Every safari involves driving around but there is a thrill that comes with driving yourself around a country that you barely know, the different places that you will drive to and tourist attractions that you will see adds to the excitement. The Botswana landscape is a good one if you want to go for a self-drive from the game drives, camping in the wild, the vast plains, the Kalahari Desert and the wilderness.
A self-drive safari means that you are the one who is going to drive yourself around the country, plan your destinations and do the tours by yourself with no help from a tour guide. Self-drives in Botswana are safe although you will need to be extra careful with the roads and get the right car.
What you need to know before going for a self-drive safari in Botswana
Self-drives in Botswana can be extremely entertaining but if you are not well prepared it might not be a good thing to do and it will be extremely risky for you. The things that you need to know and prepare before going for a self-drive in Botswana include:
Food, you need to pack a lot of food supplies for your game drive and water because it will be very hard for you to get food along the way and while camping, make sure that all the food supplies stay in your tent.
You are supposed to follow the roads that are marked for drive ways as many roads in the parks are off limits.
When it comes to camping, make sure that you do not leave any part of your body outside the tent because wild animals keep on moving around and you do not want to be eaten up by the animals.
Make sure that as you head out for the self-drive, you follow all the rules and regulations that govern traffic in the country and you should also prepare for the bad roads that are in the country and the only thing you need to do if to drive carefully.
Those that are driving to northern Malawi should know that the region has an infestation of mosquitoes and therefore they should go with anti-malarial tablets to avoid falling sick while on a self-drive safari.
Do not in any way feed the animals because this is prohibited and once you are caught feeding them you are charged.
After knowing what you have to do and what to avoid, what to pack as you are heading out for your self-drive in Botswana, below are some of the destinations where you can go for the self-drive safari.
You will need a 4by4 wheel drive car due to the bad roads, a stat phone because some places do not have network coverage, extra fuel so that you do not get stuck along the way and a clear map of the places that you want to visit.
A self-drive safari to chobe National Park
Chobe National park is one of the largest Parks in the country and one of the best self-drive safari destinations in Botswana. Getting to chobe is not hard and even though it has many entrances, the Kasane entrance is the mainly used one and all you need to do is pay your entrance fees, get a Botswana tour booklet and your adventure will begin immediately. The best time for you to go for a self-drive in chobe is during the dry season which is experienced between April and October. It is also the best time for one to go for game viewing although you will need to have enough experience while driving because the roads in chobe are not good in any way.
A self-drive safari to the Tsodilo hills
The Tsodilo hills also declared as a UNESCO heritage site has over 400 rocks that are filled with paintings that are believed to have been painted by the Bushmen who were the first settlers in the country. These are believed to be the oldest historical sites in the country and one of the best self-drive safaris in Botswana. A self-drive to the Tsodilo hills can be done throughout the year although the months of June to August can be a bit chilly. Drive to the hills and get to know more about the rock paintings and the significance they have to the Botswana people.
A self-drive safari to the Tuli Block
The Tuli block is the largest reserve that is privately owned in Botswana. It is located in the North eastern part of the country and has an extremely good landscape that allows easy self-drive for the tourists. The best time for tourists to go for self-drives in Tuli block is between the months of May and November which are dry months and some of the things that you will get to see on your drive include lions, hyenas, impalas, warthogs, elands and many more other entertaining things. It is well known for its marked roads within the reserve and all you need is to pay a small fee before your journey begins in the wild.
The Linyati and Savuti are located in the Northern part of Botswana and is famously known for the many elephants that are concentrated in the area. The place has abundant wildlife that you can see while there and the best time for one to go for a self-drive is during the months of May and October because during this period, the roads are easily accessible for self-drive safaris.
A self-drive safari to the Okavango Delta
A self-drive in the Okavango Delta will not be complete if you do not have a four wheel drive. Since it is common knowledge that the Delta floods during the rainy season and roads get flooded and you might end up getting stuck along the road and that is why it is better to go for a game drive during the green season. The green season usually has a lot of wild life and there are minimal rains which will allow you to drive through the Delta easily while also getting the best experience from Botswana’s wild.
A self-drive safari to the Central Kalahari
The Central Kalahari game reserve is located in the famous Kalahari Desert and it is one place where you can go for a self-drive while in Botswana. The drive to the reserve gives you a chance to explore the Desert and also view some of the animals that habitate within. The drive is better done during the dry season and even though it is hot during this time, the roads are easily accessible as compared to the wet season when there is a lot of mud causing some of the cars to get stuck in the mud.
A self-drive safari to the Moremi Game reserve
The Moremi game reserve just like any other Park in Botswana is best visited during the dry season which runs from July to October but it can also be visited throughout the whole year although you will have to be a good driver to take on those roads especially during the rainy season. It is located on the eastern side of the Okavango Delta and has a lot to offer to all those that want to take self-drives in the reserve. The beauty about taking the self-drive through the reserve is that you take your time while getting the feel of the place and the wild in form of animals and birds.
A self-drive safari to the Makgadikgadi
The Makgadikgadi reserve is another popular spot for self-drives in Botswana. There are several wild life that you get to meet on your drive through the reserve and you can make a stop at the salt pan that is located in the Makgadikgadi and admire its effect that it has especially in the morning and in the evening. The best time for tourists to go for game drives is from the months of June to December during the dry season because the roads are passable although for all those that love game viewing, the best time is from December to April during the wet months although you will need to have a four wheel drive to take on the roads and the salt pan.
A self-drive safari to Khama Rhino sanctuary
The Khama Rhino sanctuary is a home to the almost endangered white and black rhinos in the country. It was opened by the community after poaching had increased in the area and it can be visited almost throughout the whole year. The Khama rhino sanctuary experiences the dry season in the months of April to November and the rainy season between the months of December to May.
You can enjoy a self-drive throughout the whole country as long as you have a good plan for where you want to go exactly and all you need is to be open minded with whatever you will find in the country.