Highlights of Zimbabwe & Botswana Self Drive 16 days
This great value self-drive itinerary takes in the very best of Zimbabwe's and Botswana's game parks with superb opportunities for animal and bird encounters combined with spectacular landscapes. Travelling at your own pace, this is the perfect trip for independently-minded travellers.
- Spectacular wildlife
- Africa's Big Five
- Amazing landscapes
- Mighty Victoria Falls
- Independent travel
- 15 nights' accommodation
- Meals as shown in itinerary
- Game drives and excursions as shown in itinerary
- Car hire
- Return flights Maun-Moremi Crossing
So much to experience
Too much to choose from? This is where we come in
Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Botswana, Zimbabwe adventure for you.
Having amassed a host of extraordinary adventures in destinations all over the world, Zoe’s experience, skills and enthusiasm for helping clients plan their ideal itinerary will help make your holiday unforgettable, action packed and life-changing.
With a lifetime of unforgettable nature and adventure based travel under his belt, Simon shares his passion, enthusiasm and hands-on experience to help create the perfect itinerary for every client.
Mike has more than 15 years of experience in the travel industry and continues to be inspired by the people, places and wildlife he discovers. His in-depth personal knowledge of a diverse range of destinations ensures your adventure itinerary will be a holiday like no other.
Our popularitinerary Suggestions
All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Chobe River Front
Arrive at Kasane Airport and transfer to Chobe Safari Lodge for two nights on full board basis.
The Chobe Riverfront is an elephant mecca; home to the largest density of African elephants in the world. It will leave you feeling tiny as giant elephant bulls stroll up next to your vehicle or snorkel alongside your boat. It will make you feel lost as hundreds of hippos and buffaloes crowd you out on the floodplains. It will put your heart in your throat as prides of lions stalk antelopes by the water’s edge, and it will leave you alone with your thoughts while the classic red sunsets melt over the river to a soundtrack of whistling fish eagles.
Included here are two game drives, two boat cruises and park fees.
Pick up your rental vehicle and drive across the border into Zimbabwe and on to Victoria Falls where you will stay at the A'Zambezi River Lodge for two nights on a bed and breakfast basis.
There is lots to see and do in Victoria Falls. Viewing the Falls on foot is a must-do activity, but they can also be seen from helicopter rides. There are boat cruises and a host of adrenaline activities such as bungee, zip-wire and white-water rafting. It is also possible to visit the national park.
Hwange National Park
On day 5, drive to Hwange National Park, where you will stay at the Ivory Lodge for three nights on a full board basis.
If you have dreamt of an Africa with expansive plains and wide horizons, where elephant and buffalo traipse in huge numbers towards waterholes and giraffe browse from flat topped acacias while a blazing sun sets behind them… you can find it in Hwange, Zimbabwe’s largest national park.The sight of hundreds, if not thousands of elephants and buffalos streaming towards you as you sit at a waterhole is indescribable. There is nothing like the sound of elephants' peaceful rumbling or the deep thundering of buffalo hooves on hard ground when they spook, wary of lions that may lie in wait.
Hwange’s diverse habitats mean that it offers large numbers of desert adapted, plains and woodland animals. The famed elephant population is one of the largest in the world and it has plentiful predator populations such as lion, leopard and cheetah. Hwange also boasts one of Africa’s last strongholds of endangered African wild dogs, as well as a variety of rare antelope such as eland, sable, roan and if you are lucky the desert-adapted oryx (gemsbok).
Optional activities include game drives and guided walking safaris.
Matobo National Park
On the morning of day 8, drive from Hwange to Matobo Hills (3-4 hours), where you will stay at Camp Amalinda for two nights on full board basis.
With balancing boulders, standing stones, massive monoliths and precariously perched pebbles; the granite formations of Matobo (also known as Matopos) hills are among the world’s most spectacular geology. Here one can marvel at ancient Khoi-San rock art and visit Malindidzimu ‘The Hill of spirits’ a sacred site to indigenous peoples and the grave of Cecil Rhodes; an important reminder of the country's colonial past.
Matobo National Park’s main attraction is its natural beauty and historical significance; however, wildlife can also be seen throughout the park. The park is said to have the highest density of leopards in the world, although they are hard to spot. Within the park is an "Intensive Protection Zone" where the best game viewing can be found, including a sizeable population of the highly endangered black and white rhinoceros, which are successfully breeding. The park also hosts numerous small species and magnificent birding, from the many rock dassies (hyrax) and colourful agama lizards that scramble across the rock faces.
Optional activities include rhino tracking, cave paintings and village tours, bush walks around the camp.
On the morning of day 10, drive on into Botswana to the Francistown area, where you will stay at the Tantebane Resort at Tsamaya, some 40 km east of the city.
This is a perfect stopover area, home to an abundance of birdlife and game, including giraffe, antelope and kudu. Here, you can relax and even play golf on the lush 9-hole course.
Drive on to Gweta for two nights at Planet Baobab on a full board basis. Activities on offer at Planet Baobab include guided walks and quad bike trips into the bush and the Pans with knowledgeable guides. Here you can discover the geological origins of what was once the world's largest ever super lake and you can follow the Palm Trail created by elephant droppings as these ancient creatures trekked across the arid waste when the super lake dried up.
On the morning of day 12, wake up early, before the sun rises and head off to the vast grasslands, past lonely baobab sentinels to the edge of Ntwetwe Saltpan. Along the way, your Guide will explain and search for the incredible adaptations of the species that are unique to the Kalahari Desert environment. As the day starts jump off your vehicle, stretch your legs and crunch your picnic breakfast. Get up close and personal with a resident gang of habituated Meerkats; see how these incredibly social, superbly adapted animals interact with each other and their environment. You also get the chance to view the desert through the eyes of a Meerkat - which, despite the fact that it's only a foot off the ground, is a pretty spectacular vantage point, and definitely one of the most special and memorable game experiences you will encounter in Botswana.
Dry season vs wet season and related activities: Please note that the dry season in Botswana typically runs from May through October and the wet season from November through April. Changing weather conditions have resulted in unexpected rainfall throughout the year which makes some activities hazardous and detrimental to the sensitive ecology of the pans. In wet conditions the camp will automatically revert to the wet season itinerary. Activities are subject to change at the discretion of the camp manager.
Drive on to Maun to stay at the Thamalakane River Lodge on bed & breakfast basis.
This is a comfortable lodge with river views from both chalets and public areas. There are spectacular sunsets and some great birdwatching opportunities.
Leave your car at Maun and take a flight to Okavango Delta and transfer by boat to Moremi Crossing for two nights on a fully inclusive basis.
Moremi Crossing is located on an Island called Ntswi near the most southern part of Chief’s Island. As you fly over the Delta you can see the intricate twisting and turning of the waterways and the ever-changing colours where dry land meets Delta. The main area consists of a large open plan deck that has a spectacular view over the River onto the largest island in the Delta – Chief’s Island.
The area hosts a wide variety of animal and bird species. Moremi Crossing offers different activities in the form of mokoro trips, game and bird walks, sunset motorboat cruises and island camping. All these activities give the guests a chance to experience the Okavango Delta and its wildlife from a very different, slower and closer perspective. On Chief’s Island guests have the opportunity to get a closer view of animals, elephants, giraffes, zebras, buffalos, red lechwe and less commonly lions, leopards and wild dogs have been spotted in the area.
After breakfast, transfer by boat to the Airport for your flight back to Maun and onward or return travel.
A view from Above
Planet Baobab, Makgadikgadi Pans
Along the cracked and crop-less landscape on the road between Maun and Francistown you will find the intriguingly named Planet Baobab camp, the Baobab capital of the world where the average age of each tree is 4000 years.
At Planet Baobab you will find the largest and coolest pool in the Kalahari and the funkiest bar, a well known watering hole for travellers of every description and colourful characters from throughout Maun, plus a beautiful restaurant serving interesting and delicious dishes from all across Africa.
There are a number of accommodation options including traditionally styled Bakalanga or Baobab huts with en-suite showers, dome tents with fully made up stretcher beds or you can even pitch your own tent or park your own 4x4 in our shady campsite.
Chobe Safari Lodge
Located in Kasane on the banks of the Chobe River this delightful camp which offers a variety of accommodation options is perfectly situated for the Chobe National Park and is within close proximity to 3 different airports making it one of the most accessible lodges in the area.
Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia meet right on the doorstep of Chobe Safari Lodge so it is an excellent getaway location for guests looking to explore all of the marvellous areas associated with these regions - including Chobe, Victoria Falls and Caprivi.
Accommodation at Chobe Safari Lodge is provided in 46 Luxury Safari Rooms, 22 Luxury River Rooms and 8 Rondavels.
This newly constructed camp right on the border of the Moremi Game Reserve combines luxury with simplicity and is a 100% eco-friendly development.
Lying on a palm fringed island in the Okavango Delta the camp is surrounded by the Moremi's game-rich seasonal floodplains and overlooks the beautiful Chief's Island.
At this abundant oasis amid the vast plains and pans of the desert that covers most of Southern Africa you will find accommodation for 34 people in 16 luxurious en-suite tents which have been raised on decks to ensure spectacular views of Chief's Island. Each tent has its own eco-friendly shower heated by solar power, delightful furnishings and private veranda.
Ivory Lodge, Hwange
Ivory Lodge is set on its own 6000-acre conservancy bordering Hwange National Park which is the largest National Park in Zimbabwe. Ivory Lodge is built in the treetops of giant teak forests – diverse habitats attract a variety of wildlife and bird life.
Camp Amalinda, Matobo
Camp Amalinda is situated just outside Bulawayo, the second largest city in Zimbabwe and is nestled in the granite domes and kopjes of the Matobo Hills and has some of the most majestic rock scenery in the world. This exclusive safari lodge is tucked away in an ancient Bushman’s shelter within the Matobo National Park. Camp Amalinda echoes the essence of tranquillity and the majesty of untamed Africa.
Thamalakane River Lodge, Moremi
Thamalakane River Lodge is ideally located an easy 20-minute drive from Maun Airport en route to the famous Moremi Game Reserve. It is a secluded haven of tranquility nestled in a grove of mature riverine trees on the bank of the Thamalakane River.
A'Zambezi River Lodge, Victoria Falls
A'Zambezi River Lodge is located in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe 25km from the airport, nestling on the banks of the Zambezi river within the periphery of the Zambezi National Park. The imaginative architecture with its sweeping curve of grass thatch blends well with the lush green lawns. A'Zambezi is the perfect retreat to relax and unwind in the quiet ambience of the African wild life and nature, whilst enjoying renowned services.
Tantebane Resort, Francistown
A delightful resort, set in open countryside at Tsamaya, near Francistown, on the road from Bulawayo to the Makgadikgadi Pans park. There is superb birdwatching within the area and other game viewing, as well as a 9 hole golf course
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