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Mau Ka Monatyi! Is This What It Really Means?

Topless, sitting inside the heated jacuzzi of the elegant Presidential Suite of the Crocodile Camp, with a cold beverage on my right side, camera on the left and the phone in between, while watching the boat traffic cruising slowly along the Thamalakane River.

I kept wondering is this what they mean when they say, “Mau ka monatyi!”

Maybe it is when you are sitting on a small boat cruising the Thamalakane River at sunset. When the water is golden matching your golden liquor inside that glass by your side while you shoot selfies for those cool Instagram moments.

Mau ka monatyi is when your mates, dressed in floral dresses or those really short pants revealing much, have no reason to worry because this is Maun where people do not judge your dress.

Or perhaps Mau ka monatyi, is when you become a child again and roll in the white sand at Matlapana Beach, then run into the river doing what the locals call ‘go shaora’ to wash out the sand.

Matlapana Beach is where you ‘stage’ with your mates, with cooler-boxes full of cold beverage and watch the river.  It is a place where locals head down to when it is scorching hot in Maun. While there, there are plenty of fun activities.

You can glide slowly through the river on a mokoro or if you prefer a little bit of speed and wind to blow your hair, ride a speedboat and your boat-driver will rev it up for your pleasure. The feeling of high-speed cruise through the water, dodging hippos and birds flying out surely fits the Mau ka monatyi description.

If crowds are not your type of fun, (perhaps your bikini is too hot for Matlapana Beach) cruise further up along the Boro River and find a swimming spot where you can dip in privately without many stares (watch out for crocodiles because they could instantly shut down your Mau ka monatyi).  Out on a small picnic by the swimming spot you could listen to chirping birds, observe the silent flow of Boro River and drink in peace.

But it

must be the people. These free spirited and fun loving humans of Maun surely made this ‘Mau ka monatyi’ thing, a thing. It is joyous listening to their melodious accent that swallows some words like ‘teng’ (inside) coming out as ‘te’a’ or ‘dikgang’ (news) that turns out as ‘dikgaa’ and even their town name ‘Maun’ is ‘Mau’.  Perhaps it is because of the years of welcoming tourists to the Okavango Delta, the people of Maun have become very hospitable humans by nature.

So they make a visit to Maun such a great and memorable experience because they understand tourists. Some of the joys of Maun come at mealtime when you are munching on a delicious fresh Okavango bream that is seasoned right. Maun has so many beautiful places to stay at. From the iconic Maun Lodge, Cresta Riley’s, the new Cresta Maun with transparent shower by the bedside, the revamped Crocodile Camp, Thamalakane River Lodge and Island Safaris, all along the river and all with inviting swimming pools.

What I know for sure is that Mau ka monatyi is not just a trending T-shirt label from Ngamiland, or a music festival by opportunistic promoters, but an amazing whole experience of a unique town in Botswana that is the gateway way to paradise that is the Okavango Delta. But the past festive season, my memorable Mau ka monatyi moment was when Crocodile Camp boss Reaobaka Mbulawa arrived at his lodge bar, (which is nicely located, as it overlooks the Thamalakane River) just minutes after that beautiful bartender named Mash with a well-trained stunning smile (that could have you drinking up your entire savings) and called out the last round.

Mbulawa, the man popularly known as ‘Tau ya Maun’ then proposed, “shots for everyone on the house”. And it was a farewell toast to 2018.


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