THE BEST OF NAMIBIA AND BOTSWANA

21 Day Self-Drive Tour, 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 Zambezi Region and enter Botswana. Visit the Tsodilo Hills before you continue to the Okavango Delta. During a 2-day fly-in safari to the Moremi Area you will enjoy excellent game viewing. Watch numerous elephant herds coming to drink at the Chobe River before ending the tour with a visit to the impressive Victoria Falls.

Sossusvlei

Highlights

Day 1-11 | Namibia

  • Windhoek: National Gallery, National Museum, Christ Church
  • Sossusvlei: Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, Sesriem Canyon
  • Swakopmund: quad biking, sand boarding, skydiving, scenic flight, day trip to the seal colony at Cape Cross
  • Brandberg: ‘White Lady’ rock art
  • Damaraland: Ugab Valley, Vingerklip
  • Etosha National Park: game drives, Etosha Pan
  • Caprivi Strip: boat cruise on the Okavango River, game drive in the Bwabwata National Park, visit to a local village

Day 12-19 | Botswana

  • Tsodilo Hills: ancient rock paintings
  • Okavango Delta & Moremi Area: light aircraft flights to and from the delta, game drives, night drives, bush walks, mokoro excursions (depending on the season and water level)
  • Makgadikgadi Pans: tour of the salt pans
  • Chobe National Park: game drives, river cruises

Day 20-21 | Zimbabwe

  • Victoria Falls: visit to the waterfalls, boat cruise, white water rafting, bungee jumping, canoeing, scenic flight

Facts

Self-Drive Tour: 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 tour
Departure day: any day of your choice
Price: from 61,900 NAD
Single Supplement: from 11,100 NAD

Itinerary

Day 1 | Windhoek

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

Upon arrival at Windhoek International Airport, you pick up your rental car and make your way to your booked accommodation in town. Once you have checked in, you can relax after the long flight or start exploring Windhoek. Take a walk along Independence Avenue and watch the busy goings-on of local life. You can also visit sights such as the National Gallery featuring art by local artists, the Christ Church or the National Museum with interesting details about Namibia’s history. We can recommend the popular Joe’s Beerhouse for dinner. You will stay at the The Elegant Guesthouse for the night.

Day 2 | Windhoek – Namib Desert

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

From the capital Windhoek, your tour leads you south via Rehoboth towards Sesriem, the gateway to the great dunes of Sossusvlei. For the next two nights, the unique Elegant Desert Eco Camp will be an ideal base to explore the picturesque surroundings of the Tsaris Mountains as well as the Namib-Naukluft National Park. From your accommodation, you can go on a short hike or book a guided nature drive and admire the desert valley coloured in magical light. You have dinner and will overnight at the The Elegant Desert Eco Camp.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 3 | Sossusvlei

Distance approx. 160-200 km; driving time depends on choice of route

The gate to the park opens at sunrise and you can drive into the Namib-Naukluft National Park to see the Sossusvlei, a large, white clay pan in the middle of some of the highest dunes in the world. Park your vehicle and test your endurance by walking up one of these gigantic dunes. If ‘Big Daddy’ is overwhelmingly high, then perhaps Dune 45 will be the right one for you. Brace yourself for unforgettable views when you reach the top of the dune. Overlooking the ever-moving dune landscape is breathtaking. Other options for the day include visiting Sesriem Canyon, where you can also hike in the dry season. After an impressive day of exploring, you leave the park and return to camp. Alternatively, you can also pre-book a guided day tour to explore the area together with a guide. You have dinner and overnight at The Elegant Desert Eco Camp.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 4 – 5 | Namib Desert – Swakopmund

Distance on day 4: approx. 360 km; driving time approx. 5 hours

Today you will set off on a long drive on gravel roads towards the coastal town called Swakopmund. Stop at tiny Solitaire on your way to try the delicious apple pie. Swakopmund’s German colonial origins are noticeable in the architecture, cuisine and even the language – see the old courthouse and station building and enjoy an apfelstrudel and tea. The town also offers many activities, most based on the adventure into the Namib Desert – desert tours to see the ‘Little Five’, quad biking, dune boarding and skydiving as well as boat trips to see dolphins, seals and seabirds. You will spend two nights at Cornerstone Guest House, situated within walking distance of the city centre and the beach. They can also book tours and day trips for you. Taste Namibian cuisine or try the fresh seafood.
Breakfast

Day 6 | Swakopmund – Ugab Valley

Distance approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

After a leisurely breakfast, you leave the Atlantic coast and drive via Hentiesbaai inland. Past Brandberg, the highest mountain range in Namibia at 2,480 m, you will drive in the direction of Khorixas. Along the way you can stop at the famous ‘White Lady’ rock engravings. Your destination for the day is the Ugab Valley, a picturesque valley with impressive high plateaus. Explore the fascinating landscape on well indicated footpaths and visit the Vingerklip, a remarkable rock formation that resembles a finger. You will spend the night at Vingerklip Lodge.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 7 | Ugab Valley – Etosha National Park

Distance approx. 200 km; driving time approx. 2 hours (excl. game drives)

After breakfast, you will make your way to the famous Etosha National Park. You will enter Etosha at the Anderson Gate. The national park was proclaimed a game reserve in 1907, to conserve the wildlife and to protect the animals within the area, and encompasses the 5,000 km² Etosha salt pan. In the summer months (December to February) it is best to see the 340 bird species of the park, but the dry winter months are ideal to see animals when they flock to the water points. Animals that live in Etosha include giraffe, oryx, huge herds of elephants, lion, rhino, leopard, cheetah and the usual suspects – zebra, impala and wildebeest. To see nocturnal animals, book a night game drive with a park ranger (optional). Or spend some time at the floodlit waterhole in the camp to see animals drinking after dark. You will overnight at Okaukuejo Camp.
Breakfast

The large camps in the Etosha National Park are owned by the government. They are maintained and looked after by state employees who 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 8 – 9 | Etosha National Park

Driving time depends on choice of route

The early morning hours are one of the best times of the day to see animals as they go about their daily routine, so venturing into the park as the sun rises is recommendable. You will be driving along the vast salt pan, the bottom of a great inland lake that has dried up long ago. There are several waterholes along the south side of the pan, attracting animals in the dry season. Drive to Rietfontein, Goas or Sueda to observe animals that come to drink. Stop for lunch in Halali or Namutoni but make sure you are at the Von Lindequist Gate by sunset. Mushara Bush Camp, your home for the next two nights, is just 10 km from this gate. You will stay in comfortable tents and enjoy a delicious 3-course dinner next to the fireplace. The following day you can set out and explore Etosha National Park yourself or opt to book a guided game drive in an open 4×4 safari vehicle with your camp.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 10 – 11 | Etosha Area – Caprivi Strip

Distance on day 10: approx. 590 km; driving time approx. 7-8 hours

Enjoy a delicious breakfast before heading to your next destination. Today’s journey takes you via Tsumeb and Rundu into the Zambezi Region – formerly known as 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. Riverdance Lodge is situated on the banks of the Okavango River, the green vegetation almost an oasis after the arid regions you have travelled through. The following day you can go on an optional boat trip or explore the Mahango Area of Bwabwata National Park on a game drive (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 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 spend two nights in a bungalow with a veranda overlooking the river at Riverdance Lodge.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 12 | Caprivi Strip – Tsodilo Hills – Okavango Panhandle

Distance approx. 280 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

After an early breakfast, you will cross over into Botswana and drive via Shakawe along the ‘Panhandle’ of the Okavango Delta. Stop along the way to visit the impressive Tsodilo Hills (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Join a local guide on a hike and learn more about the rock paintings and the area as you explore this magnificent mountain range. Afterwards you will continue to the Guma Lagoon Camp in the north-westerly area of the Okavango Delta. Enjoy the evening by the water and with a little luck, you can see hippos, crocodiles and other wildlife.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 13 | Okavango Panhandle – Maun

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

Today your journey takes you via a bumpy tarred road to Maun. The rapidly growing frontier town has shopping centres and hotels and is the base of many air charter companies operating into the Okavango Delta. It has not lost all of its old town charm though, as many local tribesmen still graze their cattle in the area. You will overnight at the Thamalakane River Lodge on the banks of the Thamalakane River about 20 km from Maun. You can either relax at the lodge’s pool or drive to explore the town of Maun. Have dinner at the lodge’s restaurant or in Maun (own account). At the lodge, you will also receive detailed information on the timing of your upcoming fly-in safari.
Breakfast

Day 14 – 15 | Maun – Moremi Area

You drive to the Maun Airport in the morning where you will also park your car. Alternatively, you can book a taxi transfer to take you to the airport. Here, you will embark on your exclusive fly-in safari to the wildlife-rich Moremi Area. In a light aircraft you fly to the Rra Dinare Camp, your home for the next two nights. On board your plane, enjoy the spectacular views across the largest inland delta in Africa, which is home to large numbers of wildlife. The Rra Dinare Camp is located in a private concession area overlooking the Gomoti River and bordering the Moremi Game Reserve. Look forward to exciting wildlife sightings alongside professional and knowledgeable guides. Activities at camp include game drives in an open safari vehicle, bush walks and night drives. Depending on the season and water levels, mokoro excursions are offered as well. Look out for many different species of wildlife, among them elephants, buffaloes, zebras, lions, leopards, cheetahs, African wild dogs, giraffes, antelopes, hippos, hyenas and a number of nocturnal animals. In-between your safari activities you will be spoilt with delicious foods and have time to relax. You overnight in a comfortably equipped and fixed tent-chalet of the Rra Dinare Camp, built on stilts.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner | local beverages and scheduled activities

Day 16 – 17 | Moremi Area – Maun – Gweta

Distance on day 16: approx. 220 km; driving time approx. 2-3 hours

Many memories made, you now fly back to Maun in a light aircraft. Enjoy once more the spectacular views from bird’s-eye view. Back at the airport, you get in your rental car and drive east along a tarred road to the rustic Planet Baobab, where you will spend the next two nights. From here, you can explore the Makgadikgadi Pans (only accessible in a 4×4 vehicle or on a guided tour). Book a guided tour in a 4×4 vehicle and discover the seemingly endless Ntwetwe Pan with wildlife living in its grassland, secret ‘islands’ and ancient baobab trees. We recommend booking this tour in advance. You spend two nights at Planet Baobab.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 18 – 19 | Gweta – Kasane – Chobe National Park

Distance on day 18: approx. 410 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

Leave your accommodation early so you don’t miss your first game drive in Chobe National Park in the afternoon. Drive via Nata to Kasane and drop off your vehicle at the car rental depot. A transfer driver will take you to the Chobe Bakwena Lodge. The lodge is your starting point to explore Chobe National Park. Your package includes two scheduled game activities daily. With more than 40,000 elephants, the Chobe National Park is probably the park with the highest density of elephants in Africa. During the Chobe River cruises and game drives in Chobe National Park you will have the opportunity to spot buffaloes, crocodiles, hippos, elephants and many more. You spend two nights at Chobe Bakwena Lodge.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner | local beverages and two scheduled activities daily

Day 20 | Kasane – Victoria Falls

Transfer Kasane – Victoria Falls; driving time approx. 2 hours

After a last exciting game drive in the morning, you will be picked up at your accommodation and taken to Victoria Falls where you spend the night at the Cresta Sprayview Hotel. Use the afternoon to visit the impressive Victoria Falls and take a walk along the ‘Mosi oa Tunya’, the smoke that thunders. If you are looking for souvenirs to take home, you can visit the Elephant Market in town. Go to one of the restaurants in town for dinner. You overnight at the Cresta Sprayview Hotel.
Breakfast

Please note: If you would like to do activities, such as sunset boat cruises lasting several hours, white water rafting or bungee jumping, you’ll need to stay one extra night at the Victoria Falls.

Day 21 | Victoria Falls

After breakfast, your Namibia and Botswana adventure comes to an end.  You will be transferred to the Victoria Falls International Airport for your flight home, where you will arrive with a bag full of souvenirs and many wonderful memories!
Breakfast

Includes

  • Self-drive tour according to the itinerary
  • 20 nights’ accommodation in lodges, rest camps and guesthouses (depending on availability, accommodation of a similar standard will be booked)
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • All transfers according to the itinerary
  • Return flight Maun – Moremi Area
  • Scheduled activities, national park fees, all soft drinks and local alcoholic drinks at Rra Dinare Camp and Chobe Bakwena Lodge

Important: On all light aircraft flights in Botswana, the luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted to 20 kg per person.

Excludes

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

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

The Best of Namibia and Botswana map