This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines now closed

User menu
FROM US$2,930-US$3,970

Sable Self-drive Safari

A great value southern African self-drive adventure from Namibia along the Caprivi Strip to Botswana and Zimbabwe, combining otherworldly landscapes, unforgettable wildlife spectacles, rarely visited places and ending at Victoria Falls.

Sable Self-drive Safari: Summary

Sable Self-drive in a nutshell

Fly into Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, and drive north through the rugged desert landscape to the private Onguma Reserve on the border of Etosha National Park. Explore the reserve on foot or game drives, and venture into the national park to see Etosha’s famous animal gatherings where elephants, zebras, rhinos, giraffes and more gather around precious waterholes.

Things turn greener as you turn east to enter the Caprivi Strip, a narrow colonial cartographic oddity protruding from Namibia between Botswana, Angola and Zambia that is visited by just a handful of tourists. Lush and tropical, it's bordered and spanned by wide meandering rivers – the Zambezi, Okavango, Chobe and Linyanti – and home to herds of wildlife as well as a string of villages.

You’ll cross back and forth between Namibia and Botswana, staying at remote safari lodges. Enjoy more game drives and take to the water on boat and canoe trips where you can look forward to huge herds of elephants, wallowing buffaloes and fabulous birdwatching as well as rarer antelopes such as roan and sable. A highlight from Nxamaseri Lodge, sat on the edge of the Okavango Delta’s panhandle, is the chance to visit Tsodilo Hills, a sacred site to the San people of the Kalahari where you can see thousands of ancient rock art paintings that date back millennia.

End the trip with two nights in Zimbabwe by Victoria Falls at an elegant Edwardian hotel. Rest and take in the views or keep the adventure going with some of the area’s adrenaline fuelled activities such as white water rafting and bungee jumping.

At a glance

Starts: Windhoek International Airport
1 night Elegant Guesthouse - Windhoek, Namibia Bed & Breakfast
2 nights Onguma Tree Top Camp - Etosha National Park, Namibia Half Board
1 night River Dance - Caprivi Strip, Namibia Half Board
2 nights Nxamaseri Lodge - North-west Kalahari & Panhandle, Botswana Full Board & Activities
2 nights Nkasa Lupala - Caprivi Strip, Namibia Half Board
2 nights Garden Lodge - Chobe National Park, Botswana Half Board
2 nights Victoria Falls Hotel - Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Bed & Breakfast
Ends: Victoria Falls Airport

Elegant Guesthouse

Day 1

The Elegant Guesthouse is a relatively simple but stylish owner-run guesthouse situated in the residential area of Klein Windhoek. It's just a few minutes' drive from the shops, restaurants and other attractions of central Windhoek.

View full itinerary

Onguma Tree Top Camp

Days 2-4

Situated on the private Onguma Reserve bordering Etosha National Park, Onguma Tree Top Camp is in an ideal location for visiting Namibia's flagship wildlife park. The camp is small and intimate, with only four tents, each raised on stilts within the tree line overlooking a large waterhole, giving the property a real bushcamp feel.

View full itinerary

River Dance Lodge

Day 4

Opened in 2010, River Dance Lodge is built high in the riverine forest that lines northern Namibia’s Kavango River. This small, owner-run property has strong community links, with many of the staff hired from local villages. Guests at River Dance are invited to soak up the view, relax on the river and learn more about the Caprivi’s prolific birdlife.

View full itinerary

Nxamaseri Lodge

Days 5-7

One of the oldest lodges in the Okavango, Nxamaseri Island Lodge stands on an island in the Okavango Panhandle, north of the Delta – about 37km south of Shakawe. Nestled among the deep permanent channels of the Panhandle, Nxamaseri offers a prime deep-water Okavango experience. Cruise the waterways in search of birdlife among the papyrus, glide silently across the water in a mokoro, visit the Tsodilo Hills or enjoy a spot of fishing – fly-fishing for the prized tiger fish was pioneered here.

View full itinerary

Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge

Days 7-9

Surrounded by trees in the beautiful and peaceful Wuparo Conservancy, the small Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge was opened in 2011. The lodge is built on the banks of a channel of the Kwando–Linyanti river system, only a short drive from the Namibia’s Nkasa Rupara (formerly Mamili) National Park and is a perfect base from which to explore this little-visited corner of the Zambezi Region (widely known as the Caprivi Strip).

View full itinerary

Garden Lodge

Days 9-11

Garden Lodge is a small guesthouse in the town of Kasane, Botswana, which borders the Chobe National Park. Beautiful flowers such as hibiscus, frangipani and bougainvillea combine with tropical plants, including banana and paw paw trees, and a riverside location to make this a lovely tranquil spot to spend a few days.

View full itinerary

Victoria Falls Hotel

Days 11-13

Oozing Edwardian style, the Victoria Falls Hotel is the most famous address in town – with a name to rival Raffles in Singapore or The Ritz in London. When it was opened in 1904, to house engineers constructing Cecil Rhodes’ railway, the elegant hotel clearly had first choice of locations: next to the vital railway station with a vantage point above the bridge which spans the gorge. Its location is still unsurpassed: the closest Zimbabwean hotel to the waterfall and within a short walk of town .

View full itinerary
Elegant Guesthouse

Elegant Guesthouse

Windhoek, Namibia

Onguma Tree Top Camp

Onguma Tree Top Camp

Etosha National Park, Namibia

River Dance Lodge

River Dance

Caprivi Strip, Namibia

Nxamaseri Lodge

Nxamaseri Lodge

North-west Kalahari & Panhandle, Botswana

Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge

Nkasa Lupala

Caprivi Strip, Namibia

Garden Lodge

Garden Lodge

Chobe National Park, Botswana

Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

About image

Highlights

Our thoughts on five of the top experiences of this Sable Self-drive Safari.

  • A proper road trip visiting three countries
  • Beautifully landscapes from Etosha Pan to Victoria Falls
  • Visit the ancient art at Tsodilo Hills, a UNESCO WHS
  • Fabulously varied wildlife, including the ‘Big Five’ and much more
  • A great mix of experiences from walks to canoe trips

Activities

Some activities which can be included in the Sable Self-drive Safari: talk to us about those which interest you.

  • 4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

  • Boat trip

  • Canoeing

  • Cultural excursion

  • Elephant encounter

  • Fishing

  • Guided walking safari

  • Helicopter

  • Kayaking

  • Microlight

  • Mokoro

  • Night drive

  • Self-guided walking

  • White-water rafting

About image

Key species to see on the Sable Self-drive Safari

Based on our travellers' observations, we’ve estimated the likelihood of seeing these species during the Sable Self-drive Safari. Click on the animals and our wildlife surveys page for more info.


Buffalo

100% chance

Elephant

100% chance

Giraffe

100% chance

Hippo

100% chance

Oryx

100% chance

Zebra

100% chance

Wildebeest

98% chance

Lion

89% chance

Eland

78% chance

Cheetah

68% chance

Leopard

53% chance

Roan antelope

43% chance

Spotted Hyena

42% chance

Black Rhino

20% chance

Sitatunga

18% chance

Sable antelope

15% chance

Brown Hyena

10% chance

Wild dog

0% chance

Aardvark

0% chance

Pangolin

0% chance

White Rhino

0% chance

Side-trips whilst on this safari

We may be able to build in some of these optional excursions from the Sable Self-drive Safari. Talk to us: they’re usually best arranged when you book.


Rhino Walk

Rhino Walk

Around four hours - mornings only

Spend an unforgettable morning on a walking safari tracking Mosi-oa-Tunya’s small population of white rhino, with a strong chance of being able to approach these endangered creatures on foot.

More about Rhino Walk
90% (2 reviews)
Chobe Day Trip

Chobe Day Trip

Full day - typically around 11 hours

For a top safari experience while visiting the Victoria Falls, don’t miss a day trip to Botswana’s Chobe National Park. Easily reachable from Livingstone, Zambia or Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Chobe boasts some of the best wildlife densities in southern Africa, with exceptional numbers of elephant drawn by the permanent waters of the Chobe River.

More about Chobe Day Trip
Helicopter Flight - Zimbabwe

Helicopter Flight - Zimbabwe

Shortest flight is 12-25 minutes

While viewing the Victoria Falls from the ground is a stunning experience, seen the world’s largest waterfall from the air allows for a completely different perspective, historically said to have been so beautiful as to have been seen by ‘angels in flight’.

More about Helicopter Flight
94% (7 reviews)
Ra-Ikane River Cruise

Ra-Ikane River Cruise

Two hours minimum

Cruising the upper sections of the Zambezi reveals another dimension to the river's beauty, adding a sense of serenity to the thrill of watching it cascade over the Victoria Falls. On a Ra-Ikane river cruise, experience the river’s islands and channels, keeping an eye out for wildlife, and the spray from the Falls.

More about Ra-Ikane River Cruise
97% (12 reviews)
Elephant Encounter

Elephant Encounter

Three hours

For a very personal encounter with elephants, head to The Elephant Camp near Victoria Falls. From its sanctuary for orphaned elephants, it offers close interaction with one of Africa's most iconic species, including the chance to feed the elephants by hand, and talk to the guides who have raised and trained them.

More about Elephant Encounter
100% (2 reviews)
Elephant Art Experience

Elephant Art Experience

Three hours

The Wild Horizons Elephant Sanctuary and Art of Africa have teamed up to create a unique experience in the bush, with private tutors running painting workshops and habituated elephants provision impressive models, standing just metres away from your easel.

More about Elephant Art Experience
Zambezi Explorer River Cruise

Zambezi Explorer River Cruise

Two hours

Watching the sunset from the middle of the Zambezi River, with the spray of the falls behind you, is an incredibly popular activity. A large variety of cruises are on offer, ranging from cheap and boozy directed towards the backpacker crowd, to much more luxurious and serene experiences. A great option for the latter style is the Zambezi Explorer.

More about Zambezi Explorer
100% (2 reviews)
Microlight Flight

Microlight Flight

15 or 30 minutes

For pure exhilaration, it's hard to find something better than flying in a microlight, swooping through the spray that crashes up and off the Victoria Falls, with rainbows shimmering below. If you don't like heights, then this isn't for you! For those looking for a different way to see the Falls, the microlight flights offer a stunning birds eye view of this spectacular natural wonder.

More about Microlight Flight
100% (1 reviews)
Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool

Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool

Three hours

Victoria Falls is one of the world's natural wonders, and a huge attraction for many visitors to southern Africa. We're often asked if the waterfall is best viewed from the Zambian or Zimbabwean side, but we think the best way to experience the full majesty of the falls is from the middle with a visit to Livingstone Island.

More about Livingstone Island
100% (5 reviews)
Historical Bridge Tour

Historical Bridge Tour

Two hours - AM & PM departures

A feat of engineering the Victoria Falls Bridge was built in 1905 as part of Cecil Rhodes' vision to link the Cape to Cairo. With an expert guide and the appropriate safety equipment you'll not only discover the wonders of this Victorian marvel but also gain a unique perspective of the Victoria Falls themselves.

More about Bridge Tour
Guided tour of Victoria Falls

Guided tour of Victoria Falls

Two hours - AM & PM departures

One of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, the mighty Victoria Falls has to be seen to be believed. Why not take an expertly guided trip to learn about the history, geology, flora and fauna of one of Africa's most spectacular sites?

More about Tour of the Falls
Cookery Course & Activity

Cookery Course & Activity

Six hours - afternoon activity

Make a traditional Southern African ‘potjie dinner’ on the banks of the Zambezi River. You’ll be guided through the preparation process by professional chefs before embarking on an afternoon activity while your dinner cooks. The activity is followed by a 3-course meal, including your self-made Pot as the main course.

More about Cookery Course
Bushtracks Express

Bushtracks Express

Generally four and a half hours

The Bushtracks Express Train starts its journey at Zimbabwe’s iconic Victoria Falls Station before departing on its route through Victoria Falls National Park the Victoria Falls Bridge, where guests enjoy the stunning view of the Falls. Afterwards, the train will depart for a siding out of town, for dinner.

More about Bushtracks Express

Let us help you customise your trip

Like all of our holidays on this site, this is just an idea. All of our trips are tailor-made, so we'll always adapt them to suit you.


Talk to an Expert

Browse this Expert Africa website, then call us. We’ll match you with the Specialist in our team who is best suited to help you.

Set up your itinerary

Based on our experience and your ideas, your specialist will create a detailed, costed itinerary. We’ll refine it together, until we have a trip that you’re perfectly happy with.

Prepare for your trip

The same Specialist will make the seamless arrangements for your trip, send you detailed travel documents, and be available to answer any questions before you depart.

Travel with peace of mind

After you set off, you’ll be cared for by our partners in Africa, most of whom have worked with Expert Africa for decades. And if you ever need us urgently, we’re available 24/7.

When you return

We love to learn about your trip, and so will always be grateful if you’ve the time to give feedback to your Specialist when you return.

Inspire me

Need inspiration?

Let our trip chooser narrow down the options for you

Inspire me

Other ideas for Namibia safaris

Look at these ideas in Namibia: then talk to us. Will will design a trip that's perfect for you.


Map

Rock Hare Self-drive Safari

20 days • 12 locations • 3 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

An in-depth look at Namibia from the Namib Desert to Victoria Falls and everything in between. This three-week self-drive adventure includes unrivalled mix of environments and great value.

Visiting Etosha, North-west Kalahari and 7 other areas

US$4,820 - US$6,140 per person

Read more about the Rock Hare Self-drive Safari

Map

Bateleur Fly-in Safari

7 days • 4 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

Classic fly-in Namibian safari staying at excellent camps. Explore Sossusvlei’s dunes and track Damaraland’s desert elephants before a safari in Etosha. Incredible scenery, good wildlife viewing and authentic cultural experiences.

Visiting Namib-Naukluft, Damaraland and 2 other areas

US$5,720 - US$6,970 per person

Read more about the Bateleur Fly-in Safari

Map

Rock Hare Self-drive Safari

20 days • 12 locations • 3 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

An in-depth look at Namibia from the Namib Desert to Victoria Falls and everything in between. This three-week self-drive adventure includes unrivalled mix of environments and great value.

Visiting Etosha, North-west Kalahari and 7 other areas

US$4,820 - US$6,140 per person

Read more about the Rock Hare Self-drive Safari

Map

Bateleur Fly-in Safari

7 days • 4 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

Classic fly-in Namibian safari staying at excellent camps. Explore Sossusvlei’s dunes and track Damaraland’s desert elephants before a safari in Etosha. Incredible scenery, good wildlife viewing and authentic cultural experiences.

Visiting Namib-Naukluft, Damaraland and 2 other areas

US$5,720 - US$6,970 per person

Read more about the Bateleur Fly-in Safari

Map

Namaqua Chameleon Self-drive

12 days • 7 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

A classic 12-night self-drive adventure around the highlights of eastern and northern Namibia taking in Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Damaraland, Etosha and a final stop at Okonjima. Comfortable lodges and great value.

Visiting Okonjima, Etosha and 4 other areas

US$2,850 - US$3,200 per person

Read more about the Namaqua Chameleon Self-drive

Map

Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari

19 days • 10 locations • 2 country
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

Journey from South Africa’s cosmopolitan Cape Town to central Namibia’s Okonjima Nature Reserve during this self-driven safari. The route passes through a stunning variety of landscapes, offering access to this beautiful continent’s rich diversity.

Visiting Okonjima, Namib-Naukluft and 7 other areas

US$3,460 - US$3,540 per person

Read more about the Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari

Map

Caracal Self-drive Safari

14 days • 8 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

The quintessential Namibian self-drive adventure exploring the highlights from Sossusvlei and the Namib Desert to Damaraland’s wilderness and a safari in Etosha. A great mix of accommodation and excellent value.

Visiting Namib-Naukluft, Damaraland and 4 other areas

US$2,310 - US$3,080 per person

Read more about the Caracal Self-drive Safari

Map

Quiver Tree Self-drive Safari

14 days • 7 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

An offbeat Namibian self-drive adventure exploring the epic Fish River Canyon and fascinating Kolmanskop ghost town in the south, before turning north via the classic highlights of Sossusvlei, Swakopmund and Damaraland.

Visiting Lüderitz & Aus, Fish River Canyon and 5 other areas

US$2,280 - US$2,350 per person

Read more about the Quiver Tree Self-drive Safari

Map

Hartebeest Self-drive Safari

16 days • 8 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

This self-drive safari focuses on the best cultural experiences in Namibia. Visit a Himba village and enjoy three days living with the San Bushmen interspersed with some excellent wildlife watching.

Visiting Bushmanland, Central Highlands and 3 other areas

US$3,680 - US$4,030 per person

Read more about the Hartebeest Self-drive Safari

Map

Ostrich Self-drive Safari

14 days • 9 locations • 2 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

Great value self-drive adventure through the epic desert landscapes of southern Namibia and South Africa’s Kalahari, visiting highlights such as Fish River Canyon, the ghost towns of Lüderitz and Sossusvlei’s dunes.

Visiting Southern Namibia, Lüderitz & Aus and 4 other areas

US$2,090 - US$2,650 per person

Read more about the Ostrich Self-drive Safari

Other safari ideas across Africa

Talk to us: help us to understand what you like and we can create a safari that will really suit you.


Itinerary image

Golden Weaver Fly-In Safari

5 days • 2 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

A rustic, adventurous week on safari with great community involvement that offers incredible value for money in two very different locations – the Amboseli and Maasai Mara ecosystems.

US$2,830 - US$2,830 per person

Itinerary image

Klipspringer Safari

8 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO BULAWAYO AIRPORT

An outstanding-value Zimbabwe safari exploring Victoria Falls and two contrasting locations in western Zimbabwe – Hwange and the Matobo Hills – giving you a real feel for Zimbabwe, its people and wildlife.

US$2,820 - US$3,070 per person

Itinerary image

Suni Fly-in Safari

4 days • 1 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Experience a variety of safari activities from the comfort of a traditional tented camp overlooking a stunning stretch of the Rufiji River. Spectacular wildlife, immersive experiences and simple comforts await guests at Selous Impala Camp.

US$2,700 - US$3,340 per person

Itinerary image

Side-striped Jackal Safari

6 days • 2 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

Get an in-depth experience of Zimbabwe’s colossal Hwange National Park, staying at two experience-focused camps with excellent guiding in contrasting areas. An adventurous safari for the real enthusiast.

US$3,180 - US$4,220 per person

Itinerary image

Lovebird Fly-in Safari

5 days • 2 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Visit two consistently impressive wildlife destinations during this excellent-value safari in northern Tanzania. Enjoy a range of walks and cultural visits from sister camps at the Ngorongoro Crater and in the heart of the Serengeti.

US$3,190 - US$4,730 per person

Itinerary image

Wattled Crane Safari

5 days • 2 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

A good value Botswana safari staying at comfortable lodges in prime wildlife viewing areas – Chobe National Park and the Moremi Reserve in the Okavango Delta.

US$3,690 - US$5,820 per person

Itinerary image

Kwandwe Self-drive Safari

3 days • 1 locations
PORT ELIZABETH AIRPORT TO PORT ELIZABETH AIRPORT

An elegantly stylish lodge that is well suited to families, Kwandwe offers a range of safari activities and the chance to sight all of the Big 5 during exploration of the eastern cape.

US$2,140 - US$2,920 per person

Itinerary image

Nile Monitor Safari

6 days • 2 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

Great-value South Luangwa safari to two sister-camps: a classic safari camp for 4WD safaris by day and night and its simpler sibling: a remote, seasonal bushcamp for expert-guided walking safaris.

US$3,740 - US$4,050 per person

Itinerary image

Bat-eared Fox Fly-in Safari

3 days • 1 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

This is an ideal first-time safari and is the perfect add-on to a holiday in Zanzibar. The Selous is Africa’s biggest game reserve and is home to an abundance of wildlife.

US$2,000 - US$2,360 per person

Itinerary image

Crowned Hornbill Guided Safari

6 days • 3 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Explore Tanzania’s renowned northern circuit with a private guide during this driven safari. Stay in three well-positioned and economical lodges that provide fast access to fantastic wildlife viewing and cultural visits to local communities.

US$3,960 - US$5,220 per person

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team

Africa