As safari enthusiasts, you can trust us when we say that self-drive safaris are one of the best ways to experience the African bush. If you’re a beginner adventurer and want to get into the swing of things, driving yourself through African terrain will be a thrilling challenge. And with a Defender on your side, consider yourself halfway there.

As much as we appreciate safari guides, nothing can compare to taking on the wild on your terms. We want to provide you with a few self-drive safari secrets so that you can make the best of your Land Rover occasion:

Why Self-Drive Safaris?

If you’ve ever been on safari, you’ll notice a feeling slight disappointment when the trip has come to an end. Just an hour in the bush will have you falling in love with the generosity of Africa’s stunning terrain.

With more people now seeking longer safari trips and greater independence (and often on tighter budgets), self-driving has become one of the best ways to experience Africa. We can’t deny that guided safari drives can often be expensive, and your time in the bush is limited to a certain amount of hours.

Self-driving will help you get the most out of your safari trip by exploring the bush the way you want to. It is an opportunity to gain a more intimate safari experience on your terms.

Am I Capable of Driving Through Africa?

If you’ve never been on a self-drive safari, the idea can seem a bit daunting. Your biggest worry is probably running into an angry elephant, ready to charge at your Defender. However, we’ll get to that later.

Another concern could be your ability to navigate through the rough paths of the African bush. As mentioned before, if you’re travelling by a trusty Land Rover Defender, you won’t have much to worry about. However, we do suggest taking tips from previous guided drives you may have experienced as well.

We also suggest going on an off-road travel expedition to test out your skills. Although self-drive safaris are often quite simple to navigate, it will be useful to have basic knowledge of off-road driving techniques.

The Importance of Understanding Animal Behaviour

We can define human interest in observing other animals as a mixture of curiosity and fear. We want to study these beings and learn more about them, but we can’t always be sure of how they will react to us.

If you associate game drives with YouTube videos of lions dragging people out of their cars, we think a reassessment is in order before heading out for a self-drive safari. It’s essential to know how to read animal behaviour or at least form a basic understanding of it.

What you should always keep in mind is that animals adapt quite quickly to changing situations. The notion that ‘they’re more afraid of us than we are of them’ should never be your motivation to approach an elephant. Make an effort to educate yourself on what you could expect when you encounter an animal in the wild.

Where can I go on a Self-Drive Safari?

Most private game and nature reserves do not allow day visitors, let alone self-drive safaris. Game reserves in places like Mozambique and Botswana prioritise vacation tourism and anticipate their visitors staying on their game lodge for a few days at a time.

However, the country of South Africa has made excellent provisions for self-drive safaris for both locals and tourists. Whether you’re planning on doing a full day drive or camping out in the wilderness, you’ll find what you’re looking for amongst South Africa’s wide variety of national parks.

One of the most popular game reserves in South Africa has to be the Kruger National Park. The park allows visitors to camp and plan their own safari tours and experience the bush at their own pace. They also provide visitors with maps and self-drive guides so they can get the best out of their self-driving experience.

Essential Navigation Tips

Most game reserves will provide you with a set of regulations for your safety, including a guide on where you can and can’t drive. Keep in mind that you are travelling through the territory of wildlife. You must demonstrate patience with the animals in the bush and the one’s driving alongside you.

If you’re not one for slow driving, you may want to consider carefully whether a self-drive safari is the best option for you. You will have to keep to a restricted speed limit for the sake of the animals as well as your own enjoyment. There’s no rush, so slow down and enjoy the African bush.

We know you put a lot of faith in your Defender, but a self-drive safari is not exactly the opportune time to test its capabilities. If you can avoid a road that looks unsafe, then do so. Animals are masters at remaining concealed. You may feel you have scanned the area carefully, but you cannot predict what will pop out of the bush when you get stuck, and you have to leave your vehicle.


We highly recommend self-drive safaris for any adventurists looking to take their off-road trips to the next level. Make the best out of your Land Rover occasion by researching which game reserves will offer the kind of experience you’re looking for.

Experiencing the African bush on your own is not only more affordable but also getting more for less money. Your time out in the wild does not have to be limited to ‘guided tour’ hours. If you haven’t been off-roading in a while, make sure to refresh your skills before taking on the unpredictable terrain of Africa.



Looking for a Land Rover Occasion? Why not plan your self-drive safari through Africa — it’s the perfect excuse to purchase that custom built Land Rover you’ve always wanted. For more information on any of our services, contact us today. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram.

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