We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great place to stay when visiting Etosha and surrounds”
Review of Onguma the Fort

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Onguma the Fort
Certificate of Excellence
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great place to stay when visiting Etosha and surrounds”
Reviewed May 31, 2013

From the moment you arrive and step in to Onguma The Fort and look straight over the waterhole and bushveld to Fishers Pan you are wowed. Sundowners on the top of the fort tower offers the best view of the bright orange / blood red sunset and crystal clear evening stars. The suites are comfortable, spacious and private; it wasn't quite chilly enough for us to need our in suite fireplace to be lit but the hot water bottles were a pleasant surprise when we got back to our suites at the end of a great day. The food was fantastic and Juan & team are gracious hosts - plenty of reason to return.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JoanneDicksonGo2Africa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

240 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    197
    35
    5
    2
    1
See reviews for
35
165
3
3
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2013

The Fort is situated on the Onguma private reserve immediately to the east of Etosha itself. The reserve was originally part of the Etosha National Park. There is plenty of game on the reserve including a pride of lions, one of which woke us one night with a roar that we could swear was from one of the sun loungers on our chalet's sun deck!
The Fort is an outstandingly beautiful building in the Moroccan style as are the individual chalets. The main building is open plan with water flowing in many areas. There is a waterhole in front of the building where one can watch a variety of animals while one eats or relaxes. The only negative feature of the design is that the lighting in the chalets looks in keeping with the buildings design but is not very functional in its main purpose.
Nearly all the staff were local and occasionally did not fully understand one's requests but were very willing nonetheless.
The evening dinner menu was very interesting but its execution was a disappointment. Onguma has approximately five different sites within it including a tree top lodge and campsite. There is a crying need for an executive chef at Onguma who would be responsible for recruitment of kitchen staff, their training and development, the menus at the different sites, supervision of the kitchens, and ensuring that the finished product on guests' plates was of an appropriate high standard. There was a genuine wine cellar at the fort with a very good selection of South African wines at reasonable prices.
We were at the Fort during a self drive through Namibia and it was wonderful to be able to enter Etosha approximately 150 metres from the entrance to Onguma and choose which waterholes to visit and to stay as long or as short as one wished at each one.
The competent stand-in manager, Newman, exceeded the line of duty in tracing the only replacement tyre for our vehicle in the whole of northern Namibia - thank you, Newman.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 880Paddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 6 Contributor
286 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2013

This is probably the best hotel we have stayed in whilst exploring Etosha. Our only regret is that we didn't just stay there to do so. The Fort (based on a kasbah style) is beautifully designed and a welcome change from the bush tent and mountain camp scheme which can be a bit repetitive after a while. Unbeknownst to us, the hotel arranged a romantic dinner on the roof top with candles and a very charming waiter to look after us. It was memorable! The 4-course dinners are well cooked and well presented, if a bit too much every evening. The suites are well appointed and clean. The addition of a lit fire in the room in the evening and hot water bottles in bed make for those little touches most hotels have forgotten. The Onguma game driver was probably one of the best we had in our 3.5 weeks tour of Namibia. He knew the water holes and has a good working relationship with the other drivers which put us in strategic spots very quickly to view and film game. Next day we drove ourselves following his original route and was well rewarded. My advice to tourist self driving and staying at Onguma is to take an afternoon game drive with their guide and than explore the park yourself. The Etosha map is very poor and some of the marked waterholes are dry and a waste of time to visit. And yes, there was a lioness roaring outside the suite at 4 o'clock in the morning. It was the icing on a perfect cake!

Room Tip: Ask for a suite closer to the main building which will put you more directly in front of the water h...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vbm6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2013

We stayed only one night (courtesy lousy airline who cancelled one flight), but we absolutely loved it. Great location (best sunset in Namibia, they say), great service, beautiful architecture (Moroccan forts), very comfortable rooms, and ... "Bush TV", i.e. a waterhole just in front of the main building and rooms, with springboks, zebras, gnus, oryxes etc... coming and going, starting from dawn: you can take a shower while looking at them, of course they also look at you!
Then, less than 10minutes drive, there is the Etosha reserve, where the number of animals you can see in a few hours is just amazing: elephants, giraffes, kudus, zebras, springboks, impalas, and lions. We wish we could stay one more day but... We will return.

Room Tip: Choose one not too far from the main building: at night, lions roam... and you have to wait for the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Philippe47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2013

Yes, a lion. Both mornings the roars of a lioness jolted us awake. Normally, I get upset at being woken up to early when I'm intent on relaxing. But at The Fort, it's a great part of the experience. The second morning when this happened just as the sun was rising, I tentatively crept out onto the deck, feeling a little foolish holding the air horn which is the lodges "animal defence". Sure enough, about 100metres away, between me and the waterhole, was the lioness. Up close (at least, close enough for me seeing as there is no barrier between the spacious deck and the bush) and about as personal as I want to get with a wild predator.

This lodge is wonderful. Other reviews comment on the design (oddly, Moroccan-like), the suites (huge, opulent, comfortable) and the food (more on that later). myself and my partner finihsed up a four night trip to Etosha with two nights of indulgence at The Fort after two nights camping in the park. If you are cinsdiering a visit to the area, do yourself a favour and stay in the park. That way you get to really spend some time at the campside waterholes which are magnificent (Okakuejo and Halali the best). Then, when you have had your fill of wild creatures, and fancy some luxury treatment, try The Fort.

We were celebrating an anniversary and on that night we had the full treatment - a beautifully romantic private setting for dinner, attentive service (including a couple of songs, one in the local San Ha||om language) and a simple but tasty cake.

We spent our time lazing on the deck, watching the young Springbok bucks butt heads and the young Warthog run around like crazy clockwork toys. You can do tours, you are close enough to drive yourself into the park proper, but we just chilled. For an indulgent, lazy way to view the local game around the waterhole, this place was great.

Now, the only downside (seeing as neither of us was eaten by the local lion). We were both vegetarian. The management were advised with plenty of warning. And, true, we did not go hungry. However, Chef really didn't seem to know what to do for vegetarians.We let Chef and the manager know, and received very professional apologies. But the food for veggies was poor. I hope they address this. I wouldn't hesitate recomending The Fort to omnivores seeing as we heard no complaints from the (few) other guests. And even if you are a veggie, it was still a great place to stay.

Some handy answers to questions that I tend to ask:the suites are semi-open with canvas walls on two sections, but netted so that you can keep the bugs out. Plus, a really good mozzie net over the bed for good measure. Their is air-con, but I much prefer the open-wall option. The bathroom is awesome. They say there is wifi, but I didn't find it (but I wasn't bothered enough to ask). It is close (about 7km) to the Park entrance, so great if you want to do your own self-drive tours, whilst staying in a swanky lodge (but really, staying in the park itself is well worth it). The suites all seemed very very private. Short of people in the park itself staring back at you with high powered binoculars, the only things that could see us on the deck were feathered or four-legged.

Room Tip: Room 2 was really private, though nobody was staying anywhere near us, so far as we could tell. All...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nigemate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blanden, Belgium
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed April 29, 2013

This lodge is simply magnificent !
Beautifully styled main building. Lovely pool.
It's really awe-inspiring...
Very atmospheric in the evening, with lots of lighting and lovely candles and all the fireplaces are lit.Lovely terrace to watch the sun set, with view over a pothole.

Very attentive service overall. The cuisine especially was really very very good. The chef came to the tables to introduce the menu every evening and all the dishes were of a very high standard.

The lodges are really spatious. A private fireplace is lit during the winterdays, so the room is even more fairy-tale like. The bathroom in the same Marrocan style is also a lovely touch. Super comfy bed, where you can fall asleep while watching the fire...

We didn't try the safari drives, as we chose to do some solitary driving into Etosha so I cannot comment on the qulity of the drives.

Excellent lodge !

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Steve C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2013

My husband and I stayed for 3x nights at the Fort and I cannot rave enough about this lodge. Firstly, it is breathtakingly beautiful and very unexpected in the middle of the bush. The architecture and décor are perfect and the best part of the lodge is that there are no fences or guardrails anywhere, so you are literally "in" the bush - but with amazing luxury as well. We were upgraded to the honeymoon suite on arrival and adored our suite, since it is the furthest away from the main lodge; which makes it the quietest, but also the nearest to the pride of lions that live (and walk around outside the suite) at night. Going to sleep with lions roaring nearby is such a special experience and we loved the feeling of openness and naturalness of living in the bush.

The general manager, Stefan, was wonderful - nothing was too much trouble. We were also served by Kalomho, who seemed to be our own private butler and gave us magnificent service at every meal. At each mealtime, the chef comes and personally presents the menu - what a treat and such a lovely touch. The food is excellent and there is a fabulous wine list. We also never saw anyone who cleaned our suite - the staff are all so well trained, they are almost invisible and you never feel their presence. We also had David as our guide, who took us on drives to both Onguma reserve itself, which is beautiful and unspoiled and Etosha, which was also incredible.

My husband and I travel extensively and I can honestly say this was one of the best places we have ever stayed - so magical and peaceful and mystical. An absolute must for the bucket list.

Room Tip: We had the honeymoon suite, no.12, which is the furthest away from the lodge and the quietest. Absol...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lynnie07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Etosha National Park hotels
5.4 mi away
Mokuti Etosha Lodge
Mokuti Etosha Lodge
#3 of 36 in Etosha National Park
792 reviews
87.3 mi away
Etosha Safari Lodge
Etosha Safari Lodge
#6 of 36 in Etosha National Park
921 reviews
84.3 mi away
Etosha Village
Etosha Village
#4 of 36 in Etosha National Park
450 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
87.0 mi away
Ongava Lodge
Ongava Lodge
#8 of 36 in Etosha National Park
299 reviews
86.1 mi away
Eldorado Guest House & Camping
Eldorado Guest House & Camping
#25 of 36 in Etosha National Park
58 reviews
12.5 mi away
Emanya@Etosha
Emanya@Etosha
#26 of 36 in Etosha National Park
195 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Onguma the Fort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 36 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com so you can book your Onguma the Fort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Onguma The Fort Hotel Etosha National Park

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing