African safaris are pretty great; and if you’ve gone on a few, you may know the drill well and even like to take over as guide once-in-awhile by describing the animals and wildlife that cross your path. If that's you, your only logical next step would be to drive your own 4x4 into the vast wilderness and up the ante of the adventure. Orient-Express Hotels Ltd., a luxury hotel company and sophisticated adventure travel operator, is giving its guests that option in Botswana.
The luxury self-drive safari is a wild ride through the deserts of Northern Botswana, Khwai River Lodge, Moremi Game Reserve and Savute Elephant Camp in the world-renowned Chobe National Park. To ensure driver safety, a specialist will join the expedition and can offer expert dialogues along the way as you maneuver through rivers, thick sand and muddy swamps.
Before taking off, guests are given maps of various routes which they can take on the fully air-conditioned, short-wheel based Toyota Land Cruiser 76 with long-range fuel-tank. There is also a GPS onboard (lest you get lost) and a number of amenities such as: a satellite phone, a gas cooker, chairs, Zeiss binoculars, emergency equipment, reference books, a gas cooker, barbeque and refrigerator for cool drinks.
Another great feature is the option to meet locals and buy handmade crafts while passing through their remote villages like Shorobe, Sunkuyo or Mababe. Using the traditional clicking language to communicate, inhabitants in these towns mostly rely on crafting local tools such as knives, axes and pots. If a day-trip isn’t long enough, travelers can also choose a night game drive with a spotlight.
Any way you choose to go, you are in control of the exploration and it’s up to you how it is played out. The self-drive trips run now through end of March and can fit up to three guests per car. Rates can be inquired upon via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.