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Driving in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia

2 posts
Driving in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia

Hello :-)

My friend and I are planning to drive in Africa in August 2024. We want to visit Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia but neither of us have tried driving in Africa before. We are considering buying a 4WD because we want to use the car for safari/offroad and then resell the car when the trip has ended.

Should we buy or rent a car?

Which country would be the cheapest starting point for us (cheapest place to rent or buy a car)?

Are there any border crossing fines or issues with using a car registered in one country to drive in another country, that we should be aware of?

Any advice is much appreciated! Thank you and all the best

Amanda and Christoffer

5 replies to this topic
Hertford, United...
Level Contributor
5 216 posts
600 reviews
265 helpful votes
1. Re: Driving in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia

None of the countries you mention will have cheap car hire.

The set up in sub Sahara is totally different from the Western world.

Infact I doubt if most countries will even allow you to take a car to a different country.

The cost would be astronomical. Also bear in mind that roadside services (like AA, Green Flag) are virtually non existent in most of these countries, so very good solid reliable vehicle needed.

Buying is an option but you have to be very careful as you might not be able to sell your car as quickly as you want.

Only you can do the maths of costing.

I would recommend that you speak to a company called Voyagers which I've used before for a short term car hire in Zambia.

They have been in business for decades and they might give you advice on your trip.

Good luck.

Edited: 21 February 2024, 09:22
Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
41 posts
2. Re: Driving in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia

I Have rented a 4x4 truck in May 2024 from Bushlore in Cape Town South Africa, driving from CT through Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and dropping off truck in Harare Zimbabwe 36 days later. Check them out.

Hermanus, South...
Level Contributor
535 posts
3. Re: Driving in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia


I agree with the suggestion to use Bushlore, either in Johannesburg or Capetown. They will provide all the paperwork you will need for border crossings. I find them to be the best price-wise and their backup is very good should things go wrong with the vehicle.

Overall I have found that renting a vehicle in Botswana, Zambia or Zimbabwe is quite a bit more expensive than renting from Namibia or South Africa.

To rent in Namibia, Advance Car Hire is a good option, they also provide all paperwork for border crossings.

Enjoy your adventure and be aware that August is peak season and very busy this year, so particularly in Namibia and Botswana the lodges and campsites are filling very quickly, if they are not fully booked yet.

Linkie Groenewald

Owner Truly Africa Tours

Level Contributor
238 posts
1 review
4. Re: Driving in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia

Wow. We have been contemplating the exact same trip! Would love to know more about your planning, etc. We drove for 2 weeks in Namibia back in April and it was fantastic. But border crossings may complicate the planning, especially based on what I read here, it may not possible to seamless cross countries near where the four boundaries are. Please keep posting updates!

Wiltshire, United...
Level Contributor
4 041 posts
123 reviews
119 helpful votes
5. Re: Driving in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia

Disagree with #1. Nowadays many rentals can be taken across borders - look at Britz who allow you into (at least parts of) all the countries you list. Also one way rentals are easily arranged (for a fee). Crossing borders can be expensive and time consuming, but a rental company will make sure you have all the correct equipment and documentation. Namibia will be cheaper than the other countries for rentals. South Africa possibly more so. Britz are cheap, Bushlore are expensive. Many many other companies. How long is your trip, if less than several months, not enough time to buy and sell.

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