"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!

  • Last visit to Maun: Nov 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (5)

Comments (6)

  • Redang's Profile Photo
    Sep 8, 2013 at 6:48 AM

    Would you combine ostwana and SA?, or just SA is enough

    • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
      Sep 9, 2013 at 12:30 AM

      I quite understand - it's just useful to know because places are often at their best at different times of year and it gives me an idea of what to recommend. For example, October is a particularly nice time of year to be in the Cape, as it's springtime and everything is green after the winter rain.

    • Redang's Profile Photo
      Sep 9, 2013 at 12:39 AM

      You tolld me once and I kept that info

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Aug 1, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Hi Cathy, I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes porcupines.

    • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
      Aug 2, 2013 at 4:28 AM

      Hi Don
      Thanks for dropping by!
      I think porcupines are amazing animals, and would much rather see one of them than a lion or a leopard, and I would absolutely love to see one of the New World tree climbing varieties.

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      Aug 2, 2013 at 4:40 AM

      When I was a child we used to see them every summer at my uncle's cottage in Wisconsin.

  • wabat's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    So this is where all Krugers leopards were when we visited! Good tips as usual Cathy.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Like the sound of Tubu Tree Lodge, and would love to see all the Birdlife!

  • MikeBird's Profile Photo
    Oct 9, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    Seems like the Okavango has become much more expensive and more upmarket than when we were there in mid eighties. Nevertheless - it must rate as one of the most special places in the world. Enjoyed your pages, thanks

  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo
    Apr 21, 2010 at 7:25 AM

    really nice photos. i would love to visit that part of the world.


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