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“Pleasantly surprised”

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Okaukuejo Rest Camp
Reviewed June 10, 2013

After all we read in the reviews we were doubting if we should book two nights in the rest camp but didn't regret it a second. First of all we thought it was crowded - which it was not. Ok, if you have been traveling Namibia any group of people counting more than 10 appears like a crowd but people seemed to be well spread on the big areal. Staff was friendly at all times and our ranger for the night drive really was helpful and doing a very good job. Also the very bad reviews about the food wasn't what we encountered. Surely you will find more exquisite restaurants in Namibia, but the presentation as well as the selection of the buffet style dinner was absolutely ok and the quality of food was unexpectedly good. Of course what makes the stay something special is not only to be in the park after and before gates close what gives the possibility of special drives and early self drives but definitly is the waterhole as everybody else already stated. Mass and variety of animals was gorgeous and you can watch this spectacular scenery while sitting there having a sundowner or two. We loved it.

Room Tip: We had a bush chalet about 2 mintues from waterhole and restaurant and can absolutely recommend it...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Netto0302
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 23, 2013

Atrocious service, appalling staff attitude, food was not quite as good as prison slop. The watering hole is amazing but the lodges outside the park provide much better service and a less angering stay. If you want to stay for the watering hole, go self catering and stay for one night only.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Roisebud74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2013

Our chalet was smaller than the one at Halali and not ready as promised which meant that we had to wait in the heat. It was not as well equipped either. Breakfast times as advertised were not observed and when we arrived the previous nights debris was still in evidence and tables weren't set so we had to search for cutlery. They pretty much have a captive clientele if you want to stay near their waterhole.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank jaxand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2013

We spent one night in a campsite at Okaukuejo.

Our spot had a braai, a metal chair that had seen better days, and an anemic tree for a small amount of shade. But we were camping, not looking for luxury. One bummer was we had to walk several spots away to get a water spigot as there isn't one at each site.

The campground was very crowded so I was pleasantly surprised how quiet it was at night. Probably because everyone is getting up just before dawn to head off to look for animals.

The shower room was a bit rundown, but there was staff there cleaning them both in the evening hours and the morning.

Overall it's a good pit stop for a night when touring Etosha. Just don't expect a high standard in the campground amenities. And the animal activity at the waterhole was great fun.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank DumbDog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2013

We were booked in to stay at the campsite for 2 nights, but on arrival, and after waiting to be attended to for what seemed like ages - we decided to take a look the campsite before confirming that we would stay there. We were shown 2 campsites and both were equally as bad as the other. They were dirty and stony without much shade and unkempt. Benches broken, braai area dirty, noisy and surrounded by many over landers... so all in all not good..
We went back to reception and told them that even though we had booked the campsite, we wouldn't be staying there and wished to be upgraded. This seemed to be a huge problem for the reception staff, and seeing that the booking was made through an agent, they said they needed to get in touch with the agent first before we could be upgraded - irrespective of the fact that we would be paying the difference there and then. We were given the key to an available chalet to check it out, and upon our return to reception yet again, we were duly informed that it was 'ok by the agent' to be upgraded.. that was good then!
We settled the difference and then we were asked to pay a N$500 'key bond' , this was in the event we were to leave with the key in our pockets.. I told the lady at reception that I didn't have N$500 in cash, and that I wasn't about to pay the 'deposit' seeing that I had just paid over N$2000 to be upgraded.. and what was I going to do with their key anyway?? They would have to trust me, yes or no.. The answer was 'yes' - so we then drove all the way back to our chalet and settled in.
The chalet was very nice, it had its own little kitchen area with a fridge that barely worked but the beds were comfortable, and the shower was hot and powerful and all very clean. The batteries in the air conditioning unit didn't work - which were eventfully replaced. Outside we had a table with 2 benches and a braai area and luckily the chalet was close to the waterhole - which was a bit of a result.

We'd been to Etosha before and stayed at Okaukuejo, but most of it had been refurbished since our last visit 10 years ago. However, the restaurant staff were very rude, it was dirty and the waiting staff couldn't be bothered to pick up the litter from the floor. The second morning at breakfast we ordered 2 lots of fried eggs, but were told that they had run out of eggs.. After a 5 minute discussion with the chef, he left and bought some eggs from the local shop as he fully understood our complaints..
We also spent some time round the pool which was nice.

Would we go back to Etosha? No, not really - better facilities at Kruger and much better game viewing with more attentive staff.
Considering the amount of money they take at the gate for entrance park fees, and accommodation fees, they should by now be much more au fait with international tourism. They need to seriously get their act together as far as maintenance is concerned as seeing broken benches, doors that don't shut properly, broken locks, lights that don't work etc ++++ and it's no good saying "this is Africa" - it should and could be so so much better - stop resting on your laurels!
We will not be returning.

Room Tip: try not to book in advance if at all possible, see rooms first before committing, then haggle if not...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Baby-Babble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

We stayed her in mid-January at one of the Premier Waterhole Chalets. The accommodations in the Waterhole Chalet were very nice...a two-story unit with a bedroom, bathroom and seating area downstairs and upstairs was a lovely bedroom and bathroom with doors opening to a deck overlooking the waterhole. There was air conditioning both upstairs and downstairs, but no kitchen, but it did have a small fridge and a hot pot for coffee and tea. There is a small gift shop, a post office, ice cream bar, dining area, a nice swimming pool and the park office where you can arrange game drives, etc.

It was really fun watching the animals come to the waterhole...all day, but mostly daybreak and sunset. We saw rhino, oryx, antelopes, water buffalo, wildebeests, zebra and a few giraffe. Okaukuejo Rest Camp has lots of options for housing and camping. It is a clean, well-kept area right on the edge of the pan. However, you are very limited in options for meals as there is really only one place to eat...a buffet or a small grocery store where you can buy food if you have cooking facilities. The buffet was not to our liking, but other people seemed to think it was ok. We were a little leery about some foods as they were setting out a long time and we didn't eat the salads as the water is unsafe to drink--didn't want to chance it. You are about 40+ miles away from any other civilization, so there are no other eating options.

Two downsides in coming to Etosha in January are that is is EXTREMELY hot during the day (the nights were delightful) and the animals cannot be seen in great numbers as many are still further north--we never saw an elephant. We went out on a game drive with a ranger at day break and saw a lot of wildlife, but on the way back a couple hours later, they had all dispersed and mostly were out of sight. We heard that game viewing at other times of the year is exceptional. The land is very flat and barren which was a bit of a surprise to us...not what we Americans really picture when we think of a National Park...but it was beautiful in its own way. We would stay here again, just at a different time of the year. We drove ourselves from Windhoek, about 5 hours, and the roads were good (all paved). You have to be wary of the stray livestock (cows, goats, horses) roaming freely around and over the roads and also the wild animals (giraffe, oryx, kudu, baboon, warthogs) which can pop out in front of you unexpectedly! There are not many human beings except in the sparse, small cities along the way.

Room Tip: Your budget will dictate your accommodations...but the premier water hole chalets offered great view...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Schleuder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2013

When you visit game reserves, accomodation can generally be classified into 3 broad categories - exclusive, self catering and standard. Okakuejo falls into the latter. If you have ever stayed at one of South Africa's parks, you will know exactly what to expect, and Okakuejo is all of that plus of course that extaordinary waterhole.

We booked the water chalets which are located a 30 sec stroll from the waterhole which proviede the opporutnity to check on the comings and goings on a regular basis and also proved to be really handy for recharging our glasses. The chalets are standard and have A/C but no cooking facilities and as such we were requird to frequent the dining room.

The food was good throughout our 3 days stay and buffet nicely rotated. Meat averse folks be warned, you have entered the kingdom of the carnovore and we dined on a variety of game meats each night - which were delightful.

We found the staff a bit surly but that could be because of the really friendly service we received elsewhere on this trip.

Resist the temptation to stay at higher end lodges outside the Park as too much time is spent commuting and you miss hte best parts of the day. That remarkable waterhole provides a cornucopea of sightings both day and night. We enjoyed our morning coffee watching the sunrise and bush come to life; we were seduced by the late afternoon visitors over sundowners and after dinner the nocturnal visitors including rhino, elephant and lion provided the cherry on top with their intimate displays.

Highly recommended to remain for the half hour after sunset as the day visitors make way for the flocks of bats drinking and feeding and the starlings and doves take their final drink of the day.

Good overall value and woth a visit

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Brian E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Okaukuejo Rest Camp

Address: Anderson Gate | Southern Entrance, Etosha National Park, Namibia
Location: Namibia > Oshikoto Region > Etosha National Park
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Ranked #21 of 36 Specialty Lodging in Etosha National Park
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