Botswana 4×4 Trails
Gemsbok Wilderness Trail
Closest Town/s: Grootbrak
Grade (1 – 5): 1 – 3
Type of Terrain: Sand, Grassy, Scenic
Distance (total): 200km
Driving Time (estimated): 1 Day
Contact: Hans Peter
Telephone: 054 332 5787 / +267 (3) 918 1774 / Fax: +267 (3) 918 0775
Lerucama Game Ranch
Closest Town/s: Kang, 50km
Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 3
Type of Terrain: Sand, Game / Scenic Drive
Distance (total): n/a
Driving Time (estimated): n/a
Contact: Lean & Elmarie Marnewick
Telephone: 264 61 244558 / 083 651 1086
Mabuasehube Wilderness Trail
Closest Town/s: Nossob, 100 Km
Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 3
Type of Terrain: Scenic Drive, Wildlife Drive,
Distance (total): 160 Km
Driving Time (estimated): 2 Days
Contact: Botswana Parks Board
Telephone: 00267 318 0774 / 054 338 0375
Four Wheel Driving in Botswana
There are virtually no 4×4 trails in Botswana that can be compared to the trails we know and love to do on Saturday mornings. To compensate for the dearth of short, easy-to-digest trails, Botswana off-road tourism is exceeding well catered for with some of the best long-distance eco-, and adventure trails on the African continent, and the only problem you have is deciding which of the dozens of trails to do.
Moreover, many eco-trails in Botswana are guided, which means that you can focus on the game and bird life, without giving to worry about getting lost which in Botswana, is no laughing matter. Nonetheless, we have listed two of the most popular guided tours here, as well as one of the most challenging, but at the same time rewarding, trails to be had anywhere- the famous Isolation Trail.
6 Day Kgalagadi – Polentswa Wilderness 4×4 Trail (Botswana side)
Consisting mostly of sand interspersed with deep sand, this 6-day adventure trail follows a circular route through the spectacularly beautiful Kalahari Desert. The trail starts a little north of Nossob Camp in the Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and is a true challenge even for skilled off-road drivers. Accommodation is in campsites, and the area is malaria-free. Advance booking is required since vehicle numbers are limited for each tour.
9 Day Kgalagadi – Mabuasehube – Kaa Game Viewing Trail 4×4 Tour (Botswana side)
This 9-day drive through sand, sand, and more sand combines the Mabuasehube and Kaa 4×4 trails. Starting at Kuruman, the trail runs northward through the Kalahari Desert taking in Tshabong and Mabuasehube, both in the Botswana part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. From here, the trail passes by Hukuntsi, before crossing the Kaa Kalahari Concession on the way to joining the Kaa 4×4 Trail in the north-west of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. On the way back, the trail takes in the spectacular game viewing routes on the South African side of Kalahari Desert.
The entire trail passes through some of the game viewing country in Southern Africa, as well as some of the remotest spots you could hope to visit-ever. Accommodation is by camping only, and the region is malaria-free.
Starting at Makalambedi, and ending at Katima Mulilo, the capital of the Caprivi Strip, this epic 3-week trail through some of the most isolated terrain in Botswana is not for the faint of heart. While it might sound like fun and good times, this trail requires advanced driving skills, a fully equipped and meticulously prepared vehicle, and plenty of hard work to (very often) dig yourself out of the thick sand of the Kalahari Desert.
However, the upside is that you will see plenty of game in some of the most scenic parts of the Southern African region, if not the African continent. This trail is too long, and there are too many sights, smells, and experiences to describe them all here but suffice to say, you will enjoy the most impressive sunsets in Africa, explore some fascinating limestone caves, see the stars as you have never seen them before, and generally experience the Mecca of African wild-, and birdlife. Not to mention of course, driving one of the most challenging trails on the continent.
Nevertheless, you need to plan to make sure you carry sufficient water, fuel, and food since supply points are few and very far apart. We also strongly recommend that you gather as much information on this route as you can BEFORE you leave, and that you definitely not attempt this mammoth trail alone; you need at least three vehicles, each of which MUST carry additional fuel, water, and recovery gear. More on Botswana tourism for the off-road traveler >>