We recently had the great pleasure to stay at Onguma Plains – The Fort. This place is truly 5 star, and in complete keeping with what we are used to from the 5-star game lodges in South Africa. Thank you to Stefan and Bronwyn for a memorable stay!!
After a long dusty drive through Etosha National Park, we were very pleased that the entrance to Onguma is within sight of the Namutoni gate. We arrived at 13h45, and while lunch is until 14h00, we were cheerfully told by Newman: “Why don’t you go and enjoy lunch, and then we’ll check you in?” Lunch was proudly PRESENTED to us by Chef Immanuel. What a scrumptious 3-course lunch, artfully plated! Now, that’s a luxury lodge!
The Onguma Plains – The Fort website clearly mentions that twin-beds only are available, but we thought we’d ask about the possibility of a double bed anyway. “Not a problem!” was the reply, “we’ll make a plan”. And so, a plan was made. Now, that’s going the extra mile and that’s a luxury lodge!
We asked about activities and were advised that we had options. We could choose EACH DAY between: 1. Etosha morning drive till 11h00. 2. Etosha afternoon drive (14h00 – 17h30 + sundowners back at Onguma). 3. Onguma sundowner drive. 4. Onguma night drive. We were free to choose as many of the drives as we wanted. Our suggestion is that you focus only on the Etosha drives, as the game inside Onguma is a little sparse, and the best place to watch the magnificent sunset is at the lodge itself.
The game drives were on their own vehicles, beautifully cleaned before each drive. Soft and clean blankets were provided for the morning drives. As going the extra mile goes to the very core of their existence, hot water bottles were even provided. Now, that’s a luxury lodge!
The early morning game drive left at 6h00, with breakfast was served from 5h30. The spread included smoked salmon, camembert, blue cheese, stewed berries, lychees, dried fruit, fruit salad, croissants, muffins, freshly baked bread, to name but a few options over and above the standard ones. Now, that’s a luxury lodge!
At around 9h30, we stopped for tea, coffee, delicious, juicy sandwiches on freshly-baked bread, croissants and muffins. And this was only for a drive that lasted until 11h00! A delicious three-course lunch is provided back at the lodge, with an opportunity to rest, before the possible afternoon activities. Afternoon tea is readily available. Now, that’s a luxury lodge!
Every single meal was passionately presented by Chef Immanuel, it was varied, prepared with fresh ingredients, imaginative, a feast for the eyes and of course the taste buds! Clearly, Chef justly takes pride in his creations. We asked Chef Immanuel for his chocolate pudding recipe, which he gladly shared with us, and even took us through the method, with glee and enthusiasm. Now, that’s a luxury lodge!
Towels were white, soft and fluffy. Bath sheets and bath towels were provided. The bedding was crisp, white and fresh. There was a telephone in the room. Reception was staffed at all times when guests were around, including the early breakfasts. The staff could not have done enough for us, and we had great fun at the main lodge building practicing some creative photography. The angular lines of the lodge create some impressive effects.
There are a couple of things to note: Firstly, you need to drive from your room to the main lodge, as there are no fences and game can wander freely through the lodge. I am not sure what the plan is for people who don’t come by car, but I imagine that the lodge staff will make a plan. Secondly, in Etosha, the guides are not allowed to go off-road to get better game sightings, like they can at reserves in the Sabi Sands in South Africa.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This Fort is unlike any other, the only one of its kind in Namibia, built in exactly the right spot to give our guests probably one of the best sunset views in the whole of Namibia. Overlooking the beautiful scarceness of the Etosha Pans, decorated only with its wild animals and hundreds of Camel Thorn trees that dot the landscape. Accommodation consists of twelve Bush Suites with fire places for the winter months and air coolers for the summer months. Each suite has an indoor and outdoor shower. The one and only Fort Suite is situated inside the Main Tower of the main complex. It has a large beautifully designed bedroom that leads into a lounge area and out onto a private viewing deck. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Onguma The Fort Hotel Etosha National Park