To bus or hitchike, that is the question. Either way, it’s quite easy to get from Windhoek to Maun, even with the border crossing.
The bus leaves from across the hotel and police station on Independance and Bahnoff at 6am sharp. There aren’t any signs for the bus, so just wait on the side of the street. Be diligent with keeping your belongings close and think safety first as Windhoek can be dangerous for foreigners at this time. We were warned by the police. It’s best to get here early as the bus fills up.
Once you get on the bus, you pay N300, which will get you across the border and to the Ghanzi junction. Make sure to ask them to take you to the Ghanzi junction, otherwise they don’t stop there.
From here you have 2 options
Bus: Take the local bus to Ghanzi, which will cost you 10 pula. Make sure you have pula ahead of time!
Once at the junction, walk about 10 mins down the road to find an unmarked “bus stop”. It’s literally just the side of the road so might be best to ask the driver where it is when getting off the bus.
The local bus will take you to Ghanzi and from there you can catch a bus to Maun. Once in Maun, you may have to take a taxi from town, depending on where you are staying. We stayed at Old Bridges Backpackers right on the river, a popular spot about 10km outside of town. That will cost around 70 pula.
Hitchike: Since Botswana is a relatively safe country, we decided to hitchike with our new friend Mavis.
Luckily, a nice local man stopped to take us to Ghanzi. Even luckier for us, we found out he was en route to Maun and offered to take us all the way! Score! Turns out Ghamatso is a lovely gentleman who was heading to Maun for business. We had many conversations about everything from life to music. It also happens that Old Bridge Backpackers is his favorite sundowner spot so we invited him for a couple of beers along the river.
Hitchiking can be a fun way to meet locals as long as you think safety first and trust your instinct!
In terms of the Old Bridge Backpackers, it seems like the place to be as it gets quite busy! It’s right on the river and has the perfect view for sunset and sunrise. We highly recommend it!