Self Drive Travel Tips

Welcome To Our Self Drive Travel Tips
Embark on a journey of self-discovery in Botswana with our Self-Drive Travel Tips. Navigate the vast landscapes and incredible wildlife of this African gem confidently, as we provide essential insights, road trip recommendations, and safety guidelines for an unforgettable and immersive experience. Get ready to embrace the freedom of the open road and create lasting memories in the heart of Botswana
Self Drive Travel Tips

Some Important Tips For Self Drivers

  •  Never drive at night. Besides the ever-present Potholes, Botswana can have many animals lying on the roads, normally Cows & Donkeys, which are difficult to pick-up in a car’s headlights. Kasane & Nata/Nxai pan area, often has Elephants which are the same colour as the tarmac.
  •  Sim Cards are widely available and it is advisable to get a BTC sim card (Botswana Telecoms) as this has a wider reach in the outlining areas, however a satellite phone is always a plus.
  • Download Great for phones when there is no network!
  • It is always advisable to phone your destination to inform them of your estimated arrival time.
  • Always solicit information on road conditions when entering National Parks and reserves, but IF YOU GET STUCK OR HAVE A BREAK DOWN IN THE BUSH DO NOT LEAVE THE VEHICLE, WAIT FOR HELP.
  • It is possible to pre-book / pay park fees, please go onto the government website for latest information, this site will also advise you of all the Parks rules and regulations. Park fees can be paid in advance at the Wildlife office in Maun with a credit/debit card, or online however, you can also pay at the gate, but this must be in Pula Cash.
  •  Always pack the basics even on a game drive and ensure you take a min 5 liters water, some snacks, and a warm top, even for a short game drive. If traveling to the Salt Pans or CKGR, it is advisable to travel with 2 vehicles, but always check road conditions on the Pans, as a small amount of rain can make traversing the Makgadikgadi impossible.
  • Tyre pressures: in general Tyres should be around 1.8 BAR on dirt and gravel and 2.4 BAR on Tar roads only lower Tyre pressures if stuck in sand or driving in very sandy conditions (lower pressure to around 1.2 BAR) this is providing you have a compressor to pump them up again once through the thick stuff! Dropping Tyre pressures will also depend on location as some sandy roads are full of dry sticks etc (especially where people have been stuck frequently and where they may have used sticks and logs to help free themselves) these may puncture your deflated Tyres easier so be observant of this and rather not deflate them should this be the case as harder Tyres resist being damaged as easy!
  • Stick to the tracks, unless there is an obvious, un-avoidable obstacle, stay on the main tracks or road. Should the obstacle be an Elephant, just be patient it will soon move off, never rev your engine, or toot your horn. Should you need to tackle a river crossing, it is imperative that you stay on the track, normally drive straight through the middle, never go on the side where the ground will be softer and you will be more likely to get stuck. At a river crossing, drive slow and steady in low range 4×4, speeding into river crossings etc will damage the vehicle and cause excessive wake. Should the river crossing be very deep, rather reverse and find another route.
  • Most fuel stations accept Visa/ Mastercard, but the machines may not be working due to poor network, so always carry sufficient cash to cover a full tank of fuel. Please remember there is no fuel if you head through the bush between Maun and Kasane.
  • Because Foot & Mouth has been prevalent in Southern Africa over the years, we have many Veterinary fences on the main routes, here you may need to vacate your vehicle to dip the shoes you are wearing and others in your luggage, your vehicle will then proceed through a low trench of disinfectant to cleanse your wheels. As a precaution no meat is allowed to be transported across veterinary fences in Botswana on most routes, so it is advisable not to carry but rather buy locally or carry tinned meat to avoid your meat being confiscated.
  • December – March, bush roads can be flooded so not recommended for Self-Driving. April and May, experienced 4×4 drivers, June – October recommended for all, but sand can be challenging.

Useful Numbers


Police Station – Maun  +267 68 61125  999
Police Station – Kasane  +267 62 52444  10111
Police Station – Ghanzi  +267 65 97726  999
Police Station – Nata +267 62 11222  999
Police Station – Francistown  +267 24 15656  999


 Area  Company Contact
Maun – Including Okavango Delta & CKGR  Trans World  Gabriel – +267 72 1160 10
 Prelube Automotives  Arthur – +267 71 2094 99 – 72 3969 14 / 73 9596 91
Ghanzi Throughout Botswana  Speedy Towing Service Ahmed – +267 77 1934 24
Kasane – Savuti & Chobe  Mario’s Garage +267 62 52294 / 72 1331 80
Francistown – Anywhere In Botswana  Autostyle Towing  +267 24 15860 / 71 3045 44


Office/Gate Location Contact
South Gate Moremi Game Reserve – Maqwe/South Gate +267 683 0086
North Gate Moremi Game Reserve – North Gate +267 683 0082/4
Savute Gate Chobe National Park – Savute +267 620 0224
Ghoha Gate Chobe National Park – Ghoha North +267 686 1265
Sedudu Gate  Chobe National Park – Sedudu +267 686 1265


Name Location  Emergency Number
Prime Health – MRI Maun 992
Okavango Air Rescue Maun 995
Public Hospital – Botswana Government Maun 997