21-56700Highlights of Namibia and Botswana

21-Day Self-Drive Tour, Accommodated

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From: Windhoek

To: Windhoek

Number of Participants: Individual

Tour Price: from 56,700 ZAR pp sharing

Single Supplement: from 18,200 ZAR

This 21 day self drive tour is the most affordable option for travellers wanting to explore the highlights of Namibia and Botswana while driving themselves. The tour starts and ends in Windhoek which is why no “open-jaw” flight ticket is required nor do you have to pay the expensive one-way fee for the rental car. From Windhoek you travel via Sossusvlei and Swakopmund to the Etosha National Park. You will continue through the Caprivi Strip and cross the border to Botswana where you will see large herds of elephants on the banks of the Chobe River. After a short trip to the Victoria Falls you drive via Nata and past the Makgadigadi Salt Pans to Maun. On your two day fly-in safari into the heart of the Okavango Delta, you will be able to enjoy some breath-taking views of the largest inland delta in Africa.

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Day 1-5; Namibia

  • Windhoek: National Gallery, National Museum, Botanical Garden of Windhoek
  • Sossusvlei: Dune 45, Sesriem Canyon
  • Swakopmund: Quad biking, sandboarding, skydiving (all optional) daytrip to the seal colony at Cape Cross


Day 6-10; Namibia

  • Etosha National Park: Game drives, Etosha salt pan
  • Caprivi Strip: Boat cruise on the Okavango River, Mahango Game Reserve


Day 11; Botswana

  • Chobe National Park: Game drives, river cruise


Day 12-13; Zimbabwe

  • Victoria Falls: Boat trip, white water rafting, bungee jumping, canoeing, elephant ride, scenic flight


Day 14-20; Botswana

  • Chobe National Park: Game drives, river cruise
  • Nata: Salt pans, guided tour to the salt pans, Nata Bird Sanctuary (both optional)
  • Okavango Delta: Light aircraft flight into the Delta, mokoro excursions, nature walk, game drives
  • Ghanzi: Bushman craft shop


We have visited all the below mentioned lodges, guesthouses and camps and can therefore recommend them first hand. In order not to only “tick off” all the points of interest but to actually learn more about the visited places, the country and its people, we do not book our clients into big and anonymous lodges, hotels and resort. Instead of the huge impersonal tourism establishments we offer you owner-managed guesthouses and private lodges where you have a better opportunity of getting to know more about your destination, while interacting with the staff and owners.

Day 1 Windhoek, Namibia

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

Upon arrival at Windhoek International Airport, you pick up your rental car and then make your way to your prearranged accommodation, Casa Piccolo. The rest of the day is at leisure where you can either relax or visit the places of interest like the National Gallery that features the work of local artist, the National Museum where you will find all the interesting information and details on Namibia’s history or the Botanical Garden (taxi needed). You will overnight at the Casa Piccolo.


Day 2 Windhoek, Namibia - Sossusvlei - Sesriem, Namibia

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

After breakfast you leave Namibia’s capital behind and drive in a southerly direction, via Rehoboth and the Remshoogte Pass. You drive to Sesriem, the gateway to the massive dunes of Sossuslvei and then make your way into the dunes where you will witness 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 or should you wish to have breakfast and dinner, you can do so at the Sossusvlei Lodge (on request the accommodation can also be booked on a half-board basis).


Day 3 Sossusvlei, Namibia

Distance approx. 200 km; driving time approx. 2-3h

At sunrise the gates of the national park open and you make your way into Sossusvlei. You will park your vehicle and walk into the dunes. Alternatively you can also make use of a 4x4 transfer. You can hike one of the dunes; some reach a height of almost 300 metres. From the top you will have an impressive view of the entire landscape. Thereafter you continue to the Sesriem Canyon where you can also hike in the dry season. If you want to learn more about the desert, you can book a guided desert walk at Sossusvlei Lodge. You will overnight at the Desert Camp.
No meals


Day 4-5 Sossusvlei, Namibia - Swakopmund, Namibia

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

Today’s journey takes you to Swakopmund, the German city of Namibia. The city is still home to many descendants of the late colonists and state officials of the German colonial era. German cake, German architecture (the old state station and the old court house) as well as the often spoken German language are a reminder of the olden days. Swakopmund is also a great starting point for all the adventure activities that are on offer in the region as well as for a daytrip to the seal colony at Cape Cross. You will spend two nights at the Cornerstone Guesthouse. There are quite a few different restaurants for you to try out during your stay in Swakopmund.
Breakfast (day 5)


Day 6 Swakopmund, Namibia - Vreugde Guestfarm, Namibia

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

You continue your trip and drive via Outjo, where you can stop at a German bakery to buy some goodies en-route to the Vreugde Guest Farm. On this typical Namibian farm, you can get to know the typical daily life and enjoy some “south-western style cooking”. Vreugde is the ideal stopover before you head to the Etosha National Park. You will overnight at the Vreugde Guestfarm.
Breakfast, Dinner


Day 7 Vreugde Guestfarm, Namibia - Etosha National Park, Namibia

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

Today you will enter the famous Etosha National Park at the Anderson Gate. The national park was founded in 1907 and is one of the most attractive national parks in Southern Africa. The Okaukuejo Rest Camp is the perfect starting point for game drives in the western and central part of the national park. In the coming days, you will spend most of your time game viewing around the waterholes where elephants, rhinos, giraffes and different species of antelope come to drink. With a bit of luck you might even be able to spot lions and leopards. In order for you to experience the nocturnal wildlife you can opt to join a night game drive (optional and not included in the price). You will overnight at the Okaukuejo Rest Camp.

The rest camps in the Etosha National Park are owned by the government and although the accommodations underwent major renovations in 2007 to celebrate the 100th Birthday of the national park, they are still maintained and looked after by state employees which are sometimes not as enthusiastic about their work as we wish they were. The accommodations are mostly clean but by no means luxurious. There are however more luxurious lodges outside of the park where you can spend the night and then do a day trip into the national park. Should you be interested in this option, please let us know and we will gladly amend our offer accordingly.


Day 8 Etosha National Park, Namibia - Mushara Bush Camp, Namibia

Driving time depends on choice of route

After sunrise and a hearty breakfast you get ready for some more game-viewing. On your journey along the saltpans that extend themselves for kilometres into the east, you will be able to spot herds of impalas, gnus, oryx and zebras that traverse the Etosha National Park. In the evening you exit the park at the Van Lindequist Gate and make your way to the Mushara Bush Camp where you will overnight.
Breakfast, Dinner


Day 9-10 Mushara Bush Camp, Namibia - Caprivi Strip, Namibia

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

Today’s journey takes you via Tsumeb and Rundu into the Caprivi Strip, which was “attached” to “German South-West Africa” in 1890 in order to give Germany access to the Zambezi River and “German East Africa”. For many years the Caprivi Strip was not accessible to visitors as the border disputes between Namibia, Angola and Botswana made it unsafe for travellers. However this long lasting inviolacy is what makes this region of Namibia so attractive for visitors. The Nunda Safari Lodge is situated on the banks of the Kavango River and after spending your time in mostly very dry parts of Namibia you will definitely be looking forward to the green and lush landscape that awaits you here. The following day you can go on a boat trip on the Okavango River or explore the Mahango Game Reserve (only possible with 4x4 vehicle or on a guided tour). You can also visit the local villages and people to learn more about the culture and way of life. You will overnight in luxury tents at the Nunda Safari Lodge.
Breakfast, Dinner


Day 11 Caprivi Strip, Namibia - Chobe National Park, Botswana

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

Once you have crossed the border into Botswana, you will check in at Chobe Bakwena Lodge. The Chobe Bakwena Lodge is situated on the banks of the Chobe River near the village of Kazangula and comprises of 10 rondavel style chalets under the surrounding Acacia trees. It is the ideal starting point for your activities in the Chobe National Park. 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 are most likely to see crocodiles, hippos, elephants, as well as other animals that come to the river to drink. On the game drive you will search for the large herds of elephants as well as all the other wildlife in the park. You will spend the night at Chobe Bakwena Lodge.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and 2 scheduled safari activities


Day 12-13 Kasane, Botswana - Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Transfer Chobe Bakwena Lodge – Ilala Lodge approx. 2h

After your morning game drive in the Chobe National Park you will be picked up at the Chobe Bakwena Lodge and transferred to Victoria Falls, while your rental car remains at the Chobe Bakwena Lodge. You will spend two nights at the Ilala Lodge close to the Victoria Falls. You will visit the Victoria Falls, also known as “Mosi oa Tunya”, which literally translated means the smoke that thunders. There are a number of activities available here and you are spoilt for choice. You can stroll along the Falls, do a sunset boat cruise on the Zambezi or fly over the Falls in a microlight plane. The more adventurous among you can go white water rafting or bungee jumping from the highest bridge in Africa.


Day 14 Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe - Kasane, Botswana

After breakfast you will be picked up at the Ilala Lodge and transferred back to the Chobe Bakwena Lodge in Botswana. In the afternoon you will join another boat cruise and watch the animals come to the river to drink. You will spend the night at Chobe Bakwena Lodge.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and 1 scheduled activity


Day 15 Kasane, Botswana - Nata, Botswana

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

Before you leave Chobe Bakwena, you will once again join a scheduled game drive into the national park and enjoy a hearty brunch. Afterwards you will drive to Nata. Your destination for today is Nata Lodge, the starting point for excursions to the Nata Bird Sanctuary, Sua and Ntwtwe Pans (all are only accessible with a 4x4 vehicle or on a guided tour). The pans consist of endless vast saltpans, wildlife rich grassland, mysterious “islands”, ancient baobabs and numerous well worth seeing sanctuaries. On a guided tour you can drive into the pans (the tours depart around lunchtime) and with some luck you will be able to see pelicans and flamingos. You will overnight at the Nata Lodge.
Breakfast, Dinner and 1 scheduled activity


Tag 16 Nata, Botswana - Maun, Botswana

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

After breakfast you make your way via Gweta to Maun and in the afternoon you can either relax at the lodge or stroll around the centre and the few shops that Maun has to offer. You will overnight at the Thamalakane River Lodge, situated directly on the banks of the Thamalakane River.


Day 17-18 Maun, Botswana - Okavango Delta, Botswana

You drive to the airport where you park your car and board a light-aircraft for your flight transfer to the Okavango Delta. During the flight you can enjoy the breath-taking view over the largest inland delta in Africa, which is home to many different species of wildlife like antelopes, elephants, wild dogs, lions and many more. Furthermore the delta is a paradise for bird watchers. During your time in the delta you go on mekoro excursions or go explore the wilderness on foot. You will also go on game and night drives. Both nights will be spent at the Pom Pom Camp (all activities in the Okavango Delta are included in the price).
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and 2 scheduled activities daily


Day 19 Okavango Delta, Botswana - Maun, Botswana

With lots of new memories you board the light-aircraft for your transfer back to Maun. During your return flight you can once again enjoy the wonderful view over the delta. You will spend another night at the Thamalakane River Lodge.


Day 20 Maun, Botswana - Kalahari Bush Breaks, Namibia

Distance approx. 550 km; driving time approx. 5-6h

After breakfast you drive on a well-maintained tar road via Sehitwa and Ghanzi to the Kalahari Bush Breaks in Namibia. On the way there you can stop in Ghanzi and visit the Bushman Craft Shop. The Kalahari Bush Breaks is situated next to border on the Namibian side.
Breakfast, Dinner


Day 21 Kalahari Bush Breaks, Namibia - Windhoek airport, Namibia

Distance approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 2-3h

Today’s journey takes you back to Windhoek where you return your rental car at the airport. You will board the plane for your flight back to your country where you will arrive with a lot of new memories and experiences.


Price includes:
  • Self drive tour according to the itinerary
  • 20 nights accommodation in guesthouses, chalets, bungalows and lodges
    as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • 1 x game drive and 1 x river cruise in the Chobe National Park
    incl. national park fees
  • Return transfer Kasane - Victoria Falls
  • Return flight Maun - Okavango Delta
  • All safari activities, local beverages and national park fees at Chobe Bakwena Lodge and Pom Pom Camp
  • Laundry service at Chobe Bakwena Lodge


Price excludes:
  • Flights (international & 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
  • How safe is a self drive tour in Namibia& Botswana?

    - In general Namibia and Botswana are nota 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 countrysideare 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. 

  • What is the infrastructure like (road conditions, shops, petrol stations)?

    - 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.
    - Petrol stations can be found alongside all major routes and highways as well as in cities/villages.
    - In cities and villages there are more than enough different and well-stocked shops available. Many petrol stations also have a little convenience shop.

  • On which side of the road will I be driving?

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

  • Do I need an international driver’s licence?

    - According to the law, all you need is a valid driver’s licence which has been issued in English and has a photo thereon. If your national driver’s licence has not been issued in English or does not have a photo, you need an international driver’s licence.
    - As per the terms and conditions of the rental car companies, only a valid national driver’s licence and a credit cardis required.

  • Can I enter the national parks with the rental car?

    - In most of Namibia’s national parks, the roads are tarred or good gravel and all are accessible to rental cars. Please however take note that you have to stick to the rules of the national parks at all time. These include: remaining in your vehicle unless you are in a designated area, sticking to the speed limit of 60 km/h on tar roadsand not littering.
    - In the Etosha National Park, guided game drives in open safari vehicles are available and all activities are accompanied by a professional ranger.
    - A 4x4 vehicle is required to enter the national parks in Botswana and in the Caprivi. If you are not travelling with a 4x4, you can book guided game drives at the accommodation you are staying at.

  • How will I be able to find my way around?

    - Along with your travel documents you will receive a voucher that includes 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 mill. with you.

  • What meals are included and what food can be expected on tour?

    - Meals are included as indicated in the itinerary.
    - Breakfast usually consists of a full English breakfast and cereals, toast,cheese, jam, fruits, juices, tea, coffee.
    - Since most of the 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 varietyof restaurants to choose from dinner has been excluded. On days when it’s recommendable to dine at your accommodation dinner has been included. In these casesdinner usually consists of a set menu with local meat, vegetables and rice or potatoes dishes.

  • What about the money matter?

    - You can either exchange your own currency for Namibian Dollar/ Botswana Pula at one of the exchange bureausat the airport or in town or you can go to an ATM and draw Namibian Dollar (in Namibia)/Botswana Pula (in Botswana) at the current rate of exchange. Please note that you need a credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club) andyour pin code to draw money. At some ATMs you can even draw money with a Maestro Card.
    - Credit cards are also widely accepted in bigger shops in Namibia and bigger towns in Botswana but as there are still some shops and petrol stations that do not accept credit cards, make sure you always have some cash on hand.

  • Do I need vaccinations for this self drive tour?

    - As northern Namibia, Botswana and Victoria Falls are situated within a malaria area, we would recommend some precautions. Please speak to your doctor or travel clinic about the different prophylaxis and their effects and side effects.
    - Although none of the countries visited on tour require proof of immunization against Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio and Hepatitis A & B, we nevertheless recommend those vaccinations.