Is Botswana a viable self drive destination?

Article in Travel Africa Magazine

by Charles Norwood

Botswana is an adventurous and challenging driving destination so be prepared for the conditions.

The roads vary from sealed tarmac with some potholes to deep sand and mud. Getting lost or stranded in a remote setting with a puncture or bogged down are a real possibility.

The main routes through the National Parks are signposted but there may be water crossings so don’t under-estimate the driving. Fuel is readily available except in the Parks and on the popular Kasane to Maun route.

Satnavs and maps can mislead so it’s best to use local knowledge and ask about conditions. Self-sufficiency is key with no official break down services.

Try to book at least a year in advance to secure the more popular camps and lodges. Prices are higher than the surrounding countries, but bargains may be had in the hotter and damper November to April months and outside school holidays. Good supermarkets make stocking up before camping easy and don’t forget to buy firewood before you set off.

The best experience is had by slowing down and covering less distance. Turn off your engine in a quieter area like Moremi’s Black Pools and the abundant wildlife will surround you.

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