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18 day self-drive trip, Windhoek to Vic Falls

Los Angeles...
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18 day self-drive trip, Windhoek to Vic Falls

Hey all,

Me and a few buddies are thinking of an 18 day self-drive trip with Discover Namibia Safaris this summer. The plan is to start in Windhoek, run through North-West Botswana and finish near Victoria Falls.

Our detailed itinerary (below) is not final and I’d appreciate any suggestions. We’d like to get a good sense of what the region has to offer running our planned route. Here is a map to give you a better visual of where we’ll be going: http://g.co/maps/ud4rg

Do you feel any of our destinations are similar and/or worth dropping for other activities? What were some of your favorites when you were there (campsites, local culture, wildlife). Pretty much open to anything that will add more dynamic to our itinerary.

Any help is much appreciated

Day 1: Windhoek - Chameleon Guest House

Day 2: Namib Desert - Sesriem Camp Site

- Sossusvlei, Dead Vlei and sesriem Canyon (self-drive)

- Explore Namib Desert and Dunes for the day

Day 3: Namib Desert - Sesriem Camp Site

- As above

Day 4: Swakopmund - Alte Brucke Camp Site

- Scenic drive through Kuiseb Canyon and Guab Pass

Day 5: Swakopmund - Alte Brucke Camp Site

- Activities for the day: sandboarding, quad biking, kayaking etc

Day 6: Damaraland - Aabadi Mountain Camp

- Can hike to White Lady painting

- Can self drive Twyfelfontein and Petrified Forest

Day 7: Etosha NP - Okaukuejo Camp Site

- As above

Day 8: Etosha NP - Halali Camp Site

- As above

Day 9: Etosha NP - Namutoni Camp Site

- As above

Day 10: N’Kwazi - Double Rooms

- Camp on banks of Kavango River

Day 11: Shakawe, Botswana - Drotsky’s Cabins - Camp Site

- Short drive into Botswana and Drotsky’s Cabins

Day 12: Maun, Botswana - Island Safari Lode - Camp Site

- Drive to and explore Moremi Region

Day 13: Moremi NP - Third Bridge Camp Site or similar

- Community run camp site

Day 14: Maun, Botswana - Island Safari Lodge - Camp Site

- Morning to explore park before Maun sunset

- Overnight in town

Day 15: Kasane, Botswana - Chobe Safari Lodge - Camp Site

- Camp on banks of Chobe River

Day 16: Kasane, Botswana - Chobe Safari Lodge - Camp Site

- As above

Day 17: Vic Falls, Zimbabwe - Double Chalet

Day 18: Tour ends

Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: 18 day self-drive trip, Windhoek to Vic Falls

I think you are fitting a lot in for 18 days, and you are covering a lot of ground.

I don't know what you mean by "add more dynamic", but if I suggested any changes they would be MY preferences, and not necesserally right for you and your travelling companions.

For instance, I'm not into sand-boarding, so might be tempted to spend less time in Swakopmund and more in Damaraland. But then, I've been to Swakopmund 3 times before, whereas you have yet to visit...

I'd be tempted to cut a day from Etosha, but I'm sure there will be many people who would just as easily advise you to spend more time there.

Given that you are using a local professional and someone who is also a Destination Expert on Tripadvisor, it would be verging to the foolhardy to try to second-guess alterations to the trip Discover Namibia has suggested. Where your itinerary say "as above" - it means you will be around the same location. It doesn't mean you will be repeating the experiences of the previous day.

I think you should be satisfied with what's been suggested and not try to tinker with it. No doubt it has been developed knowing your budget and needs (which we don't know), so why try to inject "more dynamic" into it? It's the trip of a lifetime. Don't nitpick.

Isle of Man, United...
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2. Re: 18 day self-drive trip, Windhoek to Vic Falls

Same hear. Looks Ok and yes there would be changes for me but not necessarily for you. I am assuming this is a Van with roof top tents? Great fun as long as not too many buddies snore! Or you all do!

For me too much time in the Sandpit down south and Swakopmund with the adrenalin pastimes. Plenty of those in LA, why come halfway round the world to do what yo can do at home?

Not enough time in Damaraland (3 nights in Etosha is fine for non Wildlife nutters!!)

Watch the water levels in the Delta area and Moremi. Consider Audi Camp in Maun. We liked it for the food and beer.

We preferred Chobe campsites to Moremi too. (And the park actually)

I assume you will be staying at the municipal site in Victoria Falls. Nice place but the railway noise and local dogs can be a PIA.

As Peter also says, you are in good hands with Discover Namibia. Take heed of them not us!

Lund, Sweden
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3. Re: 18 day self-drive trip, Windhoek to Vic Falls

Last november we did a very similar trip - but cutting out Moremi. By the time we reached drotsky's we were very content to have a couple of days of non-driving and by thr time we reached Chobe through Caprivi we were less appreciative than we might have been. Going down to Maun and then to Kasane you are adding a lot of miles. I know that there are budget options to go into the delta shortly south of drotsky's. Maybe you may look into these.

To me it looks like a pace that might leave you fairly exhausted by the time you reach Maun. But every place you visit will be amazing.

Only you konw how ready you are to spend a lot of miles on the road. Dont expect amazing road scenery after etosha.

You might like to read my trip report. Also reviewed all the places we visited. Actually had lunch also at N'kwazi which was a nice place.

Lund, Sweden
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4. Re: 18 day self-drive trip, Windhoek to Vic Falls

Sorry, here is the link to my report: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293820-i9680-k502…

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: 18 day self-drive trip, Windhoek to Vic Falls

Thank you all for the info!

mfuwe, is it worth dropping our day in Halili for an extra night in Damaraland? What were some of the highlights from Damara?

Los Angeles...
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6. Re: 18 day self-drive trip, Windhoek to Vic Falls

Egior, if we decide to eliminate Maun, how scenic is the drive from Drotsky's to Caprivi? Any interesting stops?

Isle of Man, United...
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7. Re: 18 day self-drive trip, Windhoek to Vic Falls

@vadtrun.

The last place I would cut out would be Halali. Lose Namutoni first, if you must cut out a night in Etosha.

If seeking to win a day extra somewhere else, one place you could 'catch up' is scrub Namutoni, do a game drive east from Halali that day (9) and exit the park afternoon and drive straight to some where like Roys Camp north of Grootfontein. then day (10) leapfrog N'Kazi and go straight to Drotski's.

Sadly I don't think you can escape Maun if heading to the main Moremi area other than avoiding Botswana altogether and staying on the Caprivi Strip all the way to Kasane. A much more boring run although the Bwabwata NP is good to excellent. A great campsite right out in the wilderness. It could be argued a good substitute to missing Maun and Moremi.

Lund, Sweden
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8. Re: 18 day self-drive trip, Windhoek to Vic Falls

The caprivi strip from a scenic driving perspective is really boring, all the same from rundu to Katima. Apart from the warning signs for elephant crossings... Straight, tarred road with scrub forest. However, as Mfuwe says, there are lodges and campsites along the road with game viewing. We did not do this, but would have given more time.

Did you post your itinerary also on the Botswana forum? I think you could get good feedback there. I wonder about your drive from Maun to Kasane, doubt if this is comfortably doable in a day, which is how I read your itinerary.

Good trip!

Isle of Man, United...
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9. Re: 18 day self-drive trip, Windhoek to Vic Falls

Good point Egior. I had missed that there seems to be a doubling back on Days 13-14 coming back from Moremi to Maun. One has to ask why?

Spending night 14 in Moremi, say at K'Wai Gate or even going up to Savuti and then the drive up to North Chobe is much easier. (If you don't get stuck in the sand.)

Hermanus, South...
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10. Re: 18 day self-drive trip, Windhoek to Vic Falls

We generally don't recommend going that route for self drivers that don't have experience. Water level can be a problem and getting stuck very easy. And trying to get back up to get people out rather tricky. Which is why Yvonne suggested just nipping into Third Bridge. Personally with the amount of days available I would have skipped Moremi altogether...but it was in the original brief so went into the first draft.