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Straight tarmac road leading towards the Sossusvlei in Namibia
Private Self-Drive Trip

Highlights of Namibia and Botswana

21 Days from USD 4,480 per person

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Highlights of Namibia and Botswana – 21 Day Self-Drive Tour

Embark on a great journey and witness the highlights of Namibia and Botswana at a comfortable pace. Travel to the Namib and touch the oldest desert sand, witness the iconic Victoria Falls and hear the trumpeting of elephants in the Okavango Delta on this thrilling 21-day self-drive tour.

Lodge accommodation

Guest houses & lodges

Accommodation style

Tour price

From 4,480 USD

Starting price per person

Travellers

Private trip

Travellers

Departure dates calendar

Any day of your choice

Departure dates

Highlights

Day 1-11 Namibia | Days 12-13 Botswana | Day 14 Zimbabwe | Days 15-19 Botswana | Day 20-21 Namibia

Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, Sesriem Canyon

Namib Desert

Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, Sesriem Canyon

Optional activities such as quad biking, sand boarding, skydiving, scenic flight, day trip to the seal colony at Cape Cross

Swakopmund

Optional activities such as quad biking, sand boarding, skydiving, scenic flight, day trip to the seal colony at Cape Cross

Game drives, Etosha Pan

Etosha National Park

Game drives, Etosha Pan

Optional activities: Kavango River boat cruise, game drive in the Bwabwata National Park, visit to a local village

Kavango Region

Optional activities: Kavango River boat cruise, game drive in the Bwabwata National Park, visit to a local village

Game drives, river cruises

Chobe National Park
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Game drives, river cruises

Visit to the waterfalls, optional activities such as boat cruise, white water rafting, bungee jumping, canoeing, scenic flight

Victoria Falls

Visit to the waterfalls, optional activities such as boat cruise, white water rafting, bungee jumping, canoeing, scenic flight

Optional activities such as tour of the salt pans, quad biking

Makgadikgadi Pans
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Optional activities such as tour of the salt pans, quad biking

Light aircraft flights to and from the delta, boat cruises, mokoro excursions, nature walks

Okavango Delta
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Light aircraft flights to and from the delta, boat cruises, mokoro excursions, nature walks

Walks, art exhibition

Kalahari

Walks, art exhibition

Who Should Go

If you want to experience a great mix of landscapes and wildlife and visit many of the best-known highlights of Southern Africa, this trip to Namibia, Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is for you. Driving distances are long and you will cover many kilometres, so you should be a confident and experienced driver. But there are plenty of stops along the way for active travellers and nature lovers to enjoy. If you haven’t been on safari yet, look forward to exploring the Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta together with an experienced guide.

Confident Drivers

Confident Drivers

Safari activities

Safari Enthusiasts

Nature Lovers

Nature Lovers

Active travellers

Active Travellers

Accommodation

14 accommodations over 21 days/20 nights
View of the Elegant Desert Eco Camp with the horizon in the background
Day 2-3
Namib Desert (Namibia)
The Elegant Desert Eco Camp
2 nights half-board
Day 2-3
Arial view of the Vingerklip Lodge amidst a green landscape
Day 6-7
Ugab Valley (Namibia)
Vingerklip Lodge
2 nights half-board
Day 6-7
The interior of a Mushara Bush Camp tent
Day 9
Etosha Area (Namibia)
Mushara Bush Camp
1 nights half-board
Day 9
The swimming pool of the Chobe Bakwena Lodge at sunset
Day 12-13
Kasane (Botswana)
Chobe Bakwena Lodge
2 nights full-board
Day 12-13
Interior bedroom of the Planet Baobab in Botswana
Day 15
Gweta (Botswana)
Planet Baobab
1 night half-board
Day 15
People sitting on the deck of the Setari Camp during the sunset
Day 17-18
Okavango Delta (Botswana)
Setari Camp
2 nights full-board
Day 17-18

Tour Itinerary

Self-Drive Lodge Tour

Visit impressive natural sights and observe incredible wildlife on this 21-day self-drive tour through Namibia and Botswana. The highlights which await you include walking on enormous dunes at Sossusvlei, visiting the seaside town of Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast and going on wonderful game drives in the Etosha. Witness countless elephants in the Chobe National Park, marvel at the iconic Victoria Falls, experience the solitude of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and fly into the Okavango Delta on this unforgettable safari. Your journey starts and ends in Windhoek and with charming accommodations along the way, this tour will show you the highlights of Namibia and Botswana.

Highlights of Namibia and Botswana tour map

Start Windhoek

Ends Windhoek

Genocide Memorial in Windhoek, Namibia

Day 1 | Windhoek, Namibia

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

Windhoek, Namibia

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

Arrive safely at the Hosea Kutako International Airport on the outskirts of Windhoek, before collecting your rental car. Then, all set and ready to go, you drive to your accommodation in Namibia’s capital. You might want to dedicate some time today to stocking up on supplies for your travels ahead. Afterwards, do a little sightseeing and visit some of Windhoek’s most famous landmarks. Alternatively, you could also use the rest of the afternoon to relax at your guest house. In the evening, we suggest you try the eclectic Joe’s Beerhouse for dinner, a Windhoek landmark in its own right (at own expense). Your accommodation is The Elegant Guesthouse.

Moon rising over the Namib Desert at the Elegant Eco Camp

Day 2 | Windhoek – Namib Desert, Namibia

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

Windhoek – Namib Desert, Namibia

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

Today, you head out onto the open road and your journey will take you south towards the Namib Naukluft Region. Your destination is The Elegant Desert Camp, where you will spend the next two nights. Upon arrival at your camp, you can cool off in the camp’s swimming pool and admire the fantastic views. You can also join a guided nature drive (optional) in the afternoon to witness one of the stunning sunsets this region is famous for. You spend the night at The Elegant Desert Camp.

Breakfast Dinner
Traveller jumping down the Big Daddy Dune at Sossusvlei

Day 3 | Sossusvlei, Namibia

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

Sossusvlei, Namibia

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

Admiring the sun rise over the oldest desert in the world and illuminate the dunes around you with a golden glow is something you won’t easily forget. Therefore, we recommend that you are ready when the Namib-Naukluft National Park gates open at sunrise. Once in the park, head to the Deadvlei and feel the other-worldly atmosphere when standing on the white clay pan, encircled by towering dunes. There is life in the desert, and you might even spot an oryx or some ostriches is the desert landscape. Be sure to also make a stop at the Sesriem Canyon today. You can descend into the canyon and go for a stroll to escape the desert heat when the riverbed is dry. With many new memories gained, you return to your camp for a delicious dinner and some well-deserved rest. Alternatively, you also can book a guided day trip if you would rather be accompanied by an expert guide of your lodge for today’s excursion (optional). You overnight once more at The Elegant Desert Camp.

Breakfast Dinner
The beach and Atlantic Ocean at Swakopmund in Namibia

Day 4 - 5 | Namib Desert – Swakopmund, Namibia

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

Namib Desert – Swakopmund, Namibia

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

After a tasty breakfast, you drive via the Ghaub and the Kuiseb Pass towards the Atlantic coast. Make a stop at the Walvis Bay lagoon before continuing with the road leading you to Swakopmund. On this road, you will be flanked by the Atlantic Ocean on your one side and the dunes of the Namib Desert on the other. Swakopmund, or “Swakop” as the locals like to call it, is a quaint seaside town offering you many different activities. You can go on a “Little Five” desert tour, quad biking through the desert or try your hand at some sand boarding. Or perhaps you would rather take to the water on a catamaran or on a kayaking excursion (all activities optional). In the evenings, you have plenty of delightful restaurants to choose from. You stay both nights at the Cornerstone Guesthouse.

Breakfast
View of the horizon at the Ugab Valley Region in Namibia

Day 6 - 7 | Swakopmund – Ugab Valley, Namibia

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

Swakopmund – Ugab Valley, Namibia

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

Take another deep breath of fresh ocean air and continue along the Atlantic coast. You might want to consider taking a slight detour to Cape Cross, home to one of the largest Cape fur seal colonies in the world. You then drive inland, in direction of the Brandberg mountain, the location of the famous “White Lady” rock painting. The painting can be reached on a guided hike but note that this detour takes at least 3 hours to complete, so please plan accordingly. Driving through the beautiful Ugab Valley, you eventually arrive at your accommodation. After some time to relax, stretch your legs and go for a walk to the Vingerklip rock formation. You can spend the next day visiting the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein, the Damara Living Museum and the Petrified Forest. Dinner and overnight accommodation will be at the Vingerklip Lodge on both nights.

Breakfast Dinner
Two zebras seen on a game drive in the Etosha National Park

Day 8 | Ugab Valley – Etosha National Park, Namibia

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

Ugab Valley – Etosha National Park, Namibia

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

Journey further north, until reaching the Anderson Gate, your entrance to the Etosha National Park. The Etosha National Park is one of Africa’s most famous wildlife parks and serves as a sanctuary for many animal species. The park has a healthy population of black rhinos and is also home to the near endemic black-faced impala, as well as the smallest antelope in the world, the Damara dik-dik. On a typical Etosha safari you visit the park’s waterholes, watching as the thirsty animals come in for a drink. Here you may observe elephants, lions, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, and wildebeest as well as herds of springbok, kudu, oryx, and eland. After a wonderful afternoon of game viewing, you drive to your accommodation for the night, the Okaukuejo Camp, inside the park. Book a night game drive if you would like to learn more about what the wild animals of the Etosha get up to during the night-time (optional). You spend your night at the Okaukuejo Camp.

The large camps in the Etosha National Park are owned by the Namibian government. The running of the camps and their general maintenance falls under the responsibility of state employees, who we sometimes wish were a little more enthusiastic about their work. The accommodation options range from basic chalets to more standard self-catering units. Outside of the park’s boundary, you will find more luxurious lodges from which you can go on day trips into the park. If this is something which you would prefer, please inform us and we will gladly amend the itinerary accordingly.

Breakfast
A herd of elephants crossing the road, seen on a self drive tour of Namibia

Day 9 | Etosha National Park, Namibia

Distance and driving time; depends on the route chosen on game drive

Etosha National Park, Namibia

Distance and driving time; depends on the route chosen on game drive

The Etosha National Park can deliver a glorious sunrise, so anyone who gets up early will be in for a real treat. Early morning is also one of the best times to go on safari, when the animals make use of the cool temperatures. The whole day is dedicated to safari and with some luck, you might even spot a cheetah or a leopard on today’s game drive. Take some time to also visit the Etosha Pan, the name-giver of the park. The Etosha salt pan covers an area of roughly 5,000 km² and creates a surreal landscape with a haunting atmosphere. Later in the day, you can stop at either the Halali or the Namutoni Rest Camp for lunch (optional) and even have a quick jump in the pool to cool off. By sunset, you will have exited the park at the Von Lindequist Gate and arrived at the charming Mushara Bush Camp, your accommodation for tonight.

Breakfast Dinner
Sunset behind a tree in the Kavango Region of Namibia

Day 10 - 11 | Etosha Area – Kavango Region, Namibia

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

Etosha Area – Kavango Region, Namibia

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

Fortify yourself with a hearty breakfast before setting out on the open road. You will pass the Otjikoto Lake as well as the towns of Tsumeb and Grootfontein on your journey today. These towns are the ideal places to restock on some supplies before continuing into the Kavango region. Formerly known as the Caprivi Strip the Kavango region, with its subtropical climate and lush vegetation, stands in stark contrast to that what you will have seen of Namibia thus far. Indigenous forests, flooded wetlands and the mighty Kavango River dominate this wilderness. You continue towards your accommodation for the next two nights, the Riverdance Lodge. Perched on the banks of the Kavango River, the lodge is the perfect place to unwind after a long drive. You also have ample activities to choose from for the following day, such as: a river cruise on the Kavango or game drives in the Mahango or Buffalo Game Park (this will require a 4×4 vehicle and an experienced driver unless you book a guided tour with the lodge). You could also choose to meet the local Hambukushu people on a cultural village tour (all activities optional). Soak in the relaxing atmosphere of the Riverdance Lodge and take a moment to admire your beautiful surroundings from your bungalow’s private deck.

Breakfast Dinner
A hippo walking into the water of the Chobe River in Botswana

Day 12 - 13 | Kavango Region – Kasane – Chobe National Park, Botswana

Distance on day 12: approx. 450 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

Kavango Region – Kasane – Chobe National Park, Botswana

Distance on day 12: approx. 450 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

You have a very scenic drive to look forward to as you pass through the Zambezi Region today. It is not only scenic but also quite common to encounter elephants along the main road here, so keep your eyes peeled. After some time, you cross the border into Botswana and continue to Kasane, where you will find your accommodation for the next two nights. With two scheduled game activities included daily, you are in the perfect position to explore the nearby Chobe National Park. Home to more than 40,000 elephants, the Chobe National Park is one of the best places in Africa to observe elephants. The elephants often steal the show, but you will notice that the Chobe offers a huge variety of wildlife and of birdlife. On Chobe River cruises and on game drives, you have the chance to see lions, leopards, buffaloes, crocodiles, giraffes, and zebra to name only a few. In the evenings, relax at your accommodation, the Chobe Bakwena Lodge, with a cool beverage in hand and watch as the sun sets over the majestic Chobe River.

Breakfast Lunch Dinner Local beverages and two scheduled activities daily
The spray of the Victoria Falls creating a rainbow

Day 14 | Kasane, Botswana – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

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

Kasane, Botswana – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

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

After breakfast, you will be greeted by a transfer driver and brought to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls might not measure as the widest waterfall, nor the highest, but in terms of overall volume, it is one of the largest waterfalls in the world. Your accommodation, the Pioneers Guest Lodge is only a short distance from the Falls, so go for a stroll and admire this iconic natural wonder. Dinner can be enjoyed at one of the many restaurants in town (at own expense).

If you would like to do activities, such as sunset boat cruises, white water rafting or bungee jumping, you will need to stay an extra night in Victoria Falls. Please contact us and we gladly assist you further.

Breakfast
A sunset at the Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana

Day 15 | Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – Gweta, Botswana

Distance approx. 410 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – Gweta, Botswana

Distance approx. 410 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

Your transfer driver will collect you in the morning and bring you back to Kasane (transfer driving time approx. 2 hours), where your rental vehicle is waiting for you. You then continue your journey and drive south to Nata before changing direction and driving towards your accommodation, the Planet Baobab. This quirky lodge is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the afternoon.

Breakfast Dinner
A malachite kingfisher sitting on a reed in Botswana

Day 16 | Gweta – Makgadikgadi Salt Pans – Maun, Botswana

Distance approx. 220 km; driving time approx. 2-3 hours

Gweta – Makgadikgadi Salt Pans – Maun, Botswana

Distance approx. 220 km; driving time approx. 2-3 hours

You will wake up nice and early today as you have an exciting excursion to the Ntwetwe Pan to look forward to. In an open 4×4 vehicle you make your way to the edge of the salt pan, where you search for bat-eared foxes and ground squirrels amongst some of the various inhabitants of this harsh environment. Together with your guide, you visit a meerkat colony, where you will have the chance to witness these adorable creatures in the natural environment and observe their social behaviour and interactions. You will also experience the seemingly endless vastness of the Ntwetwe Pan. In the dry season you can gaze upon this barren white plain, stretching as far and wide as the eye can see. At approximately midday, you return to the Planet Baobab, before you make your way to Maun, the little frontier town often described as the gateway to the Okavango Delta. The rest of the day can be spent at your accommodation, the Thamalakane River Lodge, located on the banks of the Thamalakane River. You are welcome to lounge around the pool, put your feet up and enjoy your surroundings. During the course of the day, you will be notified with regards to the exact details of your flight tomorrow into the “Jewel of the Kalahari” – the Okavango Delta.

Breakfast
A mokoro canoe excursion in the Okavango Delta

Day 17 - 18 | Maun – Okavango Delta, Botswana

Distance and driving time; depends on chosen activity

Maun – Okavango Delta, Botswana

Distance and driving time; depends on chosen activity

Start your day with a delicious breakfast and with great excitement for your upcoming adventure. You drive to the Maun airport, park your car and after a couple of formalities, you can take to the skies. Onboard a light aircraft, you can marvel at the magnificent landscapes of the Okavango Delta below. The Okavango Delta offers you an abundance of wildlife in a pristine wilderness. Elephants, buffalos, hippos, crocodiles, lions, and leopards can all be sighted here, as well as rarer animals such as the African wild dog and cheetahs. The birdlife in the Delta also is also tremendous. Many species which are otherwise rare, can commonly be seen here. During your stay, you can explore the delta and observe its inhabitants on mokoro excursions, on boat cruises and on guided bush walks. Your accommodation for the next two nights is the beautiful Setari Camp and all your scheduled activities in the Okavango Delta are included in this booking.

Light aircraft flights in Botswana have a luggage restriction of 20 kg per person. This includes your camara equipment and your hand luggage. Hard suitcases or travel bags are not allowed as they won’t fit into the aircraft. Please make sure your luggage is in soft bags only, with a maximum size of 25 cm wide by 30 cm high and 62 cm long. If you require more luggage space for your journey, please contact us and we will provide you with a quote for any additional luggage.

Passengers who weigh more the 100 kg must advise us of such at the time of booking. Due to safety and comfort reasons, we may need to cost an additional seat for this light aircraft flight.

Breakfast Lunch Dinner Local beverages and two scheduled activities daily
A whitefronted bee-eater sitting in a tree in Botswana

Day 19 | Okavango Delta – Maun – Ghanzi Area, Botswana

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

Okavango Delta – Maun – Ghanzi Area, Botswana

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

Make the most of the morning and watch as the sun rises over the Okavango Delta. As the sunlight touches the water on the flood plains, the delta sparkles like a precious jewel. After breakfast it will be time to fly back to Maun with many new safari memories. Once safely landed, you are reunited with your rental car and can continue your journey along a well-tarred road to the town of Ghanzi. Just a little further lies your accommodation for the evening, the Thakadu Bush Camp. The camp’s restaurant is known for serving excellent game meat specialities, sourced directly from their own farm (optional).

Breakfast
The sun setting behind the hills in the Kalahari, Namibia

Day 20 | Ghanzi Area – Kalahari, Namibia

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

Ghanzi Area – Kalahari, Namibia

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

Have a relaxed start to the day before heading out on to the Trans-Kalahari Highway, crossing the border into Namibia. Once arrived at your lodge, you are welcome to stretch your legs and explore your surroundings on foot. Alternatively, you can view an art exhibition of stone sculptures on the neighbouring farm. In the late afternoon, admire a glorious sunset over the Kalahari.

Breakfast Dinner
An aeroplane of the Air Namibia

Day 21 | Kalahari – Windhoek, Namibia

Distance approx. 70 km; driving time approx. 1-2 hours

Kalahari – Windhoek, Namibia

Distance approx. 70 km; driving time approx. 1-2 hours

Enjoy a delicious breakfast before driving to the Windhoek airport. Here you will return your rental vehicle and can reminisce about all the wonderful moments you experienced and all the beautiful memories you made on your journey.

Breakfast

Included

  • 20 nights’ stay in lodges, rest camps, guest farms and guest houses
  • meals according to the itinerary
  • return transfer Kasane – Victoria Falls – Kasane
  • return flight Maun – Okavango Delta – Maun
  • scheduled activities, national park fees, all soft drinks and local alcoholic drinks at Chobe Bakwena Lodge and Setari Camp
  • guided excursion to the Ntwetwe Pan

Excluded

  • additional flights (international and domestic)
  • rental car (please contact us for a quote)
  • fuel, possible tolls, repatriation, and cross-border fees
  • meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • alcoholic and soft drinks not specified above
  • national park fees not specified above
  • optional activities
  • tips
  • personal expenses, visa fees, travel insurance

Upcoming Departures

Season Double room per person Single room per person Triple room per person Children < 12 (in extra bed)
01.07.2022-
30.09.2022
5,300 USD 6,700 USD on request on request
01.10.2022-
31.10.2022
4,890 USD 5,860 USD on request on request
01.11.2022-
30.11.2022
4,680 USD 5,560 USD on request on request

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