About Self Drive Tours Botswana
Looking for a Botswana Itinerary?
Our mission at Self Drive Tours Botswana is to connect cultures through personalised travel self drive tour experiences. Every member on our team has a genuine passion for travel and thrives on creating customised Botswana vacation itineraries that you will love and remember forever.
How it all started..
Our company was really born in 2016. Graeme was working at Botswana International University of Science and Technology. He and Gillian wanted to start a business in Botswana and he was fortunate to meet up with two enterprising young women, Peo and Naomi, with a similar vision.
It takes a while to get things done in Botswana. Back in 2017 the World Bank ranked 190 countries in terms of the ease of starting a business. Botswana was ranked 153rd out of 190. But perseverance and some very useful help from the Botswana Investment & Trade Centre got us there in the end. https://www.gobotswana.com/
We always intended to run the self-drive tours side of Segaigai as a separate business unit. DIY was officially incorporated as DIY Driving Tours (Proprietary Limited) at the end of 2019.
Tourism started sending up a few green shoots during 2021. The pandemic has brought opportunities as well as challenges. The first tourists to reappear have been the self-drive segment. If you are going to travel in the midst of a pandemic there is some attraction in doing so in your own bubble on wheels, and doing your own catering. With visitor volumes slowly picking up it was finally time to launch..
Our office is based in Palapye, Botswana which is a place very near and dear to all of us. Our vision has come from our love of Botswana . We have seen first hand the potential that Botswana has for providing the most amazing holiday experience. We have spent the past few years travelling this beautiful country and experiencing everything it has to offer and believe us, you will be amazed.
Why you should choose us
We are genuinely excited at the prospect of showcasing Botswana to the world and you won’t find a more enthusiastic group than us to make your self-drive experience one to remember forever. Our team is highly dedicated and willing to plan everything with you to ensure that you have the best holiday.
From the incredibly fascinating history, to the magnificent culture and breath-taking places to visit, you won’t be short of an experience of a lifetime.
We know the best places to go, the best places to stay and the best things to do. Our team is here for you should you have any questions or issues at any stage of your trip, we are always a phone call away and always happy to assist wherever you need us to. We are empowered to always act with your best interests at heart.
Our main focus is to create a bespoke experience for travellers. A one of a kind service that is not offered by the main tour company’s. Botswana is definitely a unique travelling experience that you will not match to any other in the world. Our goal as team Self Drive Tours Botswana is to afford you the things you wouldn’t normally see, take you to places you wouldn’t have thought to go and ensure that you feel safe and secure while travelling in the beautiful country of Botswana.
Meet The Team
I am a New Zealander, originally trained in zoology and botany. I’m at the end of a long career in forensic science, spent mostly in the fisheries and marine field. I first came to Botswana in 2008 on a month-long family holiday (a self-drive one of course) and quickly fell in love with the country.
I had the opportunity to return to Botswana in 2016 as a university professor. I didn’t want to leave Botswana at the end of my contract. But fortunately I had met up with Peo and Naomi at the start of my stay. We had already formed a company together and business opportunities beckoned. Putting the business together was a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun, and it took me to parts of the country I had yet to explore.
I have been a self drive tourist myself in at least 20 different countries. When we travel ourselves I like to go hiking and cycling; to look at rocks; to watch birds; and to get to know the local people. The freedom of motor touring makes all of these things possible.
I still remember organising our first family holiday in Africa. It was something of a nightmare, and the organisation took three times longer than the time we spent on the road. Little has changed really !
Anyway, a company like ours is a new and different venture in Botswana. Self-drive tourism in this country is in its infancy. A pity because the local people get very little benefit from tourists traveling on 3 country package tours, or those making short visits to stay in a luxury lodge in a game park. It’s nice to think that we are doing something that might shift the balance
I am married to Graeme and now retired from a career in health and social services, qualifying as a nurse and midwife and subsequently management studies with many years in senior executive roles.
As an avid traveler to many parts of the world it is great to now live in Botswana having lived almost all of my life in New Zealand. We first traveled to Botswana in 2008 and enjoyed five weeks traveling around and camping, mostly in community run campsites. We tried to spend at least three nights in each place we stopped. The local people are just lovely, and we made friends that we still have today.
We now live on a farm at the foot of the Tswapong Hills, one of the proposed UNESCO World Heritage sites in this country. Steenbok, jackals, honey badgers, genets and crested porcupines are regular visitors. The bird list for the Tswapong Hills is about 350 species, so I usually have my binoculars handy when sitting on our deck.
We have always said that part of the fun of going on holiday is planning it. We want to do the hard part of the planning and ensure you get the best out of your visit based on our combined knowledge and experience of Botswana.
Proudly Motswana and born in the country’s capital of Gaborone. I have lived in mining towns for most of my life, Selebi Phikwe, Sowa and have now settled in my lovely hometown of Palapye. I have always had a passion for travel and have quite frequently travelled to the UK to visit my family. I enjoy meeting new people and seeing different places.
I studied in Windhoek, Namibia and afterwards went on to do some more travelling, mostly in the southern part of Africa and spent some time in Australia as well. I am a lover of animals, mostly dogs which I have a couple of. I love wild animals as well and having travelled most of Botswana by now and seen all that there is to offer in this beautiful country, I am very excited to help create the best possible holiday for you.
I am Peo Botlhe Senau was born in Palapye, Botswana.
I graduated from the University of Botswana in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. I am very passionate about travelling and learning about different cultures, and have spent time in South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and Namibia.
I am keen on history and believe firmly that truly a nation without its history is a lost nation. I love interacting with different people from different parts of the world and learning more about their cultures. I love food and exploring different cuisines from different places as well.
Hi, I’m Lorato . I have a BSc in Forensic Science. I was born and bred in Kasane, in the northwest part of Botswana. Later, I moved to Maun which is also in the northwest part of Botswana. Kasane and Maun are famous tourist attractions in Botswana. My experience in both places has been nothing short of amazing as I always had an opportunity to see all the beautiful and unique tourist attractions first-hand, something which many of you will love to see and enjoy. I enjoy travelling and meeting people from all walks of life.
Our Business Model
We are a travel agency with a three-fold difference.
Firstly, we are totally independent. We rely on the fees we charge you, not on commissions from providers. We have no incentive to direct you towards expensive activities and accommodations.
The idea that Botswana is an expensive place to travel is a myth. Just as well because otherwise the locals could never afford to see their own country. A night in a nice village guesthouse might cost US$40. A lovely campsite overlooking a river full of hippopotami might cost US$20. No conventional travel agent will book you into either of these because for a 10% commission it is simply not worth the effort. We charge for our services by the length of your stay, not by where you stay.
Secondly, the most valuable part of our service is the print-on-demand guidebook tailored to YOUR interests and itinerary that we give you on arrival. The guidebook and our pre-loaded GPS unit will take you to places well off the usual tourist trails and provide unique insights into what you find. There is nothing else like this available for Botswana.
Thirdly, Botswana is our home. The ‘Botswana experts’ in many of the big foreign travel agencies are good, but their knowledge is typically based on just a couple of visits to the country. If you want to know the dates of (say) the next Serowe Agricultural Show they probably won’t know. We live here so we have inside knowledge. Our company is a citizen-owned enterprise. We will be here when you are in the country, and whilst you are traveling with us we are only a phone call away.
Our Key Mission
Our company is here to create bespoke self-drive adventures. We want to enable people to get out and about in a two wheel drive vehicle and explore the country, including fascinating parts of Botswana ignored by the main package tour providers.
In some respects Botswana is made for self-drive tourism: the major roads are excellent; there are good guesthouses and campsites in most villages; there are a great many interesting things to see and do; and the only real safety concern is driving at night – very risky because at night the roads are covered with all manner of animals, some of which are rather large.
In other respects Botswana is a nightmare for motor touring.
– There is no good guide book to the country: the only one worth buying covers just a small part of the country and is aimed at people in self-contained 4×4 safari vehicles;
– Reliable maps are hard to come by;
– Many spots of great interest have no information signage, so when you get there you don’t know what you are looking for or at;
– Many guesthouses and campsites have no internet presence so you don’t know they exist;
– Those that do have an internet presence typically take weeks or months to reply to emails;
– If you do get through to someone there is a good chance that they will want a deposit, but cannot accept credit cards or PayPal or indeed anything except a bank transfer; and
– English is one of the two official languages, but not everyone can speak it proficiently. Trying to sort things out over the phone can be extremely frustrating.
We take care of all these hassles.
Our aim is to provide a custom-built service, to ensure that travellers have an experience of a lifetime. Every itinerary will be slightly different and tailored to the interests and degree of luxury desired by each party.
Botswana offers a truly unique traveling experience that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Our job is to help make the whole process fun and easy for you – as fun and as easy as it is for us when we travel around our own country.
Talking to us is free and without obligation.
If you are seriously interested in motor touring in Botswana we will work with you to build your itinerary. Once you are happy with the itinerary we will provide you with a fully costed proposal.
If you decide to accept the proposal we will ask you for a non-refundable deposit. This deposit covers our costs, and it is based on the length of your stay and the number of people in your party.
We will invoice you for the balance 3 months before you travel, and then set about booking all the accommodations and activities in your itinerary on your behalf. Our refund policies (covered in T’s and C’s) in the event that you are unable to make the trip are explained here. https://selfdrivetoursbotswana.com/terms-and-conditions-2/
A bond will also be charged for any equipment supplied by our company, and this will be refunded at the end of your journey if the equipment is returned in good condition.