- Maun is arguably the best place to be during the festive holidays
- The number of visitors grows every year
In the last few years, village festive pilgrimages have been cut short as Batswana have now embraced domestic tourism and embark on various leisure travels and massive outdoor festivals that have found a new home in the country’s tourism capital of Maun.
Situated in the north west of Botswana, this bustling hub welcomes thousands of travelers each year because of its proximity to most of the country’s prime safari destinations, located in the Okavango Delta. Maun has turned every notion of leisure and entertainment in the country on its head with the launch of My Maun Experience, pulling in crowds after Christmas day and continuously capturing the hearts of entertainment starved locals.
The annual week long experience which combines sport, leisure and adventure tourism has become one of the most popular initiatives that crown the festive season and ushers in the New Year in grand style. Each year, people from different walks of life pack up and head to Maun to spend the last few days of the year enjoying parties, boat cruises and immersed in local culture and food. This year will not be different according to one of the organizers of My Maun Experience, Dose Mosimanyana who revealed that, “the numbers of people who come to Maun multiplies year after year and since we introduced the experience the numbers have been overwhelming. The town is definitely an entertainment hub because this year we have music festivals organized by different people taking place from the 22nd of December to the 1st of January 2019.”
My Maun Experience initiative was started to try and encourage locals to travel within the country during the festive season as opposed to traveling abroad. The advent of social media, where people want to check in at new places and post photos online also led to many people embarking on more travels to explore new places within the borders of Botswana. “Before, people used to travel to places outside the country because they felt there was no fun in Botswana. These tourism places were deemed expensive and mainly for foreign tourists. We came up with this initiative to popularize different places around the country starting with Maun and it was a success. The idea is to continue on to Kasane and other places around Botswana,” Mosimanyana revealed.
Apart from the music festivals and parties, Mosimanyana added that they would also like to promote other fun activities including game drives, cynic flights over the Okavango Delta and horse riding among others. Describing a typical day for patrons at Maun during the festive season he said they usually start the day at a spot called ‘The Beach’ located at Matlapana where they enjoy the fresh river breeze from the Thamalakane over cold drinks. They will later end the night at Pub 24, Duckpond or Base Lounge nightclub.
“Because there are usually many people they divide themselves among the many hangout spots. Maun never runs dry of things to do,” he adds.
The dramatic surge in the numbers of people traveling to Maun over the years has also brought the welcomed developments to the town. Safari companies, reliable transport, modern malls, eateries, hotels and guest houses have sprung up everywhere and virtually any food item, down to necessities can be easily accessed in the tourist town.