Different to other continents, the transport system in Southern Africa is not that easy to wrap your head around, especially in low season. We struggled a bit to make our way from Windhoek to Maun in Botswana. Since we found out that this is quite a popular route and there are some people who travel without a car we list you the different options. We chose the self-organized option and even though we arrived pretty tired, we were very happy to have saved around $40 USD together.
Windhoek to Maun – Catch a ride
We were in Windhoek at low season so this option didn’t work out for us. We met a nice German couple who would have taken us but they only had two seats in their car. This would be the cheapest option so definitely give it a try.
Windhoek to Maun with Safari operators
This is an option we found on the internet but when we asked at our hostel and the tourist information they didn’t know about it. It might also be an option in high season but we don’t know how much the companies charge.
Windhoek to Maun – Self-Organized
The cheapest way you can organize yourself is to go leg by leg. We took a 10-minute taxi from the Cardboard Box Hostel to the Gobabis Hike Point ($20 NAD / $1.70 USD pp). When you arrive there, be prepared because all the drivers want to take you and they will argue over you, they were even pulling on our backpacks between them. We asked a driver to take us all the way to the border and could lower the price from 220$ NAD to $200 NAD / ($17 USD) pp.
This drive took about three hours. Our driver was Emanuel (phone: +26813002624) and if you contact him directly he might pick you up from your accommodation. He also waits for you at the border post and drives you to the Botswana side. Ensure that you change all your money to South African Rand or Pula, nobody accepts or changes Namibian Dollars across the border.
From the border, you can get a taxi for $30 Pula / $3.15 USD per person to Charles Hill. From here take the bus to Ghanzi for $45 Pula / $4.70 USD pp (departure times 10 am and 3 pm). We had 1.5 hours to kill before the departure time so we tried to hitchhike but were not very successful.
In case you don’t make the 10 am bus or hitch early to Ghanzi you are likely to miss the last bus to Maun. In that case, you can try hitchhiking all the way. Alternatively, stay at the Kalahari Arms Hotel/Campsite and take the first bus the next morning around 8 am. Make sure you arrive at 7.30 am because the minibus fills up. The 3-hour journey costs another $60 Pula / $6.30 USD.
So this option is in total $32.85 USD per person.
Windhoek to Maun by Bus
This is the most comfortable but expensive solution. You can ask your accommodation or the tourist information to get a bus for 600 NAD / $51 USD pp. Normally they leave on Wednesdays and Saturdays afternoon.