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19-day Namibia & Botswana Roundabout Safari (Self-drive)

Showcasing diverse landscapes and incredible game viewing, this 19-day self-drive tour combines the best of Namibia with the best of Botswana as well as a visit to Victoria Falls.

Price from US$ 3,305 pps
Duration 19 days
Tour Type Self-drive
Highlights Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Chobe National Park, Makgadikgadi Pans, Okavango Delta, Caprivi, Damaraland, Etosha National Park, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund
Includes

Accommodation; Meals; Vehicle hire; Welcome service; Seat on shared charter flights as indicated; Airport and airstrip transfers; 24-hour support; Comprehensive tour file with detailed itinerary, map, route descriptions, booking vouchers, contact numbers and useful information

Excludes

International flights; Personal travel insurance; Entry visas; Fuel; Park entry fees; Staff gratuities

It hardly seems possible to include such a variety of sights and activities in just 19 days. This self-drive tour includes the best of Namibia, the best of Botswana and Victoria Falls in a comfortable, affordable and flexible package.

Between the ancient desert, the wildlife of Damaraland and Etosha, the bounteous wetlands of the Caprivi, Chobe and the Okavango Delta and of course the wonder of Victoria Falls, it will be hard to pick a favourite.

The tour starts and ends in Windhoek but you can start and end it in Chobe National Park or Victoria Falls. Talk to our expert travel consultants to get the best options and prices for this wonderful itinerary.

Itinerary Details

Welcome to Namibia and the capital city of Windhoek. On arrival you will be met and transferred to the car hire company offices in town to complete all rental procedures. Then meet with our representative to hand over your travel package and documents. Now the fun begins. Your adventure awaits. Check in at your guesthouse and spend the day relaxing or hop into your rental and take a drive into town, a chance to do some shopping, explore and grab a bit to eat at a local joint.

Standard Accommodation
Windhoek slideshow image 5d5e641e4b0f8

wake up for breakfast and then you're off to the sea of sand in the south, Sossusvlei. Your drive will take roughly six hours but it's a scenic one with lots to see along the way.

On the way: Your route will take you south from Windhoek to Rehoboth and then via the Remhoogte or Spreetshoogte Pass. The view from the top of the escarpment is stunning. A good place for a picnic and to get some photos. On to Solitaire, you can refuel here and then it's the last stretch to the area of Sossusvlei near Sesriem. An afternoon nature drive or sundowner drive would be a great way to end the day.

When you're there: Staying outside the park gates, you'll have an early start to grab a cup of coffee before the day's adventure begins. Enter the Sesriem Gate at sunrise and make your way to Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei first. The light is best early morning. You can stop at Dune 45 and any other spots for some pictures and a chance to climb the dunes on your way back. Take a breakfast pack along. Find a shady spot and enjoy the scenery. All the lodges in these parts offer additional activities such as walking trails, nature drives and special sundowners. Be sure to join in on a lodge activity if time allows.

Standard Accommodation

Today you will make your way to the Skeleton Coast and the quaint town of Swakopmund. This is also the activity centre of Namibia, there's loads to do and plenty to look forward to, including some cooler weather.

On the way: Rise early to include a hot air balloon safari over the dunes in the desert before departing or enjoy breakfast at leisure and then depart a little later. Your drive today will take roughly six hours on gravel roads. It's a scenic drive from rolling dunes to open plains and grass covered hills before you reach the coast. Dicsover the wonder of the the Gaub and Kuiseb Pass, cross the Tropic of Capricorn and detour to view Moonlandscape and the eon old Welwitschias. Look out for the Hartmann's mountain zebra, springbok and ostrich along the way.

When you're there: From Swakopmund and Walvis Bay there are plenty of activities on offer. Quad bike or sandboard in the dunes, take a night walk to watch the desert come to life after dark, explore the Atlantic on a dolphin boat cruise or from a kayak at Pelican Point. Sandwich Harbour is the ideal spot to see where the dunes meet the see. A scenic flight over the Skeleton Coast is a must!

Standard Accommodation

Your next destination is Damaraland and it's another change of scenery from the coast to a dry and harsh rocky environment. The drive can take all day, depending on the route. The journey is worth it.

On the way: Today you can drive all the way along the Skeleton Coast stopping at Cape Cross along the way and heading inland at the Springbok Water Gate. A chance to see some old shipwrecks. Alternatively you can head north to visit Cape Cross and then backtrack to Henties Bay and head inland via the mining town of Uis on to the Twyfelfontein area. In the distance a glimpse of the biggest mountain in Namibia, the Brandberg.

When you're there: This is where you will be able to see the desert-adapted elephants and other wildlife. Best to go with a lodge guide as they know the areas and the dry ephemeral riverbeds. Visit the sights of Twyfelfontein: the Twyfelfontein rock engravings, Burnt Mountain and Organ Pipes. For a look into the culture of the local Damara people, visit the Living Damara museum.

With only one night in the area, you'll need to be selective on what activities you do.

Standard Accommodation

Today you head east and then north to the incredible wildlife area of Etosha National Park. Your drive will take you about four hours with the first section on good gravel roads and the remainder of the way from Khorixas on tar.

On the way: Stop at the Petrified Forest near Khorixas and then continue on to Outjo. Along the way you could also take a short detour to see Vingerklip and the Ugab Terrace. Last stop Outjo, is a good place to refuel and the bakery here is one of the best. Then it's on to the southern entrance gate of Etosha.

When you're there: Self-drive or guided game drives with the lodge in open safari vehicles. Pay the entrance fee at the gate and then explore the southern side of the park and some of the amazing waterholes in the area: Nebrownii, Gemboksvlakte, Homob and of course the popular Okaukuejo waterhole. Go view the pan. It's large, white and spans most of the park. Animals come and go. There are 114 species of mammal and 340 species of birds here. This is a wildlife extravaganza.

Standard Accommodation

A full day's drive through the park from the southern side to the eastern side. Stop at waterholes along the way or head directly to your lodge to join a guided game drive for the afternoon.

When you're there: Game viewing, game viewing and more excellent game viewing is the order of the day at Etosha.

Go on guided sunrise and sunset game drives; spend a whole day at any one of the 30-plus waterholes in Etosha watching an incredible variety of animals; birding is excellent and if you stay inside the park, you get the best experience of all at the floodlit waterholes when the wildlife action really comes to life. There are also many private reserves bordering on the park with wildlife, stunning waterholes and hides too. A feature of Etosha is the variety of species you can see at one time – thanks to the waterholes being the only the source of water for miles around.

Standard Accommodation
Etosha National Park - East slideshow image 5ced465a645ef

A long drive to the Caprivi requires an early start. The roads are all paved. There are some interesting stops along the way and loads of places to pull off for a picnic and to stretch your legs.

On the way: Visit the Otjikoto and Guinas lakes; Hoba Meteorite is the largest in the world. Be on the lookout for livestock and children in the streets as you pass through local towns. Take it easy and enjoy the drive.

When you're there:The Caprivi is a mini-Okavango Delta in Namibia without the hefty price tags and far more accessible. Enjoy game viewing in the excellent Mahango Game Park and the Buffalo Game Park; river cruises and water safaris; bush walks; and excellent birding and fishing. Visit Popa Falls. Go on a cultural tour to meet the Kavango people.

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Drive through Katima to Ngoma Bridge where you enter Botswana and the Chobe National Park. Your drive takes you through the Bwabwata National Park, it's a slow drive but it's also a game drive so enjoy the bush and be on the look out for sightings.

On the way: Game viewing on your way to the Ngoma border post. Head through immigration. Welcome to Botswana. Make your way to your lodge near Kasane.

When you're there: If you want to see large herds of elephant, this is the place. The Chobe National Park has the largest population of elephants in the world. From the river or on a game drive in the Chobe National Park, you're bound to see elephant, buffalo and many other plains game as well as predators such as lions and leopards. Birding is excellent so grab your binos. Victoria Falls is about an hours drive (not taking into account the border crossings), so why not go explore the wonder of the falls for a day.

Our recommended schedule for this leg is:
Day 12: Afternoon boat cruise on the Chobe River - excellent game viewing, birdwatching and scenery
Day 13: Early morning and late afternoon game drives in Chobe National Park - can be guided (optional extra) or self-drive. We recommend doing these drives with the lodge so you can enter the park earlier and exit later.
Day 14: Full day excursion to Victoria Falls - one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World

Standard Accommodation

After breakfast, it's an early start as you make your way south via Padamatenga to Nata and then west towards Gweta. It's all tarred roads so an easy drive but a longer day in the car.

Situated close to the village of Gweta, (also charmingly known as "The Place of the Bullfrogs"), on the Francistown-Maun road and sheltered by a grove of gigantic baobabs, Planet Baobab offers a welcoming base from which to explore the Makgadikgadi Pans system.

Planet Baobab combines style with comfort whilst remaining true to its traditional African inspiration. Accommodation styles vary, with Bushman grass huts, palatial Kalanga mud huts (with en-suite bathrooms) traditionally painted with amazing designs and a shady campsite where you can pitch your own tents.

There's loads to do here, but to explore the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and the habituated meerkats you'd need to make this a two night stop. Why not? Then you could sleep out on the pan under the stars. Bliss

Standard Accommodation

Breakfast and then continue to drive west to Maun. Leave your vehicle and then fly by light aircraft over the Okavango Delta to your lodge for the next two nights.

When you're there: Water safaris, birdwatching, guided mokoro rides (traditional poled dugout canoes), walking safaris, game viewing: the quintessential delta experience. Wildlife is prolific and the scenery is wonderful. With a two-night stay you have the option to do a full day mokoro safari through the channels of the delta or a guided game drive.

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You will take the short flight back to Maun airport where you will pick up your car before continuing west through the villages of the Kalahari Plains to your accommodation for the night. Central Kalahari Game Reserve, offers rhino tracking safaris, Bushman experiences, game drives and scenic sunset drives.

This is really just a stop over en route back to Windhoek but you might as well do an activity, if time allows, as this is your last chance before you are back in the capital tomorrow.

Recommended Accommodation in Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Standard:
Luxury:

Quite a long drive but along relatively empty tarred roads takes you back to Windhoek or directly to the Windhoek International Airport. Drop off your hired car and connect with your flight home or onward plans after what has surely been the African self-drive safari holiday of a lifetime.

Windhoek slideshow image 5d5e641e4b0f8

Prices

Guests Accommodation Season (2021) Amount
2 Camping Low Season US$ 4,076 pps
2 Camping High Season US$ 4,674 pps
2 Standard Low Season US$ 6,391 pps
2 Standard High Season US$ 6,998 pps
4 Camping Low Season US$ 3,305 pps
4 Camping High Season US$ 3,787 pps
4 Standard Low Season US$ 5,641 pps
4 Standard High Season US$ 6,173 pps
  • As a rough guide Low Season throughout the region is from 1 January to 30 June and High Season is from 1 July to 31 December.
  • We give indicative Low and High Season rates on our website and exact prices in your quote when your travel dates are set.
  • These prices are based on two adults sharing accommodation unless otherwise stated.
  • Please treat all pricing as a guide only. Read more about our pricing.
  • Contact us for a personalised quote now.

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