This 16-day self-drive safari offers you the best of southern Africa's famous attractions.
We have designed this to be a flexible, budget- and time-aware highlights tour with diverse game viewing safaris, amazing sights and a range of options to tailor this safari to your exact needs. It's the self-drive adventure of a lifetime. Don't think about it. Just go! You'll be glad you did. Really glad.
Accommodation options include any combination of camping and mid to upmarket safari lodges – the choice is yours. Contact a Travel Expert now for a custom quote to discover these amazing places of Namibia, Bostwana and Victoria Falls.
Day 1: Windhoek ( 1 night )
Welcome to Namibia! You will be met on arrival by an NTS representative who will transfer you to the car rental offices in Windhoek to complete the vehicle handover. Then your meet and greet representative will hand over your travel package and goodies. Then you're off to relax for the remainder of the day.
When you're there: If you're done with the handovers you'll check in at your accommodation and settle in. Get some rest and then spend the afternoon as you like, at leisure or head into town or to the shops for supplies. As the day draws to a close, supposing your last real meal was on the airplane getting here, it's time for dinner and a bite to eat. There are many restaurants in the capital, explore one of Namibia's famed local joints.
The Weinberg Windhoek
The Elegant Guesthouse
Day 2 & 3: Sossusvlei ( 2 nights )
After breakfast and a 4 to 5 hour drive (could be longer depending on the route you take) you will find yourself in the incredible area of Sossusvlei. Welcome to the world's oldest desert.
On the way: Frequent photo stops as you traverse scenic passes and plains from the Khomas region heading south. It's a beautiful drive with much to take in as the landscapes change.
When you're there: After the day on the road into the heat of the south, your first stop will be the swimming pool with a cool drink. Thereafter you'll have a variety of activities to enjoy including hiking trails; game viewing; afternoon nature drives; visits to fossilised dunes; and of course Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon. Go on your own or with a lodge guide. Whichever you decide, the sights are spectacular!
The first morning in Sossusvlei will be an early one to get the best light at the Sossusvlei dunes about an hour's drive into the protected area; spend the morning exploring the sea of sand, the dunes and the pans and filling your camera's memory with picture-postcard shots.
Desert Quiver Camp
Day 4 & 5: Swakopmund ( 2 nights )
After two days in the desert you head to Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast for some cool respite from the interior's heat. It's a coastal town with a holiday vibe, German architecture and cold seas.
On the way: Stop in Solitaire, an aptly named cross-roads settlement with a service station, hotel and a small shop famous for its apple strüdel and home-made bread. The landscape flattens out to the gravel plains and the moonscapes support the crazy ancient welwitschia plant. It's worth the detour to go see them.
Our tip: If you decide to take the route via moon landscape to see the welwitschias, get your permit at the Namibia Wildlife Resorts office in Sossusvlei. This is the same place you'll pay your entry fee inside the Sesriem gates when visiting Sossusvlei.
When you're there: Swakopmund is a German-influenced resort town on the cool Atlantic coast; Walvis Bay is a South African-influenced harbour town with a natural lagoon. Spend two days here exploring the dunes, the lagoon and the historical and cultural attractions.
Activities and things to do in the area are many and varied. Choose from nature excursions into the desert and on the Walvis Bay lagoon to adventure activities including hovering above the dunes with a paraglider or zooming about the back dunes on a quad bike. Swakopmund has many restaurants and an interesting array of art shops, jewellery stores, museums and galleries. There's plenty to do.
Swakopmund Luxury Suites
Day 6: Damaraland ( 1 night )
Drive along the Skeleton Coast to Cape Cross and then turn inland to the camera-friendly Damaraland region of Namibia with massive granite inselbergs and dolerite dykes carved into fantasy shapes by the wind.
On the way: Stop at Cape Cross for a look at the Cape Fur Seal breeding colony. Drive via the Skeleton Coast (a longer drive) or head inland via Uis to the area of Twyfelfontein in the heart of Damaraland.
When you're there: Damaraland is well-known and well-loved for its scenic landscapes, its desert-adapted plants and animals, and its sheer and vast emptiness. Activities vary from lodge to lodge, most will offer excellent guided nature drives, fantastic nature walks and scenic sundowner drives; others offer specialist activities including rhino tracking and visits to ancient rock art sites.
Mowani Mountain Camp
Twyfelfontein Adventure Camp
Day 7: Etosha National Park - South ( 1 night )
From Damaraland, it's a relatively short drive to the southern side of Etosha National Park, one of Africa's great wildlife and nature reserves. You're in for game viewing galore!
On the way: The scenic mountains of Damaraland unfold into the great plains of the Etendeka Plateau. Visit the Petrified Forest enroute and stop for a shot of the Ugab Terrace or the famous Vingerklip. Outjo has a well-known bakery if you wish to stop for a bite to eat.
When you're there: Game viewing, game viewing and more excellent game viewing is the order of the day at Etosha. Go into the park on a self-drive or join a guided game drive with the lodge in an open safari vehicle. Either way the game viewing is spectacular.
Day 8 & 9: Etosha National Park - East ( 2 nights )
From one side to the other side of the park is a full day game drive as you head slowly east stopping at numerous waterholes along the way.
While you're there: Go on guided sunrise and sunset game drives; spend a whole day at any one (and definitely more) 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. 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.
Many safari lodges on the edge of Etosha have vast private reserves complete with all the same species of plains game in Etosha and without any crowds. A combination of private exclusive safari and a day inside Etosha is often the best balance.
Onguma Bush Camp
Day 10: Caprivi ( 1 night )
After your fix of elephants, lions, hyenas, large antelope and many other interesting animals, its time to head off... for yet more spectacular safari action this time in the Caprivi wetlands. The area is a complete contrast to the parched plains and shimmering white pan of Etosha.
On the way: Hobas Meteorite is the largest in the world and a convenient picnic stop on the way to the northern-most region of Namibia. The drive is a long one, so depart early and as you enter the Caprivi be on the lookout for livestock that wander at free will.
When you're there: There is plenty to do in the Caprivi including game drives, water safaris, birding and, in places, walking safaris. You will have crossed into the sub-tropics and the Caprivi is classic Africa with broad-leafed woodland plains, wide rivers and proud wildlife stalking the open spaces. Sunsets overlooking the river is a must in these parts.
Divava Okavango Lodge & Spa
Shametu River Lodge
Day 11: Maun ( 1 night )
You will leave early today to enjoy a game drive in the Mahango Game Park before you make your way via the Mohembo border post into Botswana. Your drive today takes you via Gumare on to Sehithwa before heading to Maun. It's a longer days drive on bumpy roads. You will leave your vehicle in Maun to continue the rest of your safari by light aircraft and road transfers.
While you're there: Relax at your lodge, enjoy a swim and a sundowner - tomorrow you head into the Okavango Delta.
Day 12 & 13: Okavango Delta ( 2 nights )
Your lodge will transfer you to Maun Airport from were you will fly to your Okavango Delta lodge for the next two nights. Flying over the meandering wetlands is spellbinding. Spotting wildlife from the air is another reminder that this is the ultimate wildlife destination. You're in for a treat.
When you're there: Water safaris, birdwatching, guided mokoro rides (traditional poled dugout canoes- seasonal at some lodges), walking safaris, game viewing: the quintessential delta experience. Wildlife is prolific and the scenery is wonderful.
Note: Some lodges only offer water based activities and others offer both land and water based activities.
*Your stay is booked on a fully inclusive basis and includes all scheduled camp activities with lodge guides
Day 14: Chobe National Park ( 1 night )
After a leisurely breakfast you will take a charter flight to Kasane Airport which is close to Chobe National Park - home of great herds of elephant and plenty of lion and plains game.
When you're there: Chobe Game Reserve is one of the most famous game reserves in Africa and rightly so. The park has the Chobe river as its lifeblood and features the largest herds of elephant found anywhere on earth. In addition lions, leopards, lesser predators and scores of plains species abound; birding is excellent with over 400 species and several rarities.
Enjoy game drives in the Chobe National Park and boat cruises on the Chobe river.
Chobe Game Lodge
Chobe Safari Lodge
Day 15: Victoria Falls (Zim) ( 1 night )
A last activity in the Chobe National Park this morning and then you will transfer by road to your lodge in Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side. It's all about the incredible views of the falls and there's no shortage of them.
When you're there: Explore Victoria Falls from the rain forest opposite, cross over to the Zambian side, time-permitting, and hover over the falls from the teetering bridge. The Victoria Falls area has many activities, restaurants, curios and African art. A day will be almost too short to spend at the seventh wonder of the natural world.
Victoria Falls Hotel
Batonka Guest Lodge
Day 16: Victoria Falls (Zim) ( Departure / End of Tour )
After breakfast squeeze in a morning activity if time allows before your transfer to the airport. This may well be the end of your safari, but what an adventure you've had.