Best of the West – Zimbabwe Self Drive

Route: Chobe – Tsowa – Chamabondo – Vic Falls/Livingstone – Hwange

Start your Zimbabwe self drive trip across the border in one of the finest national parks in Southern Africa: Chobe National Park in Botswana. Famous for its extensive elephant population and many waterways, the park attracts an abundance of animals and birds in the dry season. We recommend at least 2 – 3 days in the Chobe area to fully experience all it has to offer.

Driving out of Chobe, we quickly come to the Kazangula border separating Botswana and Zimbabwe. This border post is open daily from 6 am to 6 pm but be sure to allow yourself about 2 hours for the crossing. A scenic drive will soon take you to the Zambezi National Park in Western Zimbabwe. From there, a further hour’s drive will bring you to Tsowa Safari Island, a halfway stop when heading towards Victoria Falls.

Tsowa is an island in the middle of the mighty Zambezi River. This Robinson Crusoe luxury explorers camp offers water and land-based safari experiences. So, we recommend you take a break from the wheel and let the guides take you for game drives through the park or on a sunset river cruise up the Zambezi River. Alternatively, stretch your legs with an island walk or a game walk in the park. The more adventurous can stretch their arms while rafting down the river and enjoying riverside sundowners.

The local chefs at Tsowa Safari Island will ensure you are refueled and refreshed with 5-star cuisine while you watch wildlife from the riverside pools. We recommend staying on the island for 2 or 3 nights to unwind fully before your journey resumes.

Continue heading towards the vibrant town of Victoria Falls to see the “smoke that thunders”, a UNESCO Heritage Site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Victoria Falls is shared between Zimbabwe and Zambia, so be certain to ask your travel planner about the best visa for your itinerary. Entrance to Victoria Falls costs approx. $20 – $30 depending on your nationality, and we suggest at least 2 hours to walk the length of the falls. For a lunchtime treat, we highly recommend booking The Lookout Café as, in addition to the fantastic food, you’ll get to witness adventure enthusiasts do gorge swings and ziplines over the Zambezi River.

Head about 2 hours south from Victoria Falls towards the off-the-beaten-track Hwange National Park to reach your final Zimbabwe self drive destination. Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest and most popular park. This Big Five park recently had white rhinos reintroduced and boasts expansive views with plenty of elephant herds visiting the local watering holes. There are numerous luxurious accommodation options to choose from here, all exclusive with incredible views.