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May/24 - 36d 4x4 rental with RTT. Suggestions Please!

Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
41 posts
May/24 - 36d 4x4 rental with RTT. Suggestions Please!

Hello! We are two women (50 Years of age, SA and Canada nationality’s) planning a trip of a lifetime! We have rented a Toyota Hilux Roof top tent booked for 36 days from April 27/2024 (pick up in Cape town) and drop off on June 1 in Harare Zimbabwe (but the drop off location could be changed if needed). We do not have any significant amount of 4x4 experience so nothing too crazy! We are just starting to plan but would really like to visit Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. I know that sounds like a lot and we realize we won’t be able to visit all the hot spots in each country… just some of the top highlights. We are OK to move around every 1-3 days. We will be leaving Cape Town, going up coast as quickly to start the adventure. Looking for itinerary ideas/suggestions and camping locations along the way. These are some spots we have been told that we don’t want to miss out on. Possibly a one or two lodge stays would be nice. Our budget is min-moderate…not high).

Namibia – Sossusvlei, Estosha

Botswana – Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Chobe, Okavango

Zimbabwe – mana pools, Victoria Falls, Hwange

Zambia – South Luangwa National Park, maybe tiger fishing somewhere!

Thank you for any and all suggestions!

3 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
Level Contributor
8 837 posts
1. Re: May/24 - 36d 4x4 rental with RTT. Suggestions Please!

This seems like an awful lot in the time you have.

Regrettably, I think South Luangwa is rather out of the way compared to any of the other places. It's 2 solid days drive via Lusaka to get there from Vic Falls or Chirundu, plus another 2 days back, then I think you'd want 2 or 3 nights there, having made the long drive to get there. So realistically, this will take a whole week out of your 5 week trip, which even without this I think is over ambitious.

In Zimbabwe, I've been to both Mana Pools and recently Gonarezhou. In Gonarezhou, although I was with a safari operator, we stayed in some of the parks accommodation which can also be booked by self drivers. I was massively impressed with the quality of the facilities and locations. In Mana, I was not self driving but could see that there are also self drive camp sites in prime locations on the river front. In Zambia, certainly in South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi, there are no camping facilities for self drivers inside the parks, only outside the gates. I am not a self driver myself but I thought the Zimbabwe parks had better located facilities for self drivers. I'd definitely consider having Gonarezhou on your route and maybe looping back to South Africa, although that might mean dropping something else as well as dropping South Luangwa.

Honestly, if you are novice 4X4 drivers, I'm not sure you will be able to do Botswana justice. You could drive through the Caprivi strip to get to Vic Falls, maybe?

Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
41 posts
2. Re: May/24 - 36d 4x4 rental with RTT. Suggestions Please!

Thank You for your reply! Lots to think about!

South Luangwa...
4 posts
3. Re: May/24 - 36d 4x4 rental with RTT. Suggestions Please!

Hi Chelsea

How many days do you plan to have in Zambia, I would be happy to help with your 4x4 adventure itinerary suggestion for Zambia, if thats not too late for your palnning.

Secondly, where you entering Zambia from would be helpful too.

All the best

Reply to: May/24 - 36d 4x4 rental with RTT. Suggestions Please!
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