Drive through Namibia and Botswana: A 7000-kilometre self-drive

Inquisitive meerkats were a highlight.

Inquisitive meerkats were a highlight.

Inquisitive meerkats were a highlight. Photo: Heinrich van den Berg

NAME Russell and Margaret Huntington, South Yarra, Victoria, with Jan Goud and Chris Cairns, Port Melbourne, Victoria

TRIP A 7000-kilometre self-drive through Namibia and Botswana over three weeks, with 40 per cent on unsealed roads.

THE ITINERARY Starting at the stunning West Coast National Park 100 kilometres north of Cape Town with fields of spring wild flowers in bloom. Overnight in Hopefield then Springbok before crossing into Namibia and Fish River Canyon, second only to the Grand Canyon for size and spectacle. Overnight at Duwisib farm next to a castle built by a mad German in the 1910s and then Sossusvlei​ with its stunning sand dunes. The Skeleton Coast including Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Cape Cross in the company of 130,000 seals. Inland to Sesfontein and then north to Opuwo, where Himba women walk the streets coated in mud and little else, and the Epupa Falls on the Angolan border. One thousand kilometres across northern Namibia to Ngepi on the Okavango River with elephant herds on the opposite bank. Then into Botswana and to Nxamasere​ on the Okavango panhandle before heading south east to Gweta on the edge of the Kalahari including the Makgadikgadi game reserve and the Naxi salt pan, the size of Portugal. Then south to Khama Rhino Sanctuary and Gaborone before returning to South Africa including Pretoria and the Voortrekker museum.

Russell Huntington.

Russell Huntington. Photo: Supplied

BEST BIT Meerkats running between your feet in the late afternoon desert landscape.

WORST BIT Finding out after the fact that an unspecified cat had brought down a zebra in an area where the day before we enjoyed a picnic lunch by a river.


WHERE TO NEXT Walking in the Canary Islands, Spain.