THE BEST OF NAMIBIA AND BOTSWANA

20 Night / 21 Day Self-Drive Safari, Accommodated

safari-Button

This tour is perfect for those who want to explore the best of Namibia and Botswana in their own time. Starting from Windhoek, you travel via Sossusvlei and Swakopmund to the world-famous Etosha National Park. Continue through the fertile Kavango Region, part of the Caprivi Strip, and enter Botswana. Experience exceptional game viewing while on a two-day fly-in Okavango Delta safari. Pass the immense salt pans of Makgadikgadi and watch numerous elephant herds coming to drink at the Chobe River before ending the tour with a visit to the impressive Victoria Falls.

Highlights

Day 1-5 | Namibia

  • Windhoek: National Gallery, National Museum, Botanic Garden
  • Namib Desert: Dunes of Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, Sesriem Canyon
  • Swakopmund: Quad biking, sandboarding, skydiving, day trips (all optional), colonial architecture

Day 6-11 | Namibia

  • Etosha National Park: Game drives, Etosha Pan
  • Caprivi Strip: Boat cruise on the Okavango River, game drive in the Mahango Area of the Bwabwata National Park

Day 12-18 | Botswana

  • Okavango Delta: Flight into the delta, mokoro excursions, nature walks, game drives
  • Nata: Bird watching, guided excursion into the Nata Bird Sanctuary
  • Chobe National Park: Game drives, river cruises

Day 19-20 | Zimbabwe

  • Victoria Falls: Visit to the falls, boat cruise, white water rafting, bungee jumping, canoeing, elephant ride, scenic flight (all optional)

Facts

Self-Drive Safari: The Best of Namibia and Botswana
Tourcode: SD21DANABO
From: Windhoek
To: Victoria Falls
Min. number to guarantee tour: N/A
Max number of participants: private safari
Departure day: any day of your choice
Price: from
Single Supplement: from

Itinerary

Day 1 | Windhoek, Namibia

Distance approx. 50 km; driving time approx. 1 h

Upon arrival at Windhoek International Airport, you pick up your rental car and make your way to Casa Piccolo. This guest house is situated in Klein Windhoek, a stone’s throw away from various shops. Once you have checked in, you can relax after the long flight or start exploring Windhoek. There are plenty of things to discover; the National Gallery (local artists), Botanic Garden (good for walks), local restaurants for sampling Namibian cuisine. You will stay at Casa Piccolo for the night.

Day 2 | Windhoek, Namibia – Sossusvlei – Sesriem, Namibia

Distance approx. 350-400 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h

After a good night’s sleep and a delicious breakfast, you depart Namibia’s capital and start your journey in a southerly direction. Drive past Rehoboth and the Remhoogte Pass to Sesriem, your destination for today and the gateway to the massive dunes of Sossusvlei. You will overnight in a tented chalet at Desert Camp. Book a ‘braai pack’ and grill your own meat on an open fire or have supper at Sossusvlei Lodge’s restaurant, a few minutes from Desert Camp. If you want, book a packed breakfast from Sossusvlei Lodge for tomorrow to take into the dunes.

Breakfast

Day 3 | Sossusvlei, Namibia

At sunrise, the gates of the Namib-Naukluft National Park open and you can drive in. Take a shot at climbing one of the famous dunes and witness the spectacular view and the astonishing play of light and shadow in the early morning sun. Park your car in the 2×4 parking area and make use of a 4×4 transfer to get deeper into the desert. Visit Sossusvlei as well as the photogenic Deadvlei; a white clay pan scattered with dark dead camel thorn trees. Later in the day you can visit the Sesriem Canyon – short hikes are possible in the dry season. To learn about plants and animals survive in the desert, book a guided desert walk at Sossusvlei Lodge. You will stay another night at Desert Camp.

No meals

Day 4-5 | Sossusvlei, Namibia – Swakopmund, Namibia

Distance approx. 350 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h

Driving on gravel roads to Swakopmund, you will pass Solitaire, where you can stop to taste possibly the best apple pie in the world. The road is very scenic and you will stop many times for photographs and to breathe in dry air of the mountains and plains… The coastal town of Swakopmund is known as the German city of Namibia as you will recognise in the language, cuisine and architecture. ‘Swakop’ is a base for adventure activities in the area (all optional): dolphin cruises in Walvis Bay, a day trip to the seal colony, dune boarding, desert tours, quad biking, skydiving… You will spend two nights at the Cornerstone Guesthouse, which is situated in the old part of Swakopmund, only a few minutes from the beach and the town centre. Supper is for your account – try the local seafood.

Breakfast (day 5)

Day 6 | Swakopmund, Namibia – Vreugde Guest Farm, Namibia

Distance approx. 450 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h

After a leisurely breakfast, you continue to Outjo, where you can stop at the famous bakery to buy some pastries for the road. Your overnight destination is Vreugde Guest Farm, which is just a few kilometres from Etosha National Park’s Anderson Gate, allowing you an early start into the park the next morning. This owner-managed farm is a perfect place to gain insight into a typical guest farm in Namibia. Chat to the staff, relax either at the pool or in the shade of the large garden. You will stay overnight on the farm and enjoy typical Namibian home-style cooking.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 7-8 | Vreugde Guest Farm, Namibia – Etosha National Park, Namibia

Distance day 7 approx. 50 km; driving time approx. 1 h (excl. game drives)

Enjoy a delicious home-cooked breakfast before heading to the Etosha National Park. Etosha (which means ‘great white place’) is dominated by a vast salt pan. In dry months, animals flock to the park’s many waterholes – these are the best spots to park and watch the live show… Explore the central and western area of the park during these two days. Today you might see lions, black-faced impala, elephant and black rhino. In order for you to experience the nocturnal wildlife, you can join a night game drive with a park ranger (optional). You will overnight at the Okaukuejo Rest Camp.

Breakfast

The large camps in the Etosha National Park are owned by the government. They are maintained and looked after by state employees which are sometimes not as enthusiastic about their work as we wish they were. Accommodation ranges from basic chalets to standard self-catering units. There are, however, more luxurious lodges outside the park from where you will do day trips into the park. Should you be interested in this option, please let us know and we will gladly amend our offer accordingly.

Day 9 | Etosha National Park, Namibia – Mushara Bush Camp, Namibia

Driving time depends on choice of route

After sunrise and a hearty breakfast at the rest camp’s restaurant, you will continue east through the park towards Namutoni. Stop at waterholes on the way, such as Goas and Kalkheuwel. Visit the fort at Namutoni Rest Camp for lunch (optional) and explore the waterholes north of the camp – the Okevi’s, Tsumcor and Two Palms are worth stopping at. Before the gates close at sunset you will exit the park at the Von Lindequist Gate and travel to Mushara Bush Camp. You will overnight in a tented chalet and have a 3-course supper in the lodge’s thatched dining room.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 10-11 | Mushara Bush Camp, Namibia – Caprivi Strip, Namibia

Distance day 10 approx. 600 km; driving time approx. 6-7 h

Enjoy a delicious breakfast with freshly baked bread prepared by the lodge’s expert chefs, before heading to your next destination. Today’s journey takes you via Tsumeb and Rundu into the Kavango Region – which is part of the Caprivi Strip. For decades this area was unsafe due to a war, so it has retained a wild, remote feel accentuated by the lush vegetation and sub-tropical climate. This area has over 400 bird species, four of the ‘Big Five’ (no rhino), baobabs, forests, swamps and savannah. Nunda River Lodge is situated on the banks of the Kavango River, the green vegetation almost an oasis after the arid regions you have travelled through. The following day you can go on a boat trip or explore the Mahango Area of Bwabwata National Park (only possible with a 4×4 vehicle or on a guided tour), in the flood plains of the Okavango River basin. You can also visit a local village (optional) to learn more about the local culture and way of life. Enjoy an ice cold drink while sitting on the large deck and watch the sunset over the river. You will overnight for two nights in a bungalow with a veranda overlooking the river at Nunda River Lodge.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 12 | Caprivi Strip, Namibia – Maun, Botswana

Distance approx. 450 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h

Today’s journey will take you across the border to Botswana, where you will drive via Etosha and Sehitwa to Maun, considered the ‘tourism capital ‘of Botswana. You will overnight at the Thamalakane River Lodge about 20 km from Maun. In the afternoon you can either relax at the lodge on the banks of the Thamalakane River or take a dip in the pool. If there is time you might want to join a mokoro trip arranged by the lodge (optional). Dine (for own account) at the lodge’s restaurant or in Maun.

Breakfast

Day 13-14 | Maun, Botswana – Okavango Delta, Botswana

After breakfast, your will drive to Maun’s airport and board a light aircraft to the Okavango Delta. The delta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the third largest inland delta in the world. It is world-famous for its spectacular wildlife, crystal clear water and variety of birds – over 400 species. As most of the lodges can only be reached by air, it certainly makes this a unique safari destination. During the flight, you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the shimmering spider web of water channels, lakes, permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains. During your time in the delta you go on mokoro excursions, bush walks or game drives. All activities in the Okavango Delta are included in your package. You will spend two nights at Pom Pom Camp.

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner | Scheduled Activities

Day 15 | Okavango Delta, Botswana – Maun, Botswana

After a relaxed breakfast and a last activity (if time permits) you will board the light aircraft for your transfer back to Maun. During the flight you will be able to see the delta in the morning light. Stock up on supplies for the road when you arrive back in Maun. You will spend another night at Thamalakane River Lodge.

Breakfast

Day 16 Maun, Botswana – Nata, Botswana

Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 4 h

Today you will head to Nata Lodge, your destination for today. The lodge is situated on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans which cover an area of more than 12,000 km² and belong to the largest salt pans in the world. Interspersed between the two vast salt pans Ntwetwe and Sua and the surrounding myriad of smaller pans are sand dunes, wildlife-rich grassland, ancient baobab trees and mysterious ‘islands’. Nata Lodge is a good base to explore the Nata Bird Sanctuary at the northeastern border of the Sua Pan, which is a breeding place for flocks of flamingos. Join an optional afternoon excursion to the sanctuary or watch the feeding patch and water feature at the lodge for bird activity. You will spend the night at Nata Lodge.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 17-18 | Nata, Botswana – Chobe National Park, Botswana

Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 4-5h

After a leisurely breakfast, your journey continues in a northerly direction to Chobe National Park. You check in at Bakwena Lodge which is situated just outside of the national park on the banks of the Chobe River, close to Kasane. You will return your rental car in Kasane or alternatively, it will get picked up at the lodge – depending on the rental company. While staying at Bakwena Lodge, four safari activities are included in your package. Join morning or afternoon game drives into Chobe National Park. With more than 40,000 elephants, Chobe is home to probably the highest elephant population in Africa. You will hopefully be able to see large herds of elephants as well as other park inhabitants. Furthermore, you can join river cruises on the Chobe River. You might see elephants swimming across the river, herds of buffalos, different species of antelope, hippos, crocodiles as well as a variety of birdlife. You will spend two nights at Bakwena Lodge

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner | Scheduled activities

Day 19-20 Kasane, Botswana – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Transfer Bakwena Lodge – Ilala Lodge; driving time approx. 2 h

Your day will start with one last safari activity. You will return to Bakwena Lodge for breakfast, whereafter you will be transferred to the town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.  You will be staying at Ilala Lodge, within walking distance of the thundering waterfalls and the town centre. Go to one of the local markets for souvenirs, visit the crocodile farm, book a river cruise on the Zambezi, a helicopter flip or simply do a walking tour of the majestic Victoria Falls. Ask for a poncho from the lodge. The town has bungee jumping and white water rafting on offer more adventurous visitors. You will be spending two nights at Ilala Lodge.

Breakfast

Day 21 Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

You will be transferred to the new Victoria Falls International Airport for your flight to your home destination, where you will arrive with a lot of new impressions and good memories.

Breakfast

Includes

  • Self-drive tour according to the itinerary
  • 20 nights’ accommodation in guesthouses, chalets, bungalows and lodges as indicated in the itinerary (or similar)
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Transfer Kasane – Victoria Falls
  • Return flight Maun – Okavango Delta
  • All safari activities at Pom Pom Camp and Bakwena Lodge

Excludes

  • Flights (international and domestic)
  • Rental car (please contact us for a quote)
  • Fuel
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Beverages (alcohol and soft drinks)
  • Possible toll- and crossing border fees
  • National park fees
  • Optional activities
  • Visa, tips, personal expenses, travel insurance

Gallery

Lodge Gallery

Casa Piccolo

Desert Camp

Cornerstone Guesthouse

Vreugde Guestfarm

Okaukuejo Camp

Mushara Bush Camp

Nunda River Lodge

Pom Pom Camp

Nata Lodge

Chobe Bakwena Lodge

Ilala Lodge

Frequently Asked Questions

In general Namibia and Botswana are not a lot more dangerous than other countries in the world. Most crimes and acts of violence take place in the townships of bigger cities. Public areas around shopping centres, restaurants, banks etc. as well as the countryside are very safe. Nevertheless you should stick to a couple of rules to avoid risky or dangerous situations. This includes staying away from dodgy areas, walking in the dark, carrying a lot of cash or expensive cameras on you, wearing flashy jewellery and leaving bags or valuables in the car.

Although Namibia and Botswana generally have a good infrastructure, the roads are not always in the best condition. Most of the roads are good gravel roads and only the highways and a couple of the main roads are tarred. In Botswana you will also have to look out for animals on or next to the road and we therefore urge you to drive with caution. Try not to drive at night.

Fuel stations can be found alongside all major routes and highways as well as in cities/villages. Have cash, as not all fuel stations accept credit cards.

In cities and villages there are well-stocked shops selling basic foods, water and medicine. Many petrol stations also have a little convenience shop.

Left. In Southern Africa vehicles are right-hand drives hence driving is done on the left-hand side of the roads.

Each person who wants to drive a rental vehicle in Namibia must have a valid national driver’s license which needs to be carried along at all times and must be produced when requested (vehicle hand-over, police control).

If your national driver’s license is not in English and does not include a photograph of you, you will additionally need an international driving license. Please take note that the international driving license is only valid in conjunction with your national driver’s license.

Furthermore, you must be in possession of a credit card when picking up the rental vehicle. The main renter must be the credit card holder.

Yes. In most of Namibia’s national parks, the roads are tarred or good gravel and all are accessible to normal sedan cars. Please however take note that you have to adhere to the rules of the national parks at all times. These include: remaining in your vehicle unless you are in a designated area, sticking to the speed limit and not littering.

In the Etosha National Park, guided game drives in open safari vehicles are available.

A 4×4 vehicle is required to enter the national parks in Botswana and in the Caprivi. If you are not travelling with a 4×4, you can book guided game drives at the accommodation you are staying at.

Along with your travel documents you will receive detailed directions and contact details for all the pre-booked accommodation.

Some rental car companies provide road maps but as not all of them do, it is advisable to bring a good map with a map scale of at least 1:1,5 million.

Meals are included as indicated in the itinerary.

Breakfast at your overnight accommodation usually consists of a full English breakfast and cereals, breads, cheese, jam, fruits, juices, tea and coffee. You may also ask for a packed breakfast if you need to depart very early.

Since most days are spent on the road or in the national parks, lunches have only occasionally been included.

At places where you can cater for yourself or you have a variety of restaurants to choose from, dinner has been excluded. Where dinner at a lodge is included in the itinerary, it usually consists of a set menu with local meats, vegetables and rice or potato dishes. Alternatively, a buffet dinner is served.

You can either exchange your own currency for Namibian Dollar at one of the exchange bureaus at the airport or in town or you can draw cash at the current exchange rate at a local ATM with your credit card or Maestro card (PIN required).

Credit cards are also widely accepted in bigger shops and shopping malls but some smaller shops and all fuel stations do not accept

As Malaria is a concern in some areas of Namibia, we recommend that some precautionary measures are taken. Please speak to your doctor or travel clinic about the different prophylaxes and their effects and side effects. In general, prevention is better than cure and the best prevention is to avoid bites. Apply mosquito repellent and wear long trousers, socks, closed shoes and long-sleeved tops when being outdoors in the morning and evening hours.

Furthermore, it is recommended that you have your regular vaccinations updated – tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B and polio.

Namibian custom officials require proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever