48 Night South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana & Namibia Self-drive (Jnb-Cpt)

The highlights of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana & Namibia in 48 nights

Covering the Drakensburg, Kruger and Cape Town in South Africa, Matopos, Hwange and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Chobe, Moremi and the Okavango Delta in Botswana and Etosha, Damaraland, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei and Fish River Canyon in Namibia.

This itinerary is roughly a 50/50 split between camping and lodge-based accommodation.

Drive Botswana
Your travel expert:

Drive Botswana

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Day 1 – 2

Arrive into Johannesburg airport and transfer to spend the first two nights at Melville Manor Guest House in the heart of the suburb of Melville. This historical suburb is full of charm and character with a variety of cafes, restaurants and shops within walking distance of the guest house.

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Day 3 – 4

Head south to spend the next two nights in the Drakensberg at Champagne Castle Hotel. The hotel is nestled below the second highest peak in South Africa, Champagne Castle (3377m), part of the main escarpment within the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg mountain range.

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Day 5

Continue north from the Drakensberg spending the next night at Miss Chrissie’s Country House in the Chrissiesmeer ‘lake district’.

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Day 6 – 7

Head north to spend the next two nights at Mount Sheba, A Forever Lodge situated close to the historic Pilgrim’s Rest. Mount Sheba is conveniently situated for easy access to a number of the areas attractions including Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window and the rock formations at Bourke’s Luck Potholes.

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Day 8

Drive to the Kruger National Park where you spend the next 3 nights at different restcamps. Make your way from south to north through Kruger spending the first night at Tamboti Tented Camp in a safari tent.

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Day 9

The next two nights are spent camping at Tsendze Rest Camp and Punda Maria respectively. Tsendze is a more remote campsite with a rustic experience within the natural environment. The Tsendze River and Nshawu Creek both run through this area that is known for the large buffalo herds and many elephant bulls that occur here.

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Day 10

Your final night is at Punda Maria in the northern section of the park.

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Day 11

Leave Kruger and drive as far as Mogalakwena River Lodge en route to Botswana. Accommodation is on a dinner bed and breakfast basis.

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Day 12

Cross into Botswana, driving as far as the Khama Rhino Sanctuary – a community run project aimed at re-introducing rhinos into the wild. KRS is actually a small game reserve and is situated around a pan. Game viewing can be very rewarding here, and many visitors consider the Khama Rhino Sanctuary to be one of the highlights of their trip.

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Day 13

Continue north through Botswana travelling as far as Francistown, spending the night camping at Woodlands stop-over, just outside the town.

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Day 14 – 15

Cross into Zimbabwe and drive to the Matobo Hills area where you spend the next two nights camping at Big Cave Camp. Matobo Hills is a World Heritage site and Big Cave borders the Matobo National Park.

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Day 16 – 17

Continue north through Zimbabwe and spend the next three days in the Hwange National Park. The first two nights are spent at Kapula camp, a self-catered tented camp.

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Day 18

The final night is at Deteema Dam campsite – an exclusive campsite overlooking Deteema Dam. Hwange National Park occupies roughly 15 000 sq km and game sighting is excellent in the dry winter months.

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Day 19 – 20

Drive to Victoria Falls, where you spend the next two nights. Accommodation is at Lokuthula Lodge, 4km from the falls and next door to Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and the famous Boma restaurant.

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Day 21

Cross into Botswana and drive to Kasane, where you spend the night at The Old House. In the afternoon you will do a 3 hour boat cruise on the Chobe River. This is a highlight of many a visitor’s trip to Botswana, and amazing sights such as elephant crossing the river to feed on the grassy islands are never forgotten. Birdlife is spectacular too along the river.

 

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Day 22 – 23

Travel west to the Chobe National Park, spending the next two nights at the famous Savuti campsite. Savuti is famous for its elephants, lions and hyenas, all of which visit the campsite area, making for an experience not to be forgotten! Savuti has a good network of roads for game drives.

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Day 24 – 25

The next two nights are spent in Moremi Game Reserve. Moremi is on the edge of the Okavango Delta and is one of the most spectacular wildlife destinations in Africa. Camp at Khwai (North Gate) campsite. Game is rich and varied and birdlife is prolific. Elephant, giraffe, wildebeest, impala, hippo, leopard and lion all frequently sighted.

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Day 26

Leave Moremi and drive to Shorobe, 30km north of Maun. You will spend the next two nights at Mochaba Crossing Lodge.

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Day 27

Today you will do a full day mokoro (dug-out canoe) guided trip into the Delta. Your guide will show you the fauna and flora of the delta area as you meander along the channels and waterways. The trip includes a packed lunch and you will leave your vehicle at the lodge, returning back in the late afternoon.

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Day 28

Leave Botswana and cross into Namibia at the tiny Dobe border post. Spend the next two nights camping at Tsumkwe Country Lodge 20km from the border.

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Day 29

A visit to the Etosha National Park is one of the highlights of travelling Namibia.  Etosha covers an area of more than 22 000 sq kms – its centre being a vast saltpan surrounded by grass and thorn savannah, Mopane bushland in the west and dry forest in the north-east. Spend the first night at Tamboti campsite in Onguma Game Reserve to the east of Etosha

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Day 30

Continue to Okaukuejo inside Etosha for the second night – there are water-holes scattered throughout this area and form the basis of life for countless game.

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Day 31

The final night is in the west of the park at Olifantsrus Campsite. Here you will find a high diversity of plant and animal species – including the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra which does not occur in the eastern side of the park.

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Day 32 – 33

Leave Etosha and make your way north, spending two nights at Opuwo Lodge. In the morning you will do a Himba excursion which takes you to one of the Himba villages close to Opuwa allowing you to learn and experience more about their culture and lifestyle. A local Himba guide will escort you and translate for you.

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Day 34 – 35

Drive to the picturesque Damaraland area, spending the next two nights at Mowani Mountain Campsite. Attractions in the area include the Twyfelfontein rock paintings, the Petrified Forest, and the Organ Pipes (angular dolorite columns up to 5m high).

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Day 36

Head south to Spitzkoppe – a group of bald granite peaks rising majestically out of the surrounding landscape. Camp here at the community campsite, allowing you to be at the rock during sunset and sunrise.

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Day 37 – 38

Drive to Swakopmund, Namibia’s famous coastal town. Accommodation is at The Stiltz on a bed & breakfast basis. Swakopmund is a very interesting town, with old German architecture and a distinct character. On the first morning you will do a “Living Desert Tour” – a unique guided tour which brings the desert to life.

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Day 39

Travel to the Sossusvlei area of the Namib Naukluft Park. Your next night is spent at Sesriem campsite in the protected area. Camping at Sesriem means you will be able to get to the Sossusvlei dunes at sunrise when photography is at its best.

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Day 40 – 41

Drive through spectacular scenery to the NamibRand Nature reserve where you spend two nights at Namibrand Hideout campsite – one of the most spectacular campsite locations in all of Namibia.

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Day 42

Continue your journey south, camping for the next night at Klein Aus Vista Desert Horse campsite.  Just east of Aus, Klein Aus Vista is nestled in the granite-gneiss hills with magnificent views of the landscape. This is the area where the Namib Desert begins to merge with golden grasses, where wild horses roam.

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Day 43 – 44

Head further south to the Fish River Canyon – the second largest canyon in the world. Camp at Hobas campsite – located not far from the main viewpoint of the Fish River Canyon.

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Day 45

Leave Namibia and cross back into South Africa, driving as far as Springbok along the N7 highway, where you spend the night at Naries Manor House on the edge of the Spektakelberg.

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Day 46

Continue south towards Cape Town. The journey to Clanwilliam takes you through spectacular scenery. You will spend the night at a country lodge in the town.

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Day 47 – 48

Continue south along the N7 highway to Cape Town where you return the vehicle. Your final two night are spent at Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel & Spa, close to the centre of Cape Town and the main tourist attractions.

Included

  • 46 days 4×4 vehicle and equipment hire incl one way fees (vehicle with R20,000 insurance excess)
  • GPS with Tracks4Africa
  • All accommodation and camping fees
  • Meals where stated
  • Airport transfers
  • Park fees for Khama Rhino Sanctuary, Namibrand Nature Reserve and Kruger
  • Chobe Sunset River Cruise
  • Okavango Mokoro Excursion
  • Himba Excursion
  • Living Desert Tour
  • Trip handbook, directions & maps

Excluded

International flights; Personal insurance; Visa / border fees; National park / Reserve entrance fees