South African Airways (SAA) is continuing to expand its network in Africa by launching a new daily direct flights to Maun, Botswana from Johannesburg on June 15.
According to Tim Clyde-Smith, SAA's Country Manager, Australasia, Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta, a 15,000 square kilometre area of swamp and water that is the world's largest inland delta and also the world's largest oasis.
"The Okavango Delta lies in northern Botswana on the north-eastern edge of the Kalahari Desert, and is close to the border with the Caprivi Strip panhandle in eastern Namibia," Tim said.
"Botswana is increasingly popular with Australians who are looking for a different travel experience in a region teaming with wildlife. Now, with direct services to the Delta, they can reach it in just one stop from Australia," he said.
The Delta's combination of lush wetland lying next to arid dry country makes it one of the world's most unique places to see game, in terms of the variety of dry-land and wetland species that co-exist in near proximity. Low-ecological-impact tourist camps and lodges are dotted throughout the area catering to group and individual safari visits.
SAA's service to Maun Airport (IATA code MUB) will be operated by its regional partner South African Airlink with 37-seat Embraer ERJ-135 regional jets. SA operates eight 37-seat Embraer ERJ135LR regional jets, as well as eight 83-seat Avro RJ85s and 13 29-seat BAE Systems Jetstream 4100 turboprops.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana recently made a decision to allow increased flights into the country, meaning SAA can commence the new service in addition to its existing flights to Gabarone, the capital city.
The schedule for the new daily Johannesburg-Maun service will see flight SA 8300 departing Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) at 11:45 am, arriving at MUB at 1:15 pm. In the other direction, flight SA 8301 will leave MUB at 2:00 pm and reach JNB at 3:40 pm.
"SAA's new service to Maun opens up a new and much more convenient way to access one of Botswana's most popular safari destinations through our partners at Airlink," Tim Clyde-Smith said.