Botswana / Namibia:
Cultural Sojourn

Bicycle Africa / Ibike Tours


Dispatch 16 - Maun

  Acacia bushPanel Beater sign, Maun, BotswanaProtect the environment sign, Maun, BotswanaOn the last leg to Maun the highway looked pretty much like the highway, so I settled for photographing acacia bushes (left) and several signs. A couple I liked most addressed protecting the environment and a "panel beating" business (auto body shop).

Sculpture of guitarist, museum, Maun, Botswanaguitar weather vane, Maun, BotswanaA tour around town only led to a remarkable sculpture of a musician at the museum.  The sculpture was done by a high school student for a class project. The curator at the museum doesn't know of anything he has done since. The museum itself was between exhibits so most of the rooms and walls were bare.  Coincidently, the second item in town which caught my eye also featured a guitar.  It was a weather vane that had the guitar as the pointer. Beyond this, Maun's function seems to be mostly provisions and logistics.  It is hard to identify any other salient character.  It is where we had to get to to leave.  It is the point at which a lot of people start their adventures in the Okavango delta.

Carrying pack boxes to the airport, Maun, BotswanaWhen we arrived in Maun we also paid a visit to the airport to determine what the packing requirements would be for the bicycle.  The personnel was certain that it had to be appropriately packed, but there was quite a bit of discussion about what that actually entailed.  Maun airport didn't have any of the wrapping options that Johannesburg had so that was off the table.  In the end, it was determined wrapping the bikes in card board would be sufficient.  This sent us out into the town to find card board.  Neither the supermarket or the furniture store had any set aside at the time, but both promised to save any that become available during the rest of the day. 

Bicycles properly packed for Air Botswana, Maun, BotswanaThe Choppies supermarket came through for us, and they sold packing tape, as well.  The next morning we picked up six corn flake boxes and pre-staged them at the airport for our return with bicycles and baggage an hour later.  Even if a bit comic and entertaining for our audience in the departure hall, all went smoothly with the packing and check-in of our irregular and oversize boxes of corn flakes.

For dinner we took an excursion several kilometers out of town to the Old Bridge Backpacker lodge to see how other tourists were making their way. We took advantage of the travel opportunity to try some other modes of local transportation. Outbound we took a "combi" (mini-bus, collective taxi). The fare out was less than $0.50 per person. For the return we choose regular city taxis, at about $8 per car.  The Old Bridge is also a bar/restaurant.  It is a hang-out for modest budget, independent travelers, who are predominately White-Western.  It was a rigged poll, but everyone in our group decided that they had a more interesting adventure in Botswana than any of the travelers that we met there. 

And as a Botswana story teller would say, "And that is the end of the story!"




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