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“Onguma - a very original experience!”
Review of Onguma the Fort

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Onguma the Fort
Certificate of Excellence
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Onguma - a very original experience!”
Reviewed March 18, 2013 via mobile

I stayed at Onguma in March 2013 for 2 nights and loved it. I stayed at he Fort with its direct views over Fischers Pan. It was beautiful, original and very peaceful. The Fort suites (concrete and tent mix design) were very original and designed to be in keeping with the surroundings. You are completely in the middle of the Namibian bush so be prepared for the wildlife - big and small !!! The safari drives both in Etosha and Onguma were excellent and we saw most animals - lions, giraffes, zebra, elephant, wildebeest, warthog... I would definitely return. Thank you to all at Onguma - Andrea and Steven

  • Stayed March 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank AndreaNamibia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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238 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
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English first
Denbigh, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 5, 2013

The Fort is built in Moroccan style, but is not incongruous given the nearby Namutomi Rest Camp in the Park. There is a serenity and beauty to the rooms and the service is exemplary. Good views over to the Park from each room which is itself a mini Fort. Food is beautifully presented and there are towers to take in the magnificent sunsets

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
196 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 198 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

I wasn't taken with the photos I saw of the Fort on the internet and opted for the Treetop Camp at Onguma instead. It was only when we came for Christmas dinner that I realised how wrong I was and we moved to the Fort the next day. It looks a bit Moroccan and I thought out of place in Namibia but the rooms are lovely and the views are beautiful. As the temperature reached around 45 degrees during the heat of the day we were so grateful for the air-con and the swimming pool. The food was lovely and they were very accomodating when we told them that we didn't eat meat (all the other lodges had been warned in advance, but we had swopped over from another lodge so they weren't to know).
If I come to Etosha again I will definately come back here.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank ilana613
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2012

Our chalet at Onguma the Fort was stunning, and whimsical. You have absolute privacy as each chalet is about 300 feet apart. The lodge and pool area are equally stunning. Stefan and Bronwynn were terrific hosts, and we particularly appreciated Stefan's wine tasting treat.

The only cons was the surprisingly lackluster food, and the game in the Onguma preserve itself is more like a petting zoo than an African safari. We ended up skipping all but one pre-paid game drive and self-driving back into Etosha, so we'd recommend doing the DBB rather than full board unless you don't have your own car.

Room Tip: Stay in a chalet rather than the tower room, unless you don't have a car, since you cannot walk...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Vancouver_DAD_83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
namibia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 23, 2012

We had an unforgettable weekend at the Fort. The sevice is amazing...the management (Stefan and Bronwyne) you are an amazing team. One would think you are the owners...by the way you two manage the Fort!!! Well done!!! The rooms are to die for...big, with watercoolers, fantastic view and very private!!! The food is great!! We would definately recommend this lodge. We will be back. As Namibians we have been to many lodges, but can for sure recommend the Fort!!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank rickyNamibia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairlawn, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2012

We stayed here for three nights and generally liked the place. Each unit is a separate building in the middle of a wildlife reserve, so you may have animals right outside. We had a giraffe eating a tree behind our suite one evening, which was very cool. There is a tradeoff, though, as you are also near small animals that can get into the rooms.

We also had plumbing problems. The first night the water in the shower would not stay hot. We had to keep shutting the water off and turning it back on to get a few seconds of hot water. I ended up having to take a navy shower to avoid freezing. They fixed it the next day but it shouldn't have been broken to begin with. There was also trouble with the bathtub on the deck behind our suite. I checked it out on our last afternoon and the stopper wouldn't work, making the tub useless. They tried to fix it but to no avail.

The food was very good, with a combination of game and more conventional foods. The staff was nice and helpful, although a bit over-attentive when you are in the lounge. It seems like the whole meal they are either coming to your table to take or deliver something, or they are approaching to see if they should take something. They also tend to come up and see if you need something when you are just hanging around in the lodge. I'd prefer to just relax and ask if I need something.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank lemuel1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2012

This was the highlight of our Namibian honeymoon, when we spent 3 nights in their best suite ("the sultan's suite"). We stayed at 3 other places on our trip that were all highly rated and pretty expensive, but the extra money we spent here was worth every penny. I don't know if we'll ever experience anything like it again. When we arrived at the next very nice place my wife actually cried, because she felt we didn't get to just enjoy the fort enough with all our early morning game drives. The game drives at the fort really made our trip too though. We had an excellent guide named Viali who got us up close to 11 lions that swarmed our jeep, a black rhino, a leopard, lots of elephants, and lots of other more common african animals. In July it's their winter so the morning game drives are very cold from 6-9am before it gets warmer. The open air jeeps they use are ideal for photographs but I would recommend ski goggles for the wind, and a scarf, mitts and fleece for the first half. They do provide a blanket and hot water bottle which helps a lot, and they also provide sandwiches and cold drinks. They also offer a nice sundowner drive within their own nature reserve, where you get some great hors deuvres with a cocktail at sunset. I would only recommend this prior to doing gane drives in etosha park, like we did, because another couple who did them in reverse order found the sundowner to be anti-climactic since there are no elephants or cats. Our host at the Fort was the manager Stefan, who gave us a very warm welcome and seemed to always anticipate our every need and had them taken care of before we knew it... It was quite impressive. The communication among all the staff is very good too - they would always ask how our drives were when we went on them, and they would also time their room servicing while we were eating or on drives. The chef was very good, and seemed to pay attention to what was left on our plate at the end of a meal in order to refine his next meals for us. The fort has flowing water channels throughout that really add a special touch. The lounge area had beautiful fireplaces and couches, free wifi, and open views of a nice watering hole, with the etosha pan in the distance. The swimming pool was too cold, which is probably the only criticism I could think of, but it was still very nice to suntan beside, and they have nice bistro tables in a shallow river pool that flows into the main pool. The food was gourmet, with hot breakfast made to order, great 3 course lunches, and excvellent 4 course dinners. The soup starters were the best soups we had ever had in our lives. Drinks were surprisingly cheap, and they have a solid wine list to choose bottles from. Service was top notch, and we would recommend this place to anyone looking to spoil themselves for a few days in the Etosha area. They are located right next to the park entrance but their driveway takes about 20 minutes to traverse.

Room Tip: Pay a bit extra for the Fort Suite, it's worth it!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank TorontoMike86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Onguma the Fort

Property: Onguma the Fort
Address: Onguma Private Reserve | Near Etosha National Park, Etosha National Park, Namibia
Location: Namibia > Oshikoto Region > Etosha National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 35 Specialty Lodging in Etosha National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Onguma the Fort 5*
Number of rooms: 13
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

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