THE BEST OF NAMIBIA AND BOTSWANA
20 Night / 21 Day Self-Drive Safari, Accommodated
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 where you will stay at a traditional water-based camp. During a 2day fly-in safari to the Khwai & Moremi area you will enjoy game drives in one of Botswana’s best game reserves. Watch numerous elephant herds coming to drink at the Chobe River before ending the tour with a visit to the impressive Victoria Falls.
Day 1-5 | Namibia
- Windhoek: National Gallery, Botanic Garden of Windhoek
- Sossusvlei: Deadvlei, Sesriem Canyon
- Swakopmund: German architecture, adventure activities, seafood
Day 6-11 | Namibia
- Etosha National Park: Game drives, Etosha salt pan
- Caprivi Strip: Boat cruise on the Okavango River, Mahango Game Reserve
Day 12-18 | Botswana
- Panhandle & Okavango Delta: Boat cruises, mokoro excursions, nature walk
- Khwai River & Moremi Game Reserve: Light aircraft flights, game drives, night drives, bush walks
- Chobe National Park: Game drives, river cruises
Day 19-20 | Zimbabwe
- Victoria Falls: Boat trip, white water rafting, bungee jumping, canoeing, elephant ride, scenic flight (all optional)
Self-Drive Safari: The Best of Namibia and Botswana
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 72,400 NAD
Single Supplement: from 25,900 NAD
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 Montebello Guesthouse. 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 Montebello Guesthouse for the night.
Day 2 | Windhoek, Namibia – Sesriem, Namibia
Distance approx. 350 km; driving time approx. 5-6h
You leave Namibia’s capital and drive in a south-westerly direction, via Rehoboth and the Remhoogte Pass. This pass will take you from Namibia’s central plateau down to the Namib Desert. Today’s destination is Sesriem, the closest entrance to the massive dunes of Sossusvlei. You check in at Desert Camp and if there is time, you can take a drive into the Namib-Naukluft National Park to see the astonishing play of light and shadow during sunset. You will overnight at the Desert Camp where you have the choice of either self-catering (order a braai pack with salads and meats to grill on an open fire) or eat at the Sossusvlei Lodge. Order your breakfast for tomorrow to be packed, so you can picnic at the dunes.
Day 3 | Sossusvlei, Namibia
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 salt and 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 breath-taking. Other options for the day include visiting Sesriem Canyon, where you can also hike in the dry season. You will spend another night in the tented chalets of Desert Camp.
Day 4-5 | Sossusvlei, Namibia – Swakopmund, Namibia
Distance approx. 350 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h
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 court house 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 5’, 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. Taste Namibian cuisine or try the fresh seafood.
Breakfast (day 5)
Day 6 | Swakopmund, Namibia – Ugab Valley, Namibia
Distance approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h
After a leisurely breakfast, you leave the Atlantic coast and drive via Hentiesbaai inland. Past Brandberg, the highest mountain range in Namibia at 2480 m, you will drive in the direction of Khorixas. Along the way you can stop at the famous “White Lady” rock engravings. Your goal for the day is the Ugab terraces, 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, Namibia – Etosha National Park, Namibia
Distance approx. 200 km; driving time approx. 2-3h (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 park ranger (optional). You will overnight at Okaukuejo Camp and have supper at the restaurant (own account). Spend some time at the floodlit waterhole in the camp to see animals drinking after dark.
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, Namibia
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 pans, 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 lodge for the next two nights, is just 10 km from this gate. You will stay in luxury tents and enjoy a delicious 3-course supper 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, Namibia – Caprivi Strip, Namibia
Distance approx. 650 km; driving time approx. 7-8h
Enjoy a delicious breakfast with freshly baked bread prepared by the lodge’s expert chef, 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 areas 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. River Dance 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 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 sunset over the river. You will overnight for two nights in a bungalow with a veranda overlooking the river at River Dance Lodge.
Breakfast | Dinner
Day 12-13 | Caprivi Strip, Namibia – Panhandle & Okavango Delta, Botswana
Distance approx. 200 km; driving time approx. 2-3h
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 Tsodillo 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 Etsha 6, where you can safely park your car and take a transfer to Mopiri Camp. Mopiri Camp is situated in the north western Okavango Delta, also an UNESCO World Heritage. During your stay you have the choice of taking part in boat cruises, mokoro tours, bush walks or fishing. For keen birders a hike to the “Wild Bird Trust” is recommended. You will be accompanied by an experienced camp guide on all activities, who will ensure an unforgettable experience in the Okavango Delta. You will spend two nights in the large en-suite tents at Mopiri Camp.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, local beverages and 2 scheduled activities daily
Day 14 | Panhandle, Botswana – Maun, Botswana
Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 4-5h
After your last morning activity and a delicious breakfast, you will be transferred back to Etsha 6, where you will pick up your rental car and continue to Maun. The rapidly growing frontier town has shopping centres, hotels and is even the base of many air charter companies operating into the Delta. It has not lost all of its old town charm, 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 supper (own account) at the lodge’s restaurant or in Maun.
Day 15-16 | Maun, Botswana – Khwai River & Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
In the morning you will drive to the airport Maun and drop off your rental car. From here, your exclusive fly-in safari to the Khwai / Moremi region begins. You will fly in a light aircraft to Sango Safari Camp, where you will spend the next two nights. Enjoy the breath-taking view over the largest inland delta of Africa, which is the habitat of many wild animals. The camp is located in a private concession area on the Khwai River, bordering the Moremi Game Reserve, and is considered to be the hub for excellent wildlife viewing in the area. Activities offered by the camp include game drives in open safari vehicles, bush walks and night excursions. Elephants, buffaloes, zebras, lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, giraffes, antelopes, hippos, hyenas and a number of other nocturnal animals are among the species you will find in the area. In between your safari activities, you will be spoiled with delicious meals and some time to rest and take in the nature surrounding you. Two nights are spent in the permanent tents at the Sango Safari Camp.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, local beverages and 2 scheduled activities daily
Day 17-18 | Khwai River, Botswana – Kasane, Botswana – Chobe National Park, Botswana
After breakfast you once again board the light-aircraft for your flight to Kasane, where you will be transferred to Chobe Bakwena Lodge, situated close to Kasane, just outside the Chobe National Park. Your package includes two daily scheduled game activities (game drive or river cruise) as well as the national park entrance fees. With more than 40,000 elephants, the Chobe National Park is probably the park with the highest density of elephants in Africa. During the river cruise you will have the opportunity to spot buffalos, crocodiles, hippos and elephants as well as other animals that come to the river to drink. You spend two nights at Chobe Bakwena Lodge.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, local beverages and 2 scheduled activities daily
Day 19-20 Kasane, Botswana – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Transfer Chobe Bakwena Lodge – Batonka Guest Lodge; driving time approx. 2h
The next morning you will join another guided game drive in the Chobe National Park. The high 4×4 vehicle is the perfect vantage point for good photos of animals such as lion, hippos, kudus, elephant, reedbuck, buffalo and water birds. The park has 350 bird species – look for the African fish eagle and Pel’s fishing owl. After your game drive you will be picked up at Chobe Bakwena Lodge and transferred to Victoria Falls. You will spend two nights at Batonka Guesthouse a short taxi ride away from the falls, the largest curtain of water in the world. You will visit the 1,708 m wide Victoria Falls, also known as ‘Mosi oa Tunya’ – ‘smoke that thunders’. You can visit the falls on a guided tour or on your own, go for a walk in the town, join a sunset cruise along the Zambezi River or book a ‘flight of angels’ to view the falls from the air. There are also more adventurous activities, such as bungee jumping, river rafting or the historic bridge walk to choose from. You will overnight at Batonka Guest Lodge.
Day 21 Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
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!
- 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 according to the itinerary
- All transfers according to the itinerary
- Flight Maun – Khwai – Kasane
- 2 scheduled game activities daily, national park fees, laundry service, all soft drinks and local alcoholic drinks at Mopiri Camp, Sango Safari 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.
- Additional flights (international and domestic)
- Rental car (please contact us for a quote)
- Meals not indicated in the itinerary
- Beverages (alcohol 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