Self Drive Safari Information - Namibia & Botswana
Your accommodation and vehicle
We will arrange a reliable and durable vehicle (either 2×4 or 4×4, depending on your itinerary and preference) with all the equipment you might need for your self-drive safari. We work with the most trusted and reputed local rental car agencies.
We arrange all the accommodation for you based on our extensive experience in Namibia and Botswana, leaving you to focus your attention on the joys of the open road.
You will overnight in a variety of idyllic and well-located lodges/ hotels and camps, giving you easy access to the many highlights of Namibia and Botswana.
What is the infrastructure like - road conditions, shops, fuel stations?
Although Namibia and Botswana generally have a good infrastructure, the roads are not always in the best condition. Most of the roads are good gravel roads and only the highways and a couple of the main roads are tarred. It is best to always drive with caution.
Fuel stations can be found alongside all major routes and highways as well as in cities and villages.
There are more than enough different and well-stocked shops available and many fuel stations also have a little convenience store.
On which side of the road will I be driving?
On the left. Around Southern Africa the steering wheel in vehicles are on the right. Therefore, driving is done on the left-hand side of the roads.
Which documents do I need in order to be able to rent a vehicle in Namibia and Botswana?
Each person who wants to drive a rental vehicle in Namibia and/ or Botswana must have a valid national driver’s license. This license needs to be carried along at all times and must be produced when requested (vehicle hand-over, police control).
Your national driver’s license should be in English and it should include a photograph of you. If not, you will additionally need an international driving license. Please take note that the international driving license is only valid in conjunction with your national driver’s license.
Also, very importantly, you must be in possession of a credit card when picking up the rental vehicle. The main renter must be the credit card holder.
Can I enter the national parks in a rental vehicle?
Yes. Most roads within the national parks are tarred or good gravel and all are accessible to rental cars. You will have to adhere to the road rules and regulations of the national parks at all time. These include: remaining in your vehicle unless you are in a designated area, sticking to the speed limit and not littering, etc.
In the Etosha National Park, guided game drives in open safari vehicles are available and accompanied by a professional ranger.
A 4×4 vehicle is required to enter the national parks in Botswana and in the Caprivi. If you are not travelling with a 4×4, you can book guided game drives at the accommodation you are staying at.
How will I be able to find my way around?
Along with your travel documents, you will receive detailed directions and contact details for all the pre-booked accommodation.
Some rental car companies provide road maps, but since not all of them do, it is advisable to bring a good map with a map scale of at least 1:1,5 million.
What meals are included and what food can be expected on tour?
Meals are included as indicated in each itinerary.
Breakfast at lodges/ hotels usually consists of a full English breakfast and cereals, toast, cheese, jam, fruits, juices, tea, coffee, etc.
Since most of the days are spent on the road or in the national parks, no lunches are included.
On days when it’s recommendable to dine at your accommodation, dinner has been included. In these cases dinner usually consists of a set menu with local meat, vegetables and rice or potato dishes. Alternatively, a buffet dinner is served. At places where you can cater for yourself or you have a variety of restaurants to choose from, dinner has been excluded.
What about money matters?
You can exchange your own currency for Namibian Dollar (for use in Namibia) or Botswana Pula (for use in Botswana) at one of the exchange bureaus at the airport or in town. You can also draw cash at the current exchange rate at a local ATM with your credit card or Maestro card (PIN required).
Credit cards are also widely accepted in bigger shops and shopping malls but some smaller shops and all fuel stations do not accept credit cards, so always have some cash on hand.
Do I need vaccinations for Namibia/ Botswana?
As Malaria is a concern in some areas of Namibia and Botswana, we recommend that some precautionary measures are taken. Please speak to your doctor or travel clinic about the different prophylaxes and their effects and side effects. In general, prevention is better than cure and the best prevention is to avoid bites. Apply mosquito repellent and wear long trousers, socks, closed shoes and long-sleeved tops when outdoors in the morning and evening hours.
It is recommended that you have your regular vaccinations updated – tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B and polio.
Namibian custom officials require proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever.
How safe is a self-drive tour in Namibia and Botswana?
Generally speaking, Namibia and Botswana are safe and not more dangerous than other countries in the world. Public areas around shopping centres, restaurants, banks etc. as well as the countryside are very safe. Most crimes and acts of violence take place in the townships of bigger cities. Just as in other countries around the world, you should stick to a couple of rules to avoid risky or dangerous situations. This includes staying away from dodgy areas, walking in the dark, carrying a lot of cash or expensive cameras on you, wearing flashy jewellery and leaving bags or valuables in the car.
Try not to drive after sunset as wild animals often roam free.