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FROM US$5,930-US$8,060

Sable Self-drive Safari

A great-value southern African self-drive adventure from Namibia along the Caprivi Strip to Botswana and Zimbabwe, combining other-worldly landscapes, unforgettable wildlife spectacles and 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 at an elegant Edwardian hotel by the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. 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 Camp Kala - Etosha National Park, Namibia Full Board & Activities
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 Chobe River 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.

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Onguma Camp Kala

Days 2-4

Situated on the private Onguma Reserve bordering Etosha National Park, Onguma Camp Kala, formerly known as 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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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Chobe River Lodge

Days 9-11

Formerly known as Garden Lodge, Chobe River 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. In early 2021 Chobe River Lodge changed name, following extensive renovations - the following information refers to the property as it was and will be updated once we visit.

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Victoria Falls Hotel

Days 11-13

Oozing Edwardian style, the Victoria Falls Hotel is the most famous address in town. For travel afficionados, it's 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 .

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Elegant Guesthouse

Elegant Guesthouse

Windhoek, Namibia

Onguma Camp Kala

Onguma Camp Kala

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

Chobe River Lodge

Chobe River 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 across three countries
  • Beautiful landscapes from Etosha to Victoria Falls
  • The ancient rock art of the magical Tsodilo Hills
  • Fabulously varied wildlife, from rhinos to roan
  • 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

  • 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

99% chance

Lion

93% chance

Eland

65% chance

Leopard

55% chance

Cheetah

53% chance

Roan antelope

44% chance

Spotted Hyena

36% chance

Sable antelope

29% chance

Black Rhino

25% chance

Sitatunga

21% chance

Brown Hyena

17% 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
93% (3 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
95% (8 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
95% (35 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
92% (5 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.

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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% (4 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
95% (8 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.

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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
100% (4 reviews)
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.

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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
Helicopter Flight - Botswana

Helicopter Flight - Botswana

Various: from 30 minutes to half a day.

Low-flying, agile and offering superb views, helicopters are an ideal way to move around the Okavango Delta.You can use them instead of fixed-wing inter-lodge transfers or as an addition to other wildlife watching activities, and of course, helicopters can hover to allow that perfect pic, whereas fixed-wings can’t.

More about Helicopter Flight

Let us help you customise your trip

All of our holidays on this site are just ideas; none are fixed. All of our trips are tailor-made, so we'll always adapt them to suit you. Talk to an Expert and let us help you to work out your perfect trip.


Talk to an Expert

Call us now! We’ll match you with the Specialist in our team who is best suited to help you. Then together we can start planning your trip.

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.

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Need inspiration?

Let our trip chooser narrow down the options for you

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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

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$5,540 - US$8,740 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 the Caprivi, with additional stops in Botswana and Victoria Falls. This three-week adventure includes an unrivalled mix of environments and is great value.

Visiting Etosha, North-west Kalahari and 7 other areas

US$5,040 - US$7,200 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$5,540 - US$8,740 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 the Caprivi, with additional stops in Botswana and Victoria Falls. This three-week adventure includes an unrivalled mix of environments and is great value.

Visiting Etosha, North-west Kalahari and 7 other areas

US$5,040 - US$7,200 per person

Read more about the Rock Hare Self-drive Safari

Map

Brown Hyena Self-drive

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

The perfect trip for those who want to mix the adventure and freedom of a self-drive with some of our favourite luxury camps in Namibia and a great mix of activities.

Visiting Okonjima, Namib-Naukluft and 5 other areas

US$5,880 - US$7,520 per person

Read more about the Brown Hyena Self-drive

Map

Hoopoe Fly-in Safari

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

This relaxed fly-in safari reveals Namibia at its best. Generous timings and a wide choice of activities help travellers to enjoy the best of the country’s most spectacular areas.

Visiting Windhoek, Namib-Naukluft and 2 other areas

US$5,830 - US$8,740 per person

Read more about the Hoopoe Fly-in Safari

Map

Chongololo Self-drive Safari

21 days • 11 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

This self-drive safari focuses on the best walking experiences in Namibia. Get your boots ready for the apricot dunes of the Namib Desert and the ancient hills of Damaraland.

Visiting Central Highlands, Namib-Naukluft and 4 other areas

US$5,730 - US$7,120 per person

Read more about the Chongololo Self-drive Safari

Map

Rock Agama Self-drive Safari

9 days • 6 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

Big on experience and light on time, this self-drive trip packs in Namibia’s highlights while staying in a selection of luxury camps and lodges for an unforgettable 10 days.

Visiting Okonjima, NamibRand and 4 other areas

US$5,670 - US$12,240 per person

Read more about the Rock Agama Self-drive Safari

Map

Pelican Fly & Drive Safari

10 days • 5 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

A unique itinerary visiting the must-see highlights combining the adventure of a classic Namibian self-drive with the ease and spectacular views of a fly-in safari.

Visiting Namib-Naukluft, Damaraland and 3 other areas

US$5,480 - US$7,290 per person

Read more about the Pelican Fly & Drive Safari

Map

Pygmy Mouse Self-drive Safari

18 days • 10 locations • 3 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

A truly epic southern African self-drive safari adventure from Namibia’s mountains and deserts, along the lush Caprivi Strip to Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, staying at luxury lodges throughout.

Visiting Etosha, Victoria Falls and 6 other areas

US$5,360 - US$8,670 per person

Read more about the Pygmy Mouse 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

Mopane Squirrel Safari

6 days • 2 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Visit two wildlife-rich private reserves in an exploration of the Okavango and Kwando regions. Sister camps Splash and Lagoon camp provide a range of immersive activities, and their long-stay discounts make for an excellent-value safari.

US$5,890 - US$11,770 per person

Itinerary image

Scrub Hare Safari

7 days • 3 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

Camps run by welcoming owners with a passion for their environment are rare, and Tafika is one of the best. Combine this with walking safaris at equally excellent bushcamps for the best of the South Luangwa.

US$6,040 - US$7,210 per person

Itinerary image

Mountain Gorilla Safari

5 days • 2 locations
KIGALI AIRPORT TO KIGALI AIRPORT

Staying in great-value lodges, with a private driver-guide and 4WD, this adventure includes two treks to get up close with groups of mountain gorillas.

US$5,830 - US$6,120 per person

Itinerary image

Tawny Eagle Fly-in Safari

7 days • 2 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

Explore Laikipia and the Maasai Mara ecosystem with stays in the Ol Pejeta and Naboisho conservancies. Two smart yet authentically rustic bush camps provide a traditional safari experience, offering a high standard of guiding and excellent level of care.

US$5,820 - US$8,780 per person

Itinerary image

Gabar Goshawk Fly-in Safari

10 days • 4 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

Experience Amboseli, the Maasai Mara ecosystem and Laikipia during this economically priced safari. Two simple camps offer adventure before a stopover in Nairobi and a final stay in the charming, wildlife-rich Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge.

US$5,800 - US$6,090 per person

Itinerary image

Honey Badger Safari

6 days • 2 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Two smart sister camps offer access to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the heart of the Okavango Delta. Experience a spectacular range of habitats and wildlife through diversely exciting safari activities.

US$5,790 - US$10,150 per person

Itinerary image

Steppe Eagle Fly-in Safari

7 days • 2 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

Two comfortable tented camps overlooking the Ewaso Nyiro and Mara River put you at the heart of the action. Experience spectacular diversity in species and habitat with safari in Samburu and the Masaai Mara National Reserve.

US$5,680 - US$8,620 per person

Itinerary image

Slender Mongoose Safari

5 days • 2 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

A detailed exploration of Lower Zambezi from two top-notch sister camps, each in a prime location in the national park. Expect a high level of care, first-class guiding and superb wildlife.

US$6,270 - US$8,400 per person

Itinerary image

L'Hoest's Monkey Safari

7 days • 3 locations
KIGALI AIRPORT TO KIGALI AIRPORT

Meet three iconic primates – gorillas, chimps and golden monkeys – and explore Rwanda's fascinating culture on this excellent value privately guided adventure.

US$5,570 - US$6,320 per person

Itinerary image

Hamerkop Fly-In Safari

8 days • 2 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

Different wildlife, contrasting camps and a whole host of activities, this is a safari for those wanting to get out and about and not just sit in a vehicle.

US$6,350 - US$10,960 per person

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