Getting to Ongava lodge you drive thru the private reserve which is next to Etosha. The vegetation is small bushes very dense (we went in January) so it makes it very difficult to see any animals at all. We were very excited to do this part of our trip and looking forward to a great superior lodge and great animal!
The main entrance is nice and welcoming, great big shop and then you enter the main area. What a disappointment! It looks awful. The only AMAZING thing about it is the view (and at least you are not looking at the room!) A huge room with horrible tables and chairs, it all looks like a business hotel outside of an airport. They have not updated their communal parts for years. No decoration, two miserable sofas and that’s it. Not a place where you can just rest, look at the views, play cards in the evening with a night cap, nothing! The staff were very “laissez faire” , nice enough but they didn’t look like they cared that much. The food was awful! There were only 10 guests when we were there. One night arriving for dinner after the other 8, they ran out of spinach, we asked for some and were told “no that’s it, it’s all gone!” When we ask to may be check in the kitchen it was just a definite no, you should have been here earlier
The rooms are nice, very spacious, great shower and comfortable beds. Not 100% clean but ok. Air conditioning, nice veranda where you are supposed to see the water hole but they are so many trees that you can’t really.
Our guide was friendly and nice enough; the drive within the private reserve was not very good again vegetation in there is far too dense. They have a private access to Etosha park.
They offered a nature walk, don’t do it! They show you nothing, talk about nothing so you end up walking in the bush for one hour for nothing. Such a disappointment...
The best thing is the waterhole below the deck. There is a natural one where animals do come and drink during the day and at night, great to see a rhino come in whilst you are having dinner. BUT they decided that was not enough so they build a horrid water hole, a huge thing made out of concrete that even the animals seem to avoid! They should at least try to hide the concrete, make it look as if it natural but no, why bother seems to be the order of the day.
This lodge has lost it. Every lodge around has understood that the communal areas are important, that people want to rest, read nice nature books, chat with other people, see local arts on the wall, etc none of this there. They have to update soon or they will lose everybody. It’s very expensive for what it is and looks like the kind of place where buses of tourists stop for a quick buffet not a superior lodge. Funnily enough, they seem to have understood that in tehir sister lodge, Little Ongava which is above you, six luxurious rooms with great communal area. I understand that there is a great difference in price between the two and I do no expect the same level of luxury in Ogava itself but I expect much, much better than what you get. Basically the worst accommodation of our whole trip in Namibia. You can find better
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The well-established Ongava Lodge is situated along the southern boundary of Etosha National Park in the privately owned Ongava Game Reserve. Situated as it is close to the top of a hill in the foothills of the Ondundozonanandana Mountain Range, the vantage point is beautiful and overlooks a well-frequented waterhole and the plains beyond. Ongava Lodge offers luxury accommodation in 14 rock and thatch en-suite chalets. There are impressive views over the camp's waterhole from the main lounge and dining areas and there is also an inviting pool to cool off in the heat of the day. Meals are either served in the main dining area under thatch or on the dining deck under the stars.Activities include game drives into Etosha, visting hides, and nature drives and walks on the reserve. Ongava has resident white and black rhino, giving guests staying at Ongava the opportunity to see both species. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ongava Game Hotel Etosha National Park