Botswana self-drive safaris are an ideal way to discover the beauty of Botswana’s magnificent unspoilt bushveld and breathtaking pan landscapes whilst enjoying unique wildlife encounters all at your own pace. Here are Drive South Africa’s top Botswana 4×4 self- drive route recommendations when visiting Botswana.

If you want to go on your own adventure through Africa, you might want to have a look at 4×4 hire to find the best vehicle for your adventure.

Exploring the Kalahari Desert

Explore the Kalahari [Photo by Yann]

Immerse yourself in the stunning stark hills and beautiful barren expanses of the Kahalari Desert on this two-week Botswana tour route. Your Botswana self-drive safari begins with a night in Maun, the gateway to the Okavango Delta. Stock up on supplies as you browse the local market place or hike one of the local trails before enjoying a beer is the historic Best Western Riley’s Hotel. Then you are off to discover the bizarre rock formations at the Gchiwaba (Drotsky’s Caves) over 2 nights.  You will marvel at Mother Nature’s power as you hike through the stunning labyrinth of linked passageways before emerging to enjoy a Botswana Safari bush sunset over the Kalahari. Spend three nights on your Botswana tour in amongst the sheer quartzite cliff faces of the Tsodilo Hills under a canopy of stars. An ancient San spiritual site shrouded in superstition, the hills are a majestic site rising up out of the Kalahari Savannah plains. Push your Botswana 4×4 to the extreme as you explore the trails up the hills to enjoy the golden savannah’s stretching out to the horizon. Forge new trails through the harsh Kalahari limestone landscape of the Aha Hills before heading back to the Gchwahaba Hills and Maun for a three night Botswana safari trip into the Okavango Delta.

Nxai Pans and Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Sunrise, Kubu island, Makgadikgadi Pan [Photo By Obliot]

Trail-blazers will revel in the many Botswana 4×4 trails across the grassy golden savannah plains of the Nxai Pan National Park and Central Game Reserve on this 15 day Botswana self-drive tour.  Beginning your Botswana tour in Maun you can visit the Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Strap on your hiking shoes and trek through the plains to enjoy the company of the endangered black rhino and its white rhino cousin on a guided walking Botswana safari. The Nxai Pans is your best opportunity to see a lion kill on Botswana Safari. Spend four nights exploring the golden savannah and Mopane woodlands as elephants and zebra graze freely in the open near your campsites. Then you are off to spend 2 nights in the barren landscape and sprawling dry river bed of Deception Valley in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. In the heart of Botswana, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is an idyllic setting for your Botswana safari as you absorb the spirit of the Kalahari. Explore the Botswana 4×4 trails and ancient riverbeds of the park camping at the edge of the many salt pans over 6 nights to enjoy prime game viewing and proper bush camping. Keen game-viewers can spot giraffe, leopard and lazy lions lapping up the shade of the tree groves. Take a trip to the Kudiakau Pan in the larger Makgadigadi National Park and camp in the shadow of the towering Baines Baobabs for 2 nights before walking the fossil beaches and mysterious stone walls of Kubu Island. As you make your way back through Maun to Kasane you should stop in the small town of Nata for 2 nights and visit the market and Nata Bird Sanctuary. Then negotiate a premier Botswana 4×4 trail across the park to enjoy the pristine beauty of the Sowa Pan on your way to Kasane.

Wildlife Encounters in Moremi and Chobe

Chobe Elephants [Photo by Steve Conradie]

A 4×4 safari Botswana tour through the Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park, are treated for those Botswana self-drive travellers looking to get up close to game. After collecting your Botswana 4×4 hire from Maun, drive to the Moremi Game Reserve for premier Botswana tour game trails. Explore the sandy riverbanks, golden plains and magical waterways of the park filled with elephants, hippos to lion, hyena and the endangered African wild dog. Spend your four nights around a fire, listening to the lion call under a bright starry sky. Then head for Chobe to encounter the playful herds of Chobe elephants in close-quarters. There are elephants, buck, hippo’s and Impala galore for you to see as you bundu-bash your way along the parks many routes in your 4×4 safari Botswana. Hiring a Botswana 4×4 for your 4×4 safari Botswana will also give you the best game-viewing perspective so you don’t miss the lion lurking in the grass.

Botswana 4×4 Hire

Botswana 4x4 Hire [Photo by Steve Conradie]

Although Botswana’s main roads between the towns are tarred, the gravel tracks through the National Parks and in the more remote wilderness areas are difficult to negotiate and require an equipped Botswana 4×4 vehicle. Botswana self-drive holidays are an ideal way to explore the countries many natural wonders and a perfect place for all to enjoy unique wildlife encounters in Botswana’s many park areas.  But be prepared, Botswana tours and self-drive safaris are not for the faint-hearted. Know your route, stock up on supplies and let someone know where you are going or if possible travel in convoy with another Botswana self-drive groups. For more information on Botswana Safaris and Botswana holidays, visit Botswana Tourism or to book a Botswana self-drive 4×4 car visit the Drive South Africa Botswana 4×4 car hire page. Keep Discovering!