ZIMABABWE BOTSWANA SELF DRIVE
Perfect family holiday in Zimbabwe and Botswana. Just an example of a tour. We tailor made all our tours.
Zimbabwe self-drive tour
Various combinations of Zimbabwe Botswana Tours are possible. We provide a single example, but you can be assured that we can tailor-make the tour to suit your needs.
The following is a highly recommended tour or safari. This is designed to be done in any vehicle. The entire route is on tar road. This is therefore a perfect family tour for those who cherish their expensive cars.
Day 1: We recommend that you travel from South Africa through Martin’s Drift border to Francistown. Francistown is Botswana’s second largest city. It will be an overnight stop only and we suggest Woodlands for self-catering accommodation or the Cresta Marang Gardens Hotel in Francistown.
Day 2 and 3 Matobo Hills: You will enter Zimbabwe at the Plumtree border and drive to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second biggest city, before you continue on to Matobo Hills National Park which is about 40 km from Bulawayo. The Motobo Hills National Park is best known for its fascinating rock formations and absolutely beautiful vegetation. In addition, game such as sable and white rhino, are common. You can stay in either Granite Ridge self-catering accommodation or you can spoil yourself with two nights in the wonderful and luxurious Matobo Hills Lodge.
Day 4: You will need a place to overnight and Harare will most likely be the best. There are numerous hotels, but we suggest the Harare Cresta Lodge. It is a very comfortable, well maintained hotel with secure parking and beautiful gardens. If you need more luxury, you might want to consider the five star Rainbow Towers Hotel.
Day 5, 6 and 7: Three nights at Kariba is highly recommended. You will arrive in the late afternoon because you will want to stop at beautiful places such as Chinoya Caves. This is a highly recommended visit. I recently enjoyed tea at the adjacent hotel, but would not recommend it as an overnight stop. The hotel is unfortunately rather run down. The magnificent crystal clear pools in the limestone caves will make up for the poor facilities.
In Kariba you can stay at the Caribbea Bay hotel. This is still by far the best property in town. Cutty Sark Hotel is cheaper and Tamarind Lodge offers basic and affordable self-catering accommodation.
At its completion in 1963, Lake Kariba was the world’s largest man-made lake. The lake is almost three km long and more than 30 km wide. It is a fishing paradise while its shores teem with buffalo and elephant.
Kariba, with its numerous houseboats, remains the Riviera of Central Africa, the playground of the rich and famous. Unfortunately, the houseboats are very expensive and the main operator at Kariba Marineland is rather unprofessional. The fuel charges are also very high. We are therefore hesitant to recommend a few nights on a houseboat. Rather book a cruise on the Queen Mary and you will have some money left to spend elsewhere.
Day 8: Take the overnight ferry to Mlibizi. It is not a luxury cruise, but a very interesting experience at the very least. You load your vehicle onto the ferry and the cruise takes about 23 hours. You will arrive at Mlibizi in the morning from where it will take you only an hour by road to Hwange.
Day 9 and 10: Spend two nights in Hwange, Zimbabwe’s best known National Park. There is an abundance of game and game drives are very rewarding. We strongly recommend Sikumi Tree lodge, a small private lodge. However, if your budget will not allow you to stay here, consider Hwange Safari Lodge. They are known for their excellent service, meals and safaris.
Day 11 and 12: It will take you just about 2 hours to reach Victoria Falls, so if you leave early you will have almost a full day left at Victoria Falls. Spend 2 nights in Victoria Falls and make sure that you enjoy the many attractions this fantastic resort has to offer. Victoria Falls remains one of the most beautiful destinations in Africa. You can select hotel or self-catering accommodation such as the Victoria Falls Rest Camp. Activities include a sun-downer cruise on the Zambezi for those who prefer a romantic outing, an elephant back safari or a walk with lions. For those who want more of an adrenaline rush, white water rafting or bungee jumping might be the answer. Visit the falls and simply relax at this beautiful destination on your day of arrival and fill the other day with activities.
Day 13 and 15: The Chobe National Park in the far north-east of Botswana is certainly one of the world’s most fascinating destinations. The elephant population here is the highest in the world. Other game includes all of the big five except rhino and numerous smaller species. Buffalo are very common as well as some more aquatic species such as letchwe and puku. We prefer Chobe Safari Lodge for accommodation. It is a four star property and they offer excellent meals, accommodation and game activities including game cruises. Senyati Safari Camp is cheaper and in the bush. They offer self-catering accommodation and camping. Nobody who stays at Senyati will be disappointed. Their hospitality is legendary. However you will need a vehicle with good ground clearance to reach them. Rather use Toro Lodge if you are on a lower budget and you drive a saloon car.
Day 17: Nata Lodge is on route to South Africa and the birdlife here makes an overnight stop a must. It is on the edge of the Magadgadi Pans and, when the pans are full, it forms a huge inland sea. Even when there is no water in the pan, you will still see numerous birds and various plain antelope which you might not have seen earlier on this trip.
Day 18: You can reach Gauteng from Nata. Leave early and cross the border at Martin’s Drift.