Sense of Africa – Driving Tips

Self-driving

Top tips for self-driving in Botswana!

Driving through Botswana’s National Parks is a thrilling safari experience and allows your clients to explore areas at their own pace. However, it is strongly advised that guests are confident with 4×4 driving, often through thick sand, and have basic mechanical knowledge of their vehicle should this be needed. They will be driving in extremely remote, wilderness areas which many guests may not be used to.

With the dry season coming to an end and potentially challenging weather conditions ahead of us, it is vital that all customers are fully prepared for their self-drive safari in Botswana.

A recommended list of what to travel with;

  • A 4×4 vehicle with good clearance is vital for driving through the National Parks. Break-down equipment such as tow-ropes, a shovel, hi-lift jack and spare tyre(s) are advised.
  • There are no fuel stations in the parks. A long range fuel tank in your vehicle is ideal, however, if your vehicle does not have one of these you will need sufficient Jerry Cans of fuel to bring with you. Remember, you will be game driving in the parks as well so be sure to plan ahead regarding fuel consumption.
  • Most of the DWNP campsites are facilitated with ablution blocks and running water for cooking/cleaning, but this is never a guarantee so we advise you bringing sufficient water for drinking & cleaning for the duration of your time in the parks.
  • All wood for fires or braais must be purchased before entering the National Parks. Ensure the campfires are well extinguished after use.
  • All camping equipment including tents, bedding, cooking utensils such as pots and pans, washing-up bowl, cutlery, crockery.
  • All food for the duration of your time in the National Parks as there are no shops – remember not to leave food inside tents overnight or while you are out on safari. Always dispose of litter in the campsite waste bins or take the litter with you.
  • A satellite phone is recommended as there is no cell phone reception in the National Parks.
  • A GPS with “Tracks for Africa’’ uploaded is recommended for navigation.
  • Map of Botswana
  • A first aid kit
  • Your original campsite/lodge vouchers and DWNP entrance permits. You will be unable to enter the parks without these original documents.

Plan the route carefully and don’t underestimate the time it can take to cover distances. Weather, road conditions and animal sightings are all big influences. Make use of local experts to assist in planning the route best suited to your customers and their requirements.

Campsites are not usually fenced, allowing wildlife to roam freely, and guests are therefore advised to take all necessary safety precautions. Only sleep in designated campsites inside your closed tent. Drive safely and stick to the road network, adhere to speed limits and respect the wildlife. Driving off road is strictly prohibited.

Above all, encourage your guests to enjoy the spectacular wilderness, and if prepared then self-driving in Botswana is an adventure waiting to happen!

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