drive-south-africa

4x4 Self-Drive From Cape Town to Botswana

There are very few things that get me more fired up than planning a road trip to my favourite destinations and everyone I know will vouch for this. Taking on the big open road, whether it’s with family, friends, or my own, my singalong songs on the playlist, snacks packed and the sun just starting to light up the world.

Planning your trip

garden route trip

A self-drive from Cape Town to Botswana can easily cover 4000 kilometers so keep that in mind and plan your overnight and fuel stops accordingly. You also don’t want to arrive at a beautiful reserve and be rushed to leave the next day, so allow for at least two nights at most places. The length of your trip will be completely up to you but I’d recommend a good two weeks minimum and if you’re not from Cape Town you can set aside three days alone to see some beautiful sights, beaches, and wine farms.

Choosing the perfect vehicle

You’ll need a vehicle that will be able to get you from Cape Town and it’s highways through to Botswana and it’s 4x4 territory. 4x4 vehicles can come fully equipped with tents and equipment and generally fit up to four people. This is great for the budget as you can have an amazing camping safari without spending too much of your budget on lodges. Keep in mind that not all Suppliers have branches in both countries, but Drive SA has that covered so do have a look. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to budget for one-way delivery charges on the vehicle and also remember that the equipped vehicles have slightly less luggage space than you may be used to.

My recommended Route

  • Cape Town to Clanwilliam, if you are travelling from around August to October you’ll find the landscapes filled with the most beautiful wildflowers. Alternatively, stay over at Tankwa Karoo National park and experience the sweet solitude of your surroundings.

  • Clanwilliam to Upington. Plan a day trip to the magnificent Augrabies falls and don’t forget to visit Die Pienk Padstal on your way for some memorabilia and delicious treats.  If the area has had some rains you’ll be blessed with the most awe-inspiring waterfalls.

  • Upington to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Kalahari Desert which is arguably one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in the world

  • Kgalagadi to Thakadu Bush Camp, Ghanzi for a cultural stopover before you head off to Northern Botswana

  • Ghanzi to Moremi game reserve which incorporates a large portion of the Okavango Delta

  • Moremi to Chobe National Park where you will spend your last few nights.

I always prefer and recommend to spend the last night in the town you’re flying out from

Highlights

Whichever route you decide on, make sure to include a trip to Augrabies falls, a safari in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Mokoro trip in the Okavango Delta, Makgadikgadi Pans and a Walking Safari in the Okavango Delta

Summary

It is a long drive, but worth doing if you have the time and do allow time for some stops along the way to experience the true culture of the different areas!

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