReichardt
Maun Travel Guide: 58 reviews and 87 photos
We have been living in Africa for so long that it was frankly embarrassing for people who are so passionate about wildlife NOT to have been to the Swamps. So in late 2009, we took advantage of the economic downturn which has decimated Botswana’s tourist industry (which is heavily reliant on tourists from the US) to visit a destination that we could not usually justify within our budget.
For the budget traveller, ‘affordable’ is always a relative term in a Botswanan context. The Air Botswana monopoly to Maun, the fly in/fly out nature of most of the Okavango camps, exorbitant park fees and exclusive nature of the lodges all ratchet up the cost, but we certainly got our money’s worth, with ridiculously luxurious ‘Out Of Africa’ tented accommodation and a personally assigned game ranger for the duration of our stay.
On the subject of cost, the camp that we went to is run by the rather exclusive Wilderness Safaris. However, because of the economic downturn, even they were willing to offer heavily discounted packages (although not uner their own brand name) to help recover part of their fixed costs. We went with a company called Wild Frontiers that handle at least some of Wilderness' spare capacity: the lesson is perhaps to identify the camps that you are interested in staying at, and then Googling the name to see if that destination is offered by another company at lower cost?
I have to say that although we had a really good time and the Okavango is both stunning and unique, Botswana is not my favourite African destination. Having worked there on and off in late late 80s and visited occasionally since then, I find that hospitality seems to come that little bit harder to the Motswana than it does to their neighbours in Zimbabwe and Namibia. It's not that people don't make you welcome - they just appear to have to work a little bit harder.
Perhaps it's also that the local St Louis beer is the worst that I've drunk in ages!
Just because something started life as a key ring doesn't mean it can't evolve into a Christmas tree ornament - why, it... more travel advice
Most accommodation in the Okavango is only accessible by light aircraft. If you select a camp in the 'neck' of the Delta... more travel advice
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