Southern Africa – Big Self Drive Tour


With the 4 × 4 rental car you can discover the breathtaking desert landscape and wildlife of Namibia and Botswana in a completely individual way. Experience spectacular landscapes, immerse yourself in the diverse flora and fauna and end the day with a sundowner in the wilderness. Check Countryaah to see other countries in southern Africa.

This is an example of one of our tours and should serve as a source of inspiration. Of course, the itinerary including the destinations can be adapted and we will be happy to work out a round trip for you that is tailored to your interests and budget.


Best travel time: Ideally from March to October.

Duration: This trip lasts 4.5 weeks including a stay in South Africa and a visit to Victoria Falls. For a self-drive tour through Namibia, we generally recommend planning at least two weeks. After all, there should still be enough time to just let your mind wander and let what you have experienced have an effect on you.

Travel planning: As the SWISS flights from Zurich to Windhoek all lead via South Africa, it is worth booking a direct flight to Cape Town and spending the first few days in South Africa.

Tip: Many accommodations offer exciting tours. It is worth going on a guided excursion with the local guides.

Day 1: Arrival in Cape Town
Arrival in Cape Town. After landing, you will collect your rental car at the airport. Your big self-drive tour through southern Africa begins.

Day 2: Cape Town
Discover the multicultural city on your own. For example, visit the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. The most beautiful works by African artists are exhibited here. An impressive collection!

Day 3 – 7: Franschhoek
The village of Franschhoek, located in the middle of the Cape Winelands, has a very special charm. The idyllic landscape in the area as well as the Cape Dutch buildings and excellent restaurants invite you to enjoy.

Day 7 – 8: Windhoek
Namibia’s capital is located in a valley basin, surrounded by the Aus Mountains to the south-east, and the Grand Duke Mountains to the south of the city. As the fulcrum of the country, economically, culturally and politically, but also as a university town, there is a lot to discover in and around Windhoek. The city stands for the interaction and coexistence of different cultures. Numerous shops that are written in German, restaurants, accommodation and schools where German is spoken make you think back to the days of the German Colony. The elegant architecture of Windhoek also shows traces of Germany.

Day 8 – 9: Kalahari Desert
The Kalahari is a sandy desert made up of mostly fine powdery red sand. It extends from the Northern Cape Province in South Africa through Namibia and Botswana to Angola and Zambia on to Chad, where it then merges into the Sahara desert. The largest part of the Kalahari is mainly determined by special dune and desert grasses, but also by tall acacia trees, which with their long roots reach the deep, but abundant water veins. Animals such as springbok, oryx and ostrich live on the dunes and in the valleys, also known as “roads”, as well as jackals, spoonbills, jumping hare and porcupine. In addition to safaris, the huge settlers’ nests in the strong branches of the ancient camel thorn trees are another attraction in this area. Precipitation in the Kalahari is quite high for a desert. The annual rainfall is around 150-250 mm, while in the north it increases up to 500 mm. However, one has to speak of a dry savannah here.

Day 9 – 11: Namib Naukluft NP
In no other place in the world can you enjoy such an impressive play of colors as that of Sossusvlei (translated: «dead end»). Reflected by the strong rays of the sun, the up to 400 m high, rust-colored dunes appear even more impressive in contrast to the clay-colored plains at the foot of the desert. The main focus is on Dune 45, Big Daddy, Deadvlei, Hiddenvlei and the Sesriem Canyon, whereby the region holds countless, breathtaking treasures.


Day 11-13: Namib fringe area
This is a private nature reserve that was established to protect and preserve the incomparable ecosystem and wildlife of the southwestern Namib Desert. With an area of ​​215,000 hectares, it is probably the largest private nature reserve in southern Africa. The reserve borders the Namib-Naukluft National Park in the west and the Nubib Mountains in the east. Almost all facets of a desert are represented in the NamibRand Nature Reserve, sand and gravel plains and savannah sections alternate with mountain ranges, island mountains and overgrown dune belts. Discover what the nature reserve has to offer on a safari.

Day 13 – 16: Swakopmund
The small town in Namibia, embedded between the sea and sand dunes, is reminiscent of the time of the German colony thanks to the very well-preserved centuries-old buildings. In the past, Swakopmund’s harbor served as Namibia’s main transshipment point; today, people take a leisurely stroll along the coast, enjoy excellent food and drink. For the more adventurous, excursions to sandboarding, skydiving and quad biking are offered. Gourmets will get their money’s worth on a boat trip with dolphin watching and lunch on board consisting of oysters. Here you can relax a little from your self-drive tour before continuing to the Spitzkoppe.

16- 17. Day: Spitzkoppe
The Erongo Nature Reserve comprises the Erongo Mountains and the edge step and convinces with its ecological diversity. Leopards and hyenas can be found in large numbers in the Erongo region. You can watch them wonderfully during a safari. In addition, rock paintings and engravings are reminiscent of the prehistoric settlements in the region. The Spitzkoppe, also known as Namibia’s Matterhorn, is a group of rounded granite peaks. The Spitzkoppe is a very popular destination for enthusiastic mountaineers. The entire region offers many popular photo subjects, because thanks to the play of colors of the desert and steppe landscape in harmony with the colors of the mountains, dreamy pictures are created.

17-19 : Damaraland Twyfelfontein was considered a place of worship and shaman rituals among the Khoisan population groups. Twyfelfontein was named a national monument in 1952 with its countless rock engravings and paintings, and in 2007 it was named Namibia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is primarily of geological interest. The volcanic activity has resulted in spectacular rock formations that can be admired at the Organ Pipes, Doros Crater, Petrified Forest and Burnt Mountains, among others.

Day 19 – 21: Palmwag Region
The Palmwag Region has the second largest population of predators after the Etosha National Park with over 100 lions, leopards and cheetahs, brown and spotted hyenas. Apart from the predators, you will also encounter the traditional inhabitants of the savannah, such as the black rhinoceros, elephants, mountain zebras, giraffes, oryx, springboks, kudu and countless species of birds. During hikes of various lengths you can learn a lot about the flora and fauna of the region and get adventurously close to the fauna of the Palmwag region.

Day 21-25: Etosha National Park
Discover the different areas of the Etosha National Park during a safari. Black rhinos, impalas, elephants, rhinos, leopards, lions and springboks can be observed. Numerous bird species delight every bird fanatic on Dolomite Hill.

The region, located south of the Etosha salt pan, is characterized primarily by numerous shrubs and the rather flat, stony savannah landscape.

25-26: Around Rundu The 34,000 hectare game reserve bordering the eastern side of the Etosha National Park is the only way to enjoy a stay in typical African luxury accommodation in the area, alongside the Ongava Private Game Reserve. Excursions such as game drives and bush walks in the private reserve as well as in the Etosha National Park are offered.

Day 26-28: Okavango Delta
The Okavango is the fourth largest river system in southern Africa. From Angola it runs southeast to Namibia and is part of the Angolan-Namibian border. The area around the river is known for its lush vegetation, spectacular natural beauty and abundant wildlife. It is home to 150 species of fish and is home to over 400 species of birds. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of excursions in and around the river.

Day 28-30: Caprivi Strip
The Kwando River meanders through the spectacular Caprivi Strip in northwestern Namibia from the central Angolan highlands, which form the border between Namibia, Zambia and Angola. The area around the Kwando River is known for its protected game reserves, national parks and nature reserves. The area offers excellent game viewing on safaris, including large herds of elephants, hippos, crocodiles, red lechwe, turtles, zebras, impalas, spotted otters and over 400 species of birds.

Day 30 – 31: Kasane
On the northern border of Botswana, bordering the countries of Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Kasane is the starting point for a visit to the Chobe and the surrounding national parks. Delicious meals and refreshing drinks can be enjoyed in various restaurants and bars. The Caracal Biodiversity Center rescues injured wild animals and serves as a research and training center for Africa’s wildlife. Enjoy a boat trip on the Chobe River.

Day 31 – 32: Victoria Falls
Located at the western end of the waterfalls of the same name, the city of Victoria Falls is the ideal starting point for exploring the pompous Victoria Falls. Just an hour’s drive from Kasane in Botswana and right across from Livingstone in Zambia, you can plan the falls as the grand finale after visiting these countries. With the exception of Victoria Falls, the city has a lot to offer for adventurous travelers in particular. Bungee jumping, helicopter tours, seasonal white water rafting and zip-lining are on the excursion program.

Day 33: Victoria Falls – journey home
Even the best vacation comes to an end. Today it is time to say goodbye to southern Africa. Transfer to the airport and return home.