Self Drive Safaris

 

... Drive yourself WILD

For those of you who are a little more adventurous, or just wish to get a little more up close and personal to their safari, why not consider a Self Drive safari.

 

We will provide you with fully kitted 4x4 vehicles, which include tents and all camping equipment together with sat phones and sat navigation, loaded with up to date off-road tracks. We can suggest to you a full itinerary including advice on the best places to visit depending on the time of year. Once your itinerary is settled upon we will then book all the camp sites for you in the National Parks.

 

If you are a relative novice at 4x4 driving or just wish to brush up on your skills and familiarise yourself with the terrain out here, we also offer a days tuition in the Moremi National Park. Please see the tab “Driving Conditions” for further details.

 

Our base of operations is in the safari capital of Maun, Botswana, where our vehicles normally start their journey. However, we can arrange for collection and drop-off of vehicles from Kasane, Gaborone, Windhoek, Vic falls, Harare, Livingstone and Johannesburg.

 

Undertaking a self drive safari with Safari Lifestyles is an adventurous and affordable way to experience the thrills of this country and its neighbours, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Please browse the information in the tabs below and contact us for your requirements.

Get in touch with us and book your Self Drive Safari

Let the Botswana experts help you out

 

Most self drives through Botswana tend to be located through the National Parks and Game Reserves., The most popular being Chobe National Park which includes the Savute region, Moremi Game Reserve, Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and Nxai Pan National Park.

 

These parks and reserves are well suited to the self driver as most of them have very good ablution facilities and plenty of camping options. There are however some other areas such as the Khwai Community area, which is excellent for wildlife viewing and not within park boundaries.

 

Safari Lifestyles will be able to advise you of some of the best routes to take dependent upon what you would like to see and how much time you have.  It is strongly advised that you do not try to take in too many destinations, you do not want to spend most of your time setting up and packing down your camp. Rather you stay put in some of the camps for a few nights to relax and give you more time to explore the areas.

Vehicles

Equipment

Suggested Itineraries

Driving Conditions

All vehicles are low mileage Toyota 4x4s – either Toyota Land Cruiser Station Wagons and Toyota Hilux Double Cabs – and much of the fleet is still under the manufacturer’s warranty. We’ve chosen Toyota 4×4 vehicles for our fleet for their proven reliability, and each one is expertly maintained.

 

For all our latest rates you can download a PDF here... 

Landcruiser (76 Series) Station Wagon

 

Double cab 4x4

Fuel & Long Range Tank Capacity - 140L Diesel (90L is standard)

Fuel consumption (off-road) - 6km/litre (approx.)

Transmission - Manual

Seats - 4/5

Air Con - Yes

Snorkel - Yes

Spare Wheels - 2

Sat Phone/Sat Nav - Included

Fully Equipped - Yes/Optional

Fridge - Yes, 40 litre

Tents - Yes, roof or ground

 

 

Landcruiser (79 Series) Double Cab

 

Double cab 4x4

Fuel & Long Range Tank Capacity -  130L Diesel +60L

Fuel consumption (off-road) - 6km/litre (approx.)

Transmission - Manual

Seats - 4/5

Air Con - Yes

Snorkel - Yes

Spare Wheels - 2

Sat Phone/Sat Nav - Included

Fully Equipped - Yes/Optional

Fridge - Yes, 40 litre

Tents - Yes, roof or ground

 

 

Toyota Hilux Double Cab

 

Double cab 4x4

Fuel & Long Range Tank Capacity -  165L Diesel (80L is standard)

Fuel consumption (off-road) - 10km/litre (approx.)

Transmission - Manual

Seats - 4/5

Air Con - Yes

Snorkel - Yes

Spare Wheels - 2

Sat Phone/Sat Nav - Included

Fully Equipped - Yes/Optional

Fridge - Yes, 40 litre

Tents - Yes, roof or ground

 

 

UTENSILS CONTAINER

 

Bread Knife 1

Bottle Opener/Corkscrew

Chopping Knife 1

Draining Spoon 1

Egg Lifter 1

Long Fork 1

Potato Masher 1

Scissors 1

Serving Spoons 2

Tin Opener 1

Wooden Spoon 1

ROOFTOP TENT (sleeps 2)

option of one or two rooftop tents or ground dome tents

 

Rooftop Tent & Cover 1-2

Mattress/Mattress Cover/Sleeping Bags/Blankets 2-4

Pillows & Pillowcases 2-4

Towels 2-4

GROUND DOME TENT (sleeps 2)

Bedroll with Mattress, Sleeping Bag, Blanket & Pillow & Pillowcases 2-4

RECOVERY EQUIPMENT

 

Hi-Lift Jack 1

Bottle Jack 1

Set of Spanners 1

Tyre Pressure Gauge 1

Tyre Repair Kit 1

Warning Triangles 2

Spare Rope 1

Tow Rope 1

Wheel Spanner 1

Jacking Block 1

Axe 1

Tyre Levers 2

Jumper Leads 1

Sand Ladders 2

CAMPING EQUIPMENT

 

Braai/BBQ Grill 2

Chairs 4

Cool Box ** 1

Food Containers

Fridge/Freezer 40L 1

Gas Bottle (with key) 1

Ground Sheet 1

Spade 1

Table 1

Dust Pan & Brush 1

Plug-in 220v Light 1

Hand Basin 1

Dishwashing Basin 1

60L Water Container Hilux

75L Water Tank Cruiser 1

OTHER EQUIPMENT

 

12V-220v Power Supply 1

12v Charger (Lighter) 1

GPS Navigation System 1

12v Compressor 1

Satellite Phone 1

 

FIRE EXTINGUISHER 1

SPARE TYRES 2

YELLOW SAFETY VEST 1

CUTLERY CONTAINER

 

Table Knives 4

Table Forks 4

Dessert Spoons 4

Tea Spoons 4

CANVAS BAG

 

Thermos 1

Table Cloth 1

Dinner Plates 4

Soup Bowls 4

Coffee Cups 4

Metal Wine Goblets 4

Metal Tumblers 4

Dish Cloth 1

COOKING BOX

 

Chopping Board 1

Colander 1

Cooker Head 1

Oven Gloves 2

Frying Pan 1

Kettle 1

Cast Iron Pot 2

Braai Tongs 1

Classic Northern Route

 

 

Day 1: Arrive in Maun, Vehicle briefing, Overnight Maun Camping

On arrival you will be met by a representative from Travel Adventures. You will receive a comprehensive 1-2 hour briefing of the vehicle & equipment & the route you will be driving. Following this you can buy provisions in Maun for the next 9 days on your Self Drive Adventure. Your first night will be spent camping in Maun.

 

Day 2: Camping in Moremi Game Reserve

The following morning you will depart early for Moremi Game Reserve. This drive will take you 4-6 hours depending on what game & birds you encounter on the way into the Parks. You will spend the next 2 nights camping in Moremi exploring on game drives by day.

 

Day 3: Camping in Moremi Game Reserve

 

Day 4: Camping in Khwai Area Moremi Game Reserve

 

Following breakfast you will pack up camp & drive to the Khwai area of the Moremi Game Reserve. The drive will take you around 4-5 hours depending on what game you see on the way. You will spend 2 nights camping in Khwai exploring in your self drive vehicle by day.

 

Day 5: Camping in Khwai Area Moremi Game Reserve

 

Day 6: Camping Savuti Area

Following breakfast you will pack camp and depart Khwai heading for the Savuti region of Chobe National Park. The drive will take you 4-6 hours depending on the game along the way. You will spend 2 nights camping in Savuti and there is no better time to visit Savuti as the Savuti Channel flowed in 2010 for the first time in 30 years! There are also bushmen paintings in Savuti and are signposted on the right side of the main road heading into Savuti. This is the only area in Savuti that you are allowed to exit your vehicle (other than the campsite) and remember not to touch the paintings.

 

Day 7: Camping Savuti Area

 

Day 8: Camping in Ihaha Campsite– Chobe National Park

After breakfast and packing camp you will drive from the Savuti area to the Chobe River area of Chobe National Park. The Chobe area is renowned for its spectacular herds on elephants along the Chobe River and you will spend you last 2 nights camping in this area and game driving by day. The drive from Savuti to Chobe will take approx 5-6 hours.

 

Day 9: Camping in Ihaha Campsite– Chobe National Park

 

Day 10: Kasane Drop off vehicle

 

 

 

Possible Extension

 

Day 10: Kasane to Nata

On arrival in Kasane you will buy more provisions and fill the vehicle with fuel for your next 5 days on your Self Drive Adventure.

You will then drive South from Kasane to Nata which is 300kms—be careful of elephant on the road and look out for wild dogs.

The drive will take approx 3-4 hours and is on a tar road. You will spend the night camping at Nata Lodge.

 

Day 11: Camping at Kubu Island

The following morning you will depart early for Kubu Island and the drive is 90kms off the main road and will take you at least 4-5 hours.

 

Day 12: Makgadikgadi Pans (Nxai Pan, Baines Baobabs & Njuca Hillls)

You will depart Kubu Island early and head toward the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans where you will spend the next 2 nights camping and

exploring the area in your self drive vehicle by day.

 

Day 13: Makgadikgadi Pans (Nxai Pan, Baines Baobabs & Njuca Hillls)

 

Day 14: Khumaga

After breakfast you will leave the pans & head towards Khumaga for the last night camping & explore the area in your vehicle by day.

 

Day 15: Maun

Following breakfast and packing camp you will head back to Maun to drop off the vehicle. This drive will take approx 2-3 hours to Maun.

Because the road conditions in Botswana can be tough, we do recommend clients undertake a 4×4 driving course before a self drive safari: find out about our driver training programme, now available in Maun.

 

Below is some of the basic information you might need about general road conditions, the types of roads you may encounter and driving information on your self drive safari.

 

 

 

 

Tar – Tarmac roads in Botswana are generally good but watch out for the occasional pothole. Be extremely alert for animals on the roads, and do not drive at night. Drive slowly past all animals and be particularly aware of livestock and wildlife in the thick bush or grass next to the roads.

 

Gravel – Keep to a reasonable speed as there may be rutted sections or potholes. Heavy braking on loose gravel can cause the vehicle to ‘aquaplane’. Be vigilant for wildlife and livestock which may run across the road without warning.

 

Sand – Most sand roads are traversed easily in high range 4×4. In the hot months it may be necessary to use low range 4×4 for short distances. The secret to sand driving is to lower the tyre pressure to create a bigger ‘footprint’. Once your tyres are the correct pressure the vehicle moves easily through thick sand, but be sure to re-inflate your tyres when back on hard surfaces.

 

Mud – During the rainy season (November-April) some of the roads in Botswana become impassable due to the mud, also known as black cotton soil. Avoid it at all costs – if you get stuck you won’t be able to dig yourself out and if you are in a remote area you could stay there for weeks. Look to see if previous passersby have made a diversion around the problem section. If so, follow it.

 

Water – Water crossings can be deeper than you think. Do not attempt to drive through any water crossing without first walking through it –check carefully for hippos and crocodiles. Our vehicles’ manufacturers specify they can cross water crossings to just above the wheels.

 

Fuel

There is no fuel as you head through the bush between Maun and Kasane. In an absolute emergency the lodges may be able to provide you with food or fuel – but at a greatly inflated price and usually only after seeking permission from headquarters in Maun. . Rakops often runs out of fuel so don’t depend on it.

© 2017 SAFARI LIFESTYLES

All vehicles are low mileage Toyota 4x4s – either Toyota Land Cruiser Station Wagons and Toyota Hilux Double Cabs – and much of the fleet is still under the manufacturer’s warranty. We’ve chosen Toyota 4×4 vehicles for our fleet for their proven reliability, and each one is expertly maintained.

 

For all our latest rates you can download a PDF here... 

Main 1 - 7

Destinations 11 -  21

Vehicles

Equipment

Itineraries

Driving

All vehicles are low mileage Toyota 4x4s – either Toyota Land Cruiser Station Wagons and Toyota Hilux Double Cabs – and much of the fleet is still under the manufacturer’s warranty. We’ve chosen Toyota 4×4 vehicles for our fleet for their proven reliability, and each one is expertly maintained.

 

For all our latest rates you can download a PDF here... 

Landcruiser (76 Series) Station Wagon

 

Double cab 4x4

Fuel & Long Range Tank Capacity - 140L Diesel (90L is standard)

Fuel consumption (off-road) - 6km/litre (approx.)

Transmission - Manual

Seats - 4/5

Air Con - Yes

Snorkel - Yes

Spare Wheels - 2

Sat Phone/Sat Nav - Included

Fully Equipped - Yes/Optional

Fridge - Yes, 40 litre

Tents - Yes, roof or ground

 

 

Landcruiser (79 Series) Double Cab

 

Double cab 4x4

Fuel & Long Range Tank Capacity -  130L Diesel +60L

Fuel consumption (off-road) - 6km/litre (approx.)

Transmission - Manual

Seats - 4/5

Air Con - Yes

Snorkel - Yes

Spare Wheels - 2

Sat Phone/Sat Nav - Included

Fully Equipped - Yes/Optional

Fridge - Yes, 40 litre

Tents - Yes, roof or ground

 

 

Toyota Hilux Double Cab

 

Double cab 4x4

Fuel & Long Range Tank Capacity -  165L Diesel (80L is standard)

Fuel consumption (off-road) - 10km/litre (approx.)

Transmission - Manual

Seats - 4/5

Air Con - Yes

Snorkel - Yes

Spare Wheels - 2

Sat Phone/Sat Nav - Included

Fully Equipped - Yes/Optional

Fridge - Yes, 40 litre

Tents - Yes, roof or ground

 

 

ROOFTOP TENT (sleeps 2)

option of one or two rooftop tents or ground dome tents

 

Rooftop Tent & Cover 1-2

Mattress/Mattress Cover/Sleeping Bags/Blankets 2-4

Pillows & Pillowcases 2-4

Towels 2-4

GROUND DOME TENT (sleeps 2)

Bedroll with Mattress, Sleeping Bag, Blanket & Pillow & Pillowcases 2-4

UTENSILS CONTAINER

 

Bread Knife 1

Bottle Opener/Corkscrew

Chopping Knife 1

Draining Spoon 1

Egg Lifter 1

Long Fork 1

Potato Masher 1

Scissors 1

Serving Spoons 2

Tin Opener 1

Wooden Spoon 1

RECOVERY EQUIPMENT

 

Hi-Lift Jack 1

Bottle Jack 1

Set of Spanners 1

Tyre Pressure Gauge 1

Tyre Repair Kit 1

Warning Triangles 2

Spare Rope 1

Tow Rope 1

Wheel Spanner 1

Jacking Block 1

Axe 1

Tyre Levers 2

Jumper Leads 1

Sand Ladders 2

CAMPING EQUIPMENT

 

Braai/BBQ Grill 2

Chairs 4

Cool Box ** 1

Food Containers

Fridge/Freezer 40L 1

Gas Bottle (with key) 1

Ground Sheet 1

Spade 1

Table 1

Dust Pan & Brush 1

Plug-in 220v Light 1

Hand Basin 1

Dishwashing Basin 1

60L Water Container Hilux

75L Water Tank Cruiser 1

OTHER EQUIPMENT

 

12V-220v Power Supply 1

12v Charger (Lighter) 1

GPS Navigation System 1

12v Compressor 1

Satellite Phone 1

 

FIRE EXTINGUISHER 1

SPARE TYRES 2

YELLOW SAFETY VEST 1

CUTLERY CONTAINER

 

Table Knives 4

Table Forks 4

Dessert Spoons 4

Tea Spoons 4

CANVAS BAG

 

Thermos 1

Table Cloth 1

Dinner Plates 4

Soup Bowls 4

Coffee Cups 4

Metal Wine Goblets 4

Metal Tumblers 4

Dish Cloth 1

COOKING BOX

 

Chopping Board 1

Colander 1

Cooker Head 1

Oven Gloves 2

Frying Pan 1

Kettle 1

Cast Iron Pot 2

Braai Tongs 1

Classic Northern Route

 

 

Day 1: Arrive in Maun, Vehicle briefing, Overnight Maun Camping.

On arrival you will be met by a representative from Travel Adventures. You will receive a comprehensive 1-2 hour briefing of the vehicle & equipment & the route you will be driving. Following this you can buy

provisions in Maun for the next 9 days on your Self Drive Adventure. Your first night will be spent camping in Maun.

 

Day 2: Camping in Moremi Game Reserve

The following morning you will depart early for Moremi Game Reserve. This drive will take you 4-6 hours depending on what game & birds you encounter on the way into the Parks. You will spend the next 2 nights camping in Moremi exploring on game drives by day.

 

Day 3: Camping in Moremi Game Reserve

 

Day 4: Camping in Khwai Area Moremi Game Reserve

Following breakfast you will pack up camp & drive to the Khwai area of the Moremi Game Reserve. The drive will take you around 4-5 hours depending on what game you see on the way. You will spend 2 nights camping in Khwai exploring in your self drive vehicle by day.

 

Day 5: Camping in Khwai Area Moremi Game Reserve

 

Day 6: Camping Savuti Area

 

Following breakfast you will pack camp and depart Khwai heading for the Savuti region of Chobe National Park. The drive will take you 4-6 hours depending on the game along the way. You will spend 2 nights camping in Savuti and there is no better time to visit Savuti as the Savuti Channel flowed in 2010 for the first time in 30 years! There are also bushmen paintings in Savuti and are signposted on the right side of the main road heading into Savuti. This is the only area in Savuti that you are allowed to exit your vehicle (other than the campsite) and remember not to touch the paintings.

 

Day 7: Camping Savuti Area

 

Day 8: Camping in Ihaha Campsite– Chobe National Park

After breakfast and packing camp you will drive from the Savuti area to the Chobe River area of Chobe National Park. The Chobe area is renowned for its spectacular herds on elephants along the Chobe River and you will spend you last 2 nights camping in this area and game driving by day. The drive from Savuti to Chobe will take approx 5-6 hours.

 

Day 9: Camping in Ihaha Campsite– Chobe National Park

 

Day 10: Kasane Drop off vehicle

 

 

 

Possible Extension

 

Day 10: Kasane to Nata

On arrival in Kasane you will buy more provisions and fill the vehicle with fuel for your next 5 days on your Self Drive Adventure.

You will then drive South from Kasane to Nata which is 300kms—be careful of elephant on the road and look out for wild dogs.

The drive will take approx 3-4 hours and is on a tar road. You will spend the night camping at Nata Lodge.

 

Day 11: Camping at Kubu Island

The following morning you will depart early for Kubu Island and the drive is 90kms off the main road and will take you at least 4-5 hours.

 

Day 12: Makgadikgadi Pans (Nxai Pan, Baines Baobabs & Njuca Hillls)

You will depart Kubu Island early and head toward the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans where you will spend the next 2 nights camping and

exploring the area in your self drive vehicle by day.

 

Day 13: Makgadikgadi Pans (Nxai Pan, Baines Baobabs & Njuca Hillls)

 

Day 14: Khumaga

After breakfast you will leave the pans & head towards Khumaga for the last night camping & explore the area in your vehicle by day.

 

Day 15: Maun

Following breakfast and packing camp you will head back to Maun to drop off the vehicle. This drive will take approx 2-3 hours to Maun.

Because the road conditions in Botswana can be tough, we do recommend clients undertake a 4×4 driving course before a self drive safari: find out about our driver training programme, now available in Maun.

 

Below is some of the basic information you might need about general road conditions, the types of roads you may encounter and driving information on your self drive safari.

 

 

 

 

Tar – Tarmac roads in Botswana are generally good but watch out for the occasional pothole. Be extremely alert for animals on the roads, and do not drive at night. Drive slowly past all animals and be particularly aware of livestock and wildlife in the thick bush or grass next to the roads.

 

Gravel – Keep to a reasonable speed as there may be rutted sections or potholes. Heavy braking on loose gravel can cause the vehicle to ‘aquaplane’. Be vigilant for wildlife and livestock which may run across the road without warning.

 

Sand – Most sand roads are traversed easily in high range 4×4. In the hot months it may be necessary to use low range 4×4 for short distances. The secret to sand driving is to lower the tyre pressure to create a bigger ‘footprint’. Once your tyres are the correct pressure the vehicle moves easily through thick sand, but be sure to re-inflate your tyres when back on hard surfaces.

 

Mud – During the rainy season (November-April) some of the roads in Botswana become impassable due to the mud, also known as black cotton soil. Avoid it at all costs – if you get stuck you won’t be able to dig yourself out and if you are in a remote area you could stay there for weeks. Look to see if previous passersby have made a diversion around the problem section. If so, follow it.

 

Water – Water crossings can be deeper than you think. Do not attempt to drive through any water crossing without first walking through it –check carefully for hippos and crocodiles. Our vehicles’ manufacturers specify they can cross water crossings to just above the wheels.

 

Fuel

There is no fuel as you head through the bush between Maun and Kasane. In an absolute emergency the lodges may be able to provide you with food or fuel – but at a greatly inflated price and usually only after seeking permission from headquarters in Maun. . Rakops often runs out of fuel so don’t depend on it.

Tours 26 - 27

Lodges 30 - 31

Mobiles 36 - 38

Special Interest 41 - 52

More 56 - 65