Africa would not be Africa if she would not try and challenge us, and some regions in Southern Africa are indeed a challenge. There comes a point where you will have to leave behind the sedan or the vehicle with higher ground clearance, and if you have never done any serious off-road driving, rely on a specialist to take you where you want to go. Mozambique, the Kalahari, the Okavango Delta, Moremi and Savuti in Southern Africa are regions where I would highly recommend a guided safari.
Your guide will know where to go, and what road conditions to expect. Your guide will deal with challenges that you will - and that's a guarantee - encounter along the way. Your guide will expertly take you into those exclusive areas that would have remained closed for you otherwise. Your guide will provide (4x4) vehicles, camping equipment (if needed), safari equipment (water tanks, tow ropes, high-lift jack etc.), food and drinks, take care of all the necessary permits and entrance fees, cook your meals, share his/her knowledge with you, answer all your questions, and be a gracious host as well. As you will understand, it takes a special person to be capable, knowledgeable and personable, and so the safari companies I recommend can be counted on one hand.
You will pay more than when you would drive yourselves, yes, but your money will be well spent on something that you would not have been able to do alone, and on someone who in every way is a safari specialist. If you can travel as a group of 4-6 people the costs pp go down significantly. If you want to see those parts of Southern Africa that offer the highest challenge, then guided is the way to go.
“I believe there is no sickness of the heart too great it cannot be cured by a dose of Africa. Families must go there to learn why they belong together on this earth, adolescents to discover humility, lovers to plumb old but untried wells of passion, honeymooners to seal marriages with a shared sense of bafflement, those shopworn with life to find a tonic for futility, the aged to recognize a symmetry to twilight. I know this all sounds a bit much, but if I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa.” John Hemingway, African Journeys