Buffalo Self Drive

Introduction

This 20 day accommodated self-drive tour has a similar theme to the Fish Eagle itinerary but for those who have more time available.

 It is a circular route that incorporates the main highlights of central, and northern Namibia as well as both Vic Falls and the Okavango Delta in Botswana, before returning to Windhoek. A huge variety of different landscapes and experiences awaits – the spectacular dunes of Sossusvlei; the Atlantic coastline; ancient rock art; the white plains of Etosha with plentiful wildlife; the lush riverbanks of the Zambezi region; the thundering waters of Vic Falls; and the wilderness of the Delta.

Your tour will start by traveling from Windhoek to the south, Sesriem as a first destination. Sesriem, which is also known as the entry to the Namib Park and Dues at Sossusvlei, hosts the highest dunes in the world! Both Sossusvlei and Deadvlei will be the highlights of this day..

From Sesriem, some 250km further in a northernly direction, you’ll reach Swakopmund and the next 2 days you will be at the coastal town and surroundings. Swakopmund offers you a wide range of activities during the day, from Sand boarding – Quad biking to Dolphin cruises. Of course the German architecture, excellent cuisine and good beer seals a perfect two days!

The next leg of your trip takes you further north on a scenic drive to the ancient rock engravings at Twyfelfontein, a World Heritage Site, and then to Etosha National Park, one of Southern Africa’s best game viewing destinations. In Etosha you will be exploring the wildlife for 3 days.

From Etosha your journey leads to a water-filled Zambezi region. Here you will experience the lush riverine environment of the Kavango, Kwando, Chobe and Zambezi Rivers. The focus will be more around the water and game viewing. The wild life here is fantastic. Next to the rivers you can expect to see hippos, crocodiles, buffalos, elephants, tsessebes, red letches, bushbuck and many more. You will also be able to hear the fish eagles.

Day 12 you will be crossing the border to head into Botswana. The Ngoma border post leads you to Kasane, known as the town that sees where Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia connects each other on 4 corners.

Kasane is the gateway to the Chobe National Park and to the Victoria Falls.  The Chobe National Park as a high concentration of animals utilizing the abundance of water surrounded by bush and trees.

Victoria Falls, one of the seven wonders of the world, is definitely a once in a lifetime place to go. A Day-visit is easily arranged, either through a guided tour, a ferry flight across, of you could drive there yourself (the latter may require you to take more time and perhaps sleep over in Livingstone (Zambia) or Vic Falls (Zimbabwe)

From Kasane you will be traveling south again through Nata and then to Maun. Maun is known as the hub of the Okavango Delta. It’s a wildlife and bird paradise.

After your night in Maun, you will be leaving the beautiful green environment, and will be heading into the central Kalahari which is a more arid environment. Thakadu is situated just south of a town called Ghanzi. Here you will be enjoying the shady trees that overlook the waterhole.

The final day of your trip is heading back to Windhoek where you can either catch an evening flight or stay in Namibia’s capital city, a chance to pick up a few last souvenirs before heading home.

All our itinerary’s is customisable to suit your self-drive safaris. Days could be added of deleted. Accommodation is 100% your choice. You can browse the area and also suggest where you would like to stay instead. We strive to make your stay as memorable as possible

Tour Summary
Duration:
20 Days
Distance:
3925 km
Destinations:

Windhoek – Sossusvlei – Damaraland – Etosha – Northern Namibia – Kavango – Zambezi/Caprivi – Kasane – Vic Falls – Nata – Maun – Ghanzi - Windhoek

Rates are valid:
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Overview

 

DayAccommodationDestinationBasisDuration
Day 0Arebbusch Travel LodgeWindhoekBB1 Night
Day 1 & 2Sossus Dune LodgeNaukluft ParkDBB2 Nights
Day 3 & 4Alte Brucke ResortWest CoastBB2 Nights
Day 5White Lady LodgeDamaralandBB1 Night
Day 6Okaukuejo ResortEtoshaDBB1 Night
Day 7Halali ResortEtoshaDBB1 Night
Day 8Namutoni ResortEtoshaDBB1 Night
Day 9Hakusembe River LodgeKavangoBB1 Night
Day 10Popa Falls ResortKavangoDBB1 Night
Day 11Namusasha LodgeCapriviBB1 Night
Day 12, 13 & 14Chobe Safari LodgeKasaneBB3 Nights
Day 15Nata LodgeNataBB1 Night
Day 16, 17 & 18Sitatunga CampMaunBB3 Nights
Day 19Thakadu CampGhanziBB1 Night
Day 20 Windhoek  
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Included

The following is included:

  • Your vouchers, itinerary and a 24 hour emergency assistance phone number

See the individual lodges for detailed inclusions.

Excluded

The following is excluded:

  • Vehicle & Fuel
  • Park entrance fees (these need to be paid on arrival).
  • Tips and gratuities (which are optional).
  • Any meals or activities not specified.

See the individual lodges for detailed exclusions.

Itinierary

A circular route that includes Sossusvlei, Etosha, the highlights of Northern Namibia, the Okavango, Kwando, Zambezi and Chobe basins, Vic Falls and the Okavango Delta in Botswana.

Day 1: Windhoek - Sossusvlei

The drive to Sossusvlei is around 300 kilometres, which would take you around 5 – 5.5hours.

The route is a good gravel road towards Sossusvlei. We would recommend you to take the scenic Spreetshoogte Pass. A view one can’t explain, it’s a must see. The pass is only travelled from top to bottom due to the height and steepness of the road.

Once you are at the bottom your next suggestible stop is Solitaire. Here you will be able to get refreshments and something to bite. They also have a fuel station.

We would recommend staying in Sossus Dune lodge. Advantage staying with them is, you are already in the park so with first light you can head down to the dunes.

There is a wide variety of other lodges to stay. Please see our map NAMIB NAUKLUFT PARK.

Day 2: Sossusvlei

Early morning wake up and depart (guided or self-drive) towards the 2x4 parking area at the entrance of the Sossusvlei area (60km- Tar road) – driving this road is permitted before sunrise if you stay inside the Park and the drive through the dunes towards Sossusvlei while the sun rises is a real pleasure.

The first major (well known) dune you will encounter is Dune 45 - many people choose to stop and climb it, but we suggest you continue onwards towards Sossusvlei. Park at the 2x4 car park (unless you have a 4x4 vehicle this is as far as you can drive). Here you can jump onto a shuttle service that picks and drops clients at both the Deadvlei and Sossusvlei entrances.

The walk along the dry river bed into Sossusvlei is also lovely!

Prepare for a stunning experience, and on your way back to the lodge, make sure to stop at the Sesriem Canyon - follow the signs from the Sesriem Campsite.

Day 3: Sossusvlei - Swakopmund

Your drive will be around 350 kilometres for the day, which will take around 4-5 hours.

You will pass through the Kuiseb & Gaub pass to reach Swakopmund. The contrast is spectacular. You will have vast stretches of gravel plains from Sossusvlei to Walvis Bay.

Arriving in Walvis Bay you have the option to do a quick stop at the Walvis Bay Lagoon to see the flamingos and pelicans. There is also a salt mine just south of the lagoon. Here you will be able to experience the crystal landscape with beautiful pink, blue and white colour schemes.

From Walvis Bay to Swakopmund it’s around 30 kilometres. Once you reach Swakopmund we suggest you get settled in you accommodation before you go out and enjoy an evening meal.

Alte Brucke would be a great choice of accommodation. You can also see more places on our map WEST COAST.

Day 4: Swakopmund

Fun filled day. Swakopmund offers you a host of adventure activities:

  • sand-boarding down the Namib dunes
  • guided tour into the dunes exploring the vast contras
  • Skydiving
  • Camel ride
  • Quad-bike trip into the dunes
  • Scenic flights
  • You can also do the Welwitschia drive, you do however need to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism office.
  • Dolphin Cruise at Walvis Bay

Activities could be booked beforehand, or one could book it on arrival in Swakopmund.

Swakopmund also offers you great food and fantastic Beer!

Day 5: Swakopmund - Twyfelfontein

Today you will be having a long drive of around 4.5 hours via Henties Bay and Uis.

There is an option to quickly drop in at Cape Cross, home to the  Cape Fur Seal colony ( you will have to add more driving hours for the day). It’s a 70km there and back (but worthwhile experience/sighting)

Just 10km North of Hentiesbay is the turnoff towards Uis, passing the Brandberg.  Bransberg is the highest mountain in Namibia, but also famous for the “White Lady” rock painting.

From here we would recommend you travel to your evening’s destination, quite close to your accommodation for the night is the Twyfelfontein Rock Art, Namibia’s first World Heritage site that contains around 2000 rock engravings.

You may be lucky to spot our desert adapted Elephants or Black Rhino on the journey.

Here you will also be able to choose accommodation from our map DAMARALAND. We recommend White Lady Lodge.

Day 6: Twyfelfontein - Etosha

Today we head off to Etosha National Park. The number 1 most visited place in Namibia. You will be traveling 345kilometres that will take you around 4 hours.

As you leave Twyfelfontein towards Khorixas you could stop to have a tour of the Petrified Forest. Here you will have to pay a local guide to show you the remains of the million year old petrified tree trunks.

From Khorixas you will be traveling to Outjo. Here you will be able to enjoy a lunch and get the last shopping done, before you head to the Park. You will be entering the park at the Anderson gate. As you enter the park, you will start to see more wildlife.

As one of the most established camps, Okaukuejo attracts an enormous amount of game and your evening might best be spent relaxing at the waterhole here.

There is a variety of lodges to choose from our map ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK, to stay outside the park. Inside we would suggest a night’s stay at Okaukuejo Resort, a night at Halali Resort and the last evening at Namutoni Resort. Due to the size of the park, the habitat differs from the western side to the eastern side.

Benefit of staying inside the park is: The waterholes in the evenings, and you get to drive around with the first light in the morning till sunset.

Day 7: Etosha

Driving from Okaukuejo Resort to Halali Resort, and to experience the nature and animals. Visiting as much waterholes as you can.

For the most part game viewing is best done early in the morning and in the cooler hours before the sun sets. The edge of the pan often attracts good sightings but remember that it is worth being patient and stopping off for a while at one spot.

Day 8: Etosha

Driving form Halali Resort to Namutoni Resort. Exploring nature and animal life. Seeing as much waterholes as you can.

Etosha Park

It is worth waking early and heading out on your game drive as soon as the gates open at sunrise. Animals are most active in the cool of the day (early morning and late afternoon) and in order to maximise your chances of good viewings it is worth imitating their behaviour. The roads in Etosha are unsealed gravel roads but are in reasonable condition - and the general tourist behaviour is to drive between various waterholes searching for animals. As the day gets hotter head for shade, and lunch, at one of the parks three camps, Okaukuejo, Namutoni or Halali. When things start to cool down again head out for another game drive. With two days you should have sightings of most of the park's inhabitants (although be warned the cats are notoriously hard to find - and of course what you see is determined by luck and more importantly your ability to spot wildlife).

Day 9: Etosha Park – Hakusembe River Lodge

You will exit the park at the Von Lindequist gate and traveling through the towns called Tsumeb and Grootfontein to reach Rundu. Between Grootfontein and Rundu you will go through a vetenary border at the Mururani gate. Your drive will be 440 kilometres that will take around 4.5 hours to drive. As you get to Rundu you will see a sign to your left with Hakusembe River Lodge - 16kilometres.

Arriving at the lodge you will be greeted with a refreshing image of green lawn, large trees, a collection of thatched chalets and a strip of sparkling river. Instantaneously the fresh balm of beauty soothes your weary soul. You have reached the verdant Hakusembe river oasis. You are now on the bank of the mighty Kavango River! A feeling of calm descends. And it remains present for the time of your visit.

River birds fly up between the reeds, people row their dugout canoes (mokoros) on the river and soft muted sounds float over the waters from the villages on the far bank. As you sit on the floating deck, legs up, book in hand absorbing the peace to the accompaniment of bird calls and the gentle splashing of water, all worldly worries float away.

Those who can muster the energy to move can cool off at the pool in the luxuriant garden, try their luck at catching the elusive Tiger Fish, take a stroll to the Mbunza cultural village and hop aboard the Hakusembe River Queen.

Hakusembe River Lodge will be our choice of accommodation. If you prefer another choice, please see our map KAVANGO, and we will book accordingly.

Day 10: Rundu - Divundu

It is about 220 kilometre drive that will take you around 2 H 15. The Popa Falls is very well known. Here you are also shrouded by 2 beautiful parks, Buffalo Park and the Mahango Game Park. Definitely a great drive. You can also enjoy a sundowner boat cruise.

 Popa Falls Resort is a gateway to the north-eastern corner of Namibia and home to perennial rivers, magnificent indigenous woodlands, riverine forests, floodplains and reed-lined channels. The resort is located on the Kavango River, and the falls are accessible by foot from here. The falls, in fact, are not falls as one may expect from its name. Instead, they are a series of cascades created naturally over time by the running river, which splits the rock and forms a vast network of river channels.

Popa Falls Resort will be our choice of accommodation. If you prefer another choice, please see our map KAVANGO, and we will book accordingly.

Day 11: Divundu - Kongola

Today your drive will be 230kikometres that will take you around 2.5 hours.

Just before you reach Kongola you would see a board sign that show Bwabwata National Park. If you would like to do a self-drive in the park you could. You will just have to pay for your park entrance and vehicle at the office and the officer will hand you a map as well. Other option is to do the drive with the lodge, or a boat cruise.

Namushasha River lodge is situated on the Zambezi water and offer guests activities, from strolling past the green lawned campsite tot the traditional heritage centre. You could do a boat cruise, or you could do a drive with them, where they will be taking you on a boat to where the vehicles is parked inside the park.

Namushasha River Lodge will be our choice of accommodation. If you prefer another choice, please see our map ZAMBEZI/CAPRIVI and we will book accordingly.

Day 12: Kongola - Kasane

The drive today will be 440 kilometres that will take you around 5.5hours. You will also be crossing the border at the Ngoma border post to reach the town of Kasane in Botswana.

Chobe Safari Lodge, on the banks of the Chobe River in Botswana, is the best destination for serious game viewers. Situated in Kasane, Chobe Safari Lodge is close to where the borders of four African countries meet - Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia. If you are planning to visit the Chobe area, the majestic Victoria Falls or the Caprivi region, then Chobe Safari Lodge is the ideal choice of accommodation. Booking a boat cruise is definitely a must do, as it’s a whole new experience you will have.

Chobe Safari Lodge is definitely the place to stay.

Day 13: Kasane - Vic Falls - Kasane

Victoria Falls! Today you should definitely do the day trip to the Victoria Falls. Other options is boat cruises or to explore the parks.

Visit the legendary Victoria Falls from Chobe. On this day trip guests will explore the mighty Victoria Falls and pass by the big tree (estimated to be 1000 years old) on a guided tour, have lunch at the Rain Forest Café or Mama Africa and later visit the Falls curio market for their shopping.

Vic Falls Day tour itinerary 
8.30AM: Guest are pickled in the morning from Chobe lodges and transferred to Kazungula border for their transfer to Victoria Falls.
10.00AM: Your Victoria Falls day tour begins with a visit to the Big Tree (estimated to be 1000 years old) on your way to the legendary Victoria Falls. Your experienced guide will advise you on the best spots to view the falls, assist you with pictures and educate you on the flora and fauna, the formation of Victoria Falls and the cultures that surround the Victoria Falls.
11.30AM: After the Falls tour you will have opportunity to explore other activities in Victoria Falls. The activities that you can do before your lunch are bridge tours (Bungee, slide, canopy tour, bridge tour etc), helicopter flights over the Falls (coined the Flight of Angels), Croc Farm sanctuary tour, township tour etc. Other activities are at the guest’s expense.
13.00PM: Lunch is served at the finest Victoria Falls Rainforest Cafe set in the Victoria Falls rain forest lush forests. After lunch you will Visit the curio market and other souvenir shops for your shopping.
15.30PM: You depart Victoria Falls and proceed to Kazungula to end you tour or to Victoria Falls Hotel for your high tea. The Victoria Falls Hotel is the only Hotel with view of the Victoria Falls Bridge.

Chobe Safari Lodge.

Day 14: Kasane

Because of the long drive to Kasane and the lack of time to book any activities other than an evening boat trip, today is open for doing activities in Chobe.

Day 15: Kasane - Nata

If there is one place that many birdwatchers have on their bucket list it is the Makgadigadi Pans. The ideal place to stay if you want to explore the pans is Nata Lodge. The lodge is conveniently close to the pans and bird sanctuary which is a breeding ground for various species of birdlife. This includes the majestic flamingo and pelican. In the dry season the vast salt pans and grass plains speckled by palm islands, are an impressive sight. An excellent restaurant, pool and elegantly appointed chalets make this an ideal destination for visiting the pans or an ideal stopover on your way to the Chobe or the Okavango Delta.

Your drive will be 310 kilometres and will take you around 3H45. Activities here include bird watching, a village visit and morning or evening pan drives in 4x4 vehicles. The Pan drives is definitely recommendable.
Nata Lodge is definitely the place to stay.

Day 16: Nata - Maun

Today you will be driving from Nata to Maun. Your drive will be 300 kilometres and will take around 3 hours. Island Safari lodge is located on the banks of the Thamalakane River, Island Safari Lodge is a cool and welcoming oasis in the heart of Maun. Shaded under a huge canopy of large trees, the lodge overlooks the river and floodplain beyond. Island Safari Lodge is set on a 300 acre private island reserve. Here you can enjoy Bird watching, Mokoro Excursions, Boat Cruises or game drives.

Sitatunga Camp is definitely the place to stay.

Day 17-18: Okavango Delta

For the next 2 days we suggest booking either a trip into the Delta or into Moremi. Here you could enjoy cruises and Mokoro trips. You will be enjoying the rich birdlife and the scenery

Day 19: Maun - Ghanzi

Today we head to a town called Ghanzi, some 350 kilometres away. Thakadu Camp's comfortable Meru-style tents are built on wooden decks and are set amongst ancient Leadwood trees, providing much needed shady in the hotter months. The main area overlooks a pan and floodlit waterhole which attracts game such as eland, kudu, impala, wildebeest and other animals suited to this area of the Kalahari. Game drives can be arranged or you may prefer to learn about the traditional skills of the Bushmen who in the past have lived so effectively in this harsh environment.

Thakadu Camp

Day 20: Ghanzi - Windhoek

It is around 550 kilometres that will take around 5.5 hours’ drive back to Windhoek. The road is normally in good condition. You will be leaving Botswana to Namibia through the Buitepos Boarder. You will then get a town called Gobabis. This town is the only place where you will be able to have lunch before you travel the last part.

If you are not flying out today, we could recommend you accommodation, see our map WINDHOEK REGION, and book it for you.

Vehicles

We have a wide option of vehicles to rent on our site. We will also be able to advise you on the best possible vehicle for your tour, and to arrange the rental for you.

Terms & Conditions

Camping - starting from
N$ 4 150 per person
Lodging - starting from
N$ 23 900 per person
Tour Summary
Duration:
20 Days
Distance:
3925 km
Destinations:

Windhoek – Sossusvlei – Damaraland – Etosha – Northern Namibia – Kavango – Zambezi/Caprivi – Kasane – Vic Falls – Nata – Maun – Ghanzi - Windhoek

Tour Request

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Camping from N$ 4 150 per person
Lodging from N$ 23 900 per person