The option of a self-drive holiday in Botswana is not for the faint-hearted travellers. The driving could be challenging as you traverse the National Parks, but you will enjoy the freedom of discovering the country at your own pace and time. The excitement never ends as each route is completely different – if you are the Indiana Jones type of traveller and are confident about driving a 4×4 in thick sand, changing tyres and have a basic knowledge of mechanics, then this is your opportunity to live the dream!
The most popular option is to hire a 4 x4 vehicle either in Botswana, Namibia or South Africa and drive across these countries on a self- catering camping basis or by staying at lodges (different meals options are available as well as activities) along the way.
For those who still want to experience the freedom and excitement of a road trip but do not feel that confident while driving 4 x 4, a driver/guide can be hired if available. This service will increase the cost of your safari but you will also benefit from all the knowledge and expertise local guides have,
With all self-drive holidays options it is highly recommended that guests plan the route well in advance and make pre-bookings – especially when campsites inside the National Park are part of the itinerary. Space is limited and the demand is high! Due to the regulation of the parks, visitors can enjoy a day trip but can’t overnight without a booking.
Designing this exciting holiday for you will cover booking your campsites and 4×4 vehicles, organizing required permits to access the Parks and recommending the best routing according to the time of the year
“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before” – Dalai Lama
Botswana has become one of the preferred destinations for self-drive enthusiasts, eager to explore the untouched wilderness, prime camping spots and incredible game viewing that the country has to offer. Some travellers choose the camping experience whilst driving themselves; in this case, a fully equipped 4×4 vehicle is necessary. Some others, who still want to feel the excitement but look for more comfort prefer to stay at lodges and just enjoy the drive between camps. If this is your choice a 4×4 is still required but no camping equipment is necessary.
For this great adventure, please bear in mind the below
- Parks opening and closing times:
April to September: 06:00 to 18:30hrs
October to March: 05:30 to 19:00hrs
- Driving outside operating hours is strictly forbidden, as well, as driving off road or walking around. Do not leave your vehicle under any circumstance!
- Speed limit inside the parks is 40 kms/hour – do not underestimate the time required to cross from A to B! Road conditions and ability to drive your 4×4 will play an important role
- The vehicle must be a 4 wheel drive with high clearance. It must carry long –range fuel tanks, a high-lift jack and spare tyres
- The original vouchers, showing park entrance fees (for visitors and vehicle) and campsites bookings are compulsory to enter the National Parks. You will be asked at each gate to present these documents. Pre-booking campsites is a MUST!
- Ensure the campfires are well extinguished after use. Remember not to leave food inside tents overnight or while you are out on safari. Always dispose of litter in the campsite waste bins or take the litter with you.
Where to go
This reserve lies on the Eastern tongue of the Okavango Delta and generally offers great game viewing all year round.
Khwai is located on the border of Moremi. Its location outside the park does not hinder the game viewing and allows for more flexibility for activities – there are no restrictions in place regarding driving at night or off road.
An incredibly popular campsite during dry season due to its position close to the channel. Savuti is widely known for its famous predator sightings and high concentration of wildlife in the area.
A beautiful area home to abundant elephant populations. It can offer extremely challenging road conditions during the rainy season and it slightly off the beaten track, so recommended for confident 4×4 drivers
This area is a beautiful inclusion and highly recommended. The riverfront boasts beautiful views and great game sightings.
Best viewed just after the rainy season in April/May –. Rough tracks and long distances but it offers a real camping experience.
For a Salt Pans experience, visit during dry season when activities are fully operating. For travel between May – October, also witness the incredible zebra/wildebeest migration.
- The 4×4 vehicle must be equipped with spare tyres, long range fuel tank, camping equipment if required and breakdown items (tow-ropes, a shovel, hi-lift jack)
- Map of Botswana or Satellite Navigation system with “Tracks For Africa” loaded
- A satellite phone is highly recommended as there is no cell signal in the parks! Some vehicle hire companies include the satellite phone in their rates (not the usage). If it is not included in the rate, it can be added at an additional cost
- Whether we book your 4×4 or you arrange it yourself, please make sure your food, drinks and petrol supplies will be enough for your time in the reserves. There is no supermarket in the bush!
- The sooner you book, the better! It is no exaggeration to say that National Park campsites get booked up early, often as much as 1 year in advance for travel during peak season.
- Most of the DWNP campsites are facilitated with ablution blocks and running water for cooking/cleaning, but this is never a guarantee
- Ensure the campfires are well extinguished after use. Remember not to leave food inside tents overnight or while you are out on safari. Always dispose of litter in the campsite waste bins or take the litter with you
- Campsites have a limited carrying capacity for vehicles and visitors. If the number is exceeded you might have to book more than one campsite