Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. now offers guests the adventure of a lifetime – the first luxury self-drive safari in Botswana. By bringing together exceptional individual experiences, a hotel and leisure company that operates high end hotels, cruise and train services around the world create this unique and inspiring journey which allows guests to drive themselves 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 senior specialist safari guide will assist the assigned drivers in maneuvering through rivers, thick sand and muddy swamps. A safari guide joins each 4×4 as a safety precaution, as well as an expert animal finder, to educate drivers on the cultural, historical and geological significance of the terrain.
First, guests are given maps of various routes which will explore in the fully air-conditioned, short-wheel based Toyota Land Cruiser 76. This four-wheeler has a long-range fuel-tank and is equipped with a GPS, a satellite phone, a gas cooker, chairs, Zeiss binoculars, emergency equipment, reference books full of information about passing terrain and wild animals, as well as a gas cooker, barbeque and refrigerator for cool drinks.
Guests can choose whether to pass a remote village such as Shorobe, Sunkuyo and Mababe to meet the local inhabitants and purchase handmade crafts. Drivers can navigate their way to Baobab Hill to see the bushman paintings near the Savute Marsh, visit the Linyati Swamp, or for a more adventurous safari, extend the long day into the night for a game drive with a spotlight.
Self-drive safaris are available during the first two weeks of December and January through to the end of March, with a maximum of three guests.