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Self-Drive Namibia versus Zambia Safari

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I've been reading through postings for days and am utterly confused. Hoping someone might have some advice that would help me make a choice. Here are what I consider my options:

1) A self-drive tour (CC Africa's Gems of Namibia, but I don't drive standard. Has anyone done this using a car with automatic transmission? Is automatic practical/safe/available?

Alternatives within Namibia include Wilderness Safaris' Great Namibian Journey, but I hesitate to spend so much more for essentially the same route as the self-drive. I'm okay with the cost (about $6,000), but wonder why I would pay that when self-drive is so much less expensive. There is also a Namibian Lodge Safari available through Trek Holidays, but I can't find much detail on it. . .

2) A safari in Zambia. I'd love to do Botswana, but think my comfort zone is around $6,000 (excluding international flights). This doesn't get me very far in Botswana - would it provide a decent safari in Zambia? Who would you recommend as an agent/tour company to check out options with?

P.S. I am *hoping* to put this together for October to December this year, 2.5 weeks, traveling with my mother who is healthy but has an injured shoulder. Her shoulder would prevent getting in/out of a mekoro, etc. and might make cots (ie. camping) uncomfortable.

Thanks for any advice,

Any advice would be appreciated.


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