Adventurous self drive safari routes in South Africa & Namibia

self drive safari entabeniWe’ve being offering self-drive safari tours in Namibia and South Africa for 20 years. So we’ve planned plenty of more adventurous routes for clients over the years.

We also have plenty of ideas on when you shouldn’t do a self drive safari…

But first let’s focus on the positive….

We offer some sample ‘adventurous’ tours on our website. These are not really off-the-wall. But they do visit some more remote areas and involve some driving on gravel roads.



Zeederberg Trail

This adventurous self-drive safari combines game-viewing at two contrasting game reserves: the rugged Mashatu Game Reserve and the beautiful Entabeni Safari Conservancy. It also includes scenic touring in the highlands of Tzaneen and the Blyde River Canyon. You  have the option of adding a safari in the magnificent Kruger. You travel on tar roads for most of the trip, but through some of the most remote areas of South Africa.


Scenic Safari & Beach

Scenic Safari & Beach is also a fairly easy self-drive safari, but also through some more remote and unspoilt areas. It offers a winning combination of three different safari experiences plus scenic touring through the Blyde River Canyon and Swaziland. It ends with 4 nights relaxation at a stunning beach lodge.


KwaZulu Natal Adventure

This self-drive safari holiday offers some of KwaZulu Natal’s highlights: excellent game-viewing, relaxing on the Indian Ocean beaches, touring the Natal Battlefields, and walking or scenic touring in the Drakensberg mountains. It’s an enjoyable mixture of discovery and gourmet delights amidst breathtaking scenery.


Cape to Kalahari

Now we start to get more adventurous as we head into the Kalahari. Experience the contrast between cosmopolitan Cape Town and the stark beauty of the Kalahari Desert or Augrabies Falls on this self drive safari.


And two for Namibia…


Cape to Namibia

This three week self drive safari offers a great contrast between vibrant Cape Town followed by the scenic highlights of the West Coast and then takes you up through Namaqualand and into Namibia, visiting the dunes of Sossusvlei, Damaraland and Etosha before ending in Windhoek. The driving is tougher as there are plenty of gravel roads.


Namibia Adventure

This luxury Namibia self drive combines general touring with a superb safari experience, and is ideal for the first time visitor. Highlights include Etosha National Park, Damaraland, Swakopmund, the dunes of Sossusvlei and game-viewing in the Kalahari.


Other options for adventurous self drive safaris in Namibia and South Africa?

• Driving from Namibia into Botswana to Maun.

• Driving along the Caprivi strip into northern Botswana (Kasane) or even Victoria Falls.

• Exploring the northern Limpopo area around the Soutpansberg.

• Driving through southern Mozambique perhaps combining it with the Kruger.

• Exploring the Northern Cape.

Where we DON’T do self drive safari itineraries…

self drive safari lesothoWe don’t offer the following sometimes-asked for areas because of the likelihood of getting stuck and the severity of the problem/delay if you do!


1) Most of Mozambique – The roads become very poor north of Imhabane so that’s about as far as we recommend travelling. There are scenic northern routes across from the Kruger but you need to sign up for a self-drive convoy using a specialist company.

2) Self-drive safari into the Okavango Delta – Again this is for experienced 4×4 drivers, usually travelling in groups. Typically 3 or 4 South African couples might do this together. The roads are very sandy in the dry season, impassable and water-logged in summer. You need to know what you are doing.

3) Northern Kaokoveld in Namibia – many adventurous souls do drive up there in car rental vehicles but the roads are a mix of sand and a lot of rock and so it’s easy to wreck your rental car. Then you could be stuck for many hours, even a day, as it’s so remote.

4) Zambia self drive safari – We don’t know it for self-drive and frankly the distances between the game parks are too great to make it an attractive mode of travel.

5) Zimbabwe self drive safari – This is a tricky one as we used to do many self-drive trips into Zimbabwe many years ago. There is no real reason why this is not possible to do again. However there are a number of police road blocks which may be disconcerting and unnerving for many clients.
What to do now?

Check out our South Africa Self drive sample tours

OR Send us an enquiry for a tailormade self drive

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Kate Bergh is co-founder of Cedarberg African Travel, a specialist tour operator for Southern and East Africa.

She heads up the South African office, having lived in South Africa since 1993. Her home looks up to the Cedarberg Mountains, where she enjoys hiking and cycling, when she’s not out discovering new places to visit, with her three children in tow. Kate has travelled extensively throughout the region to Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well as most areas of South Africa. She also loves history, meeting people and a good thriller...


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