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“A wonderful experience!”
Review of Ongava Tented Camp

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Ongava Tented Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Milan, Italy
Level Contributor
282 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
“A wonderful experience!”
Reviewed November 24, 2011

We have stayed at Ongava Tented Camp two nights on our honeymoon. The camp is located right outside of the Anderson Gate of Etosha National Park. The Ongava has a huge private game reserve where it is possible to enjoy beautiful game drives with the guides of Ongava. The tent was very amazing, with a gorgeous shower open air. Excellent food and service. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Pilone11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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159 reviews from our community

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london
Level Contributor
263 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2011

This tented camp is lovely - fab rooms overlooking waterhole, with 10 rooms around lodge house and each room has deck. This is in a private game reserve at the gates of Etosha National Park - so in the park in the day and around the reserve in the evening. Saw white rhino and baby and the famous pride of 5 male lions - the Ongava boys club ! Also saw giraffe cheetah, black rhino ( now officially extinct) zebra oryx ( alas poor oryx we knew him well - fab oryx steaks for dinner ) kudu warthog wildebeast lots of birds too. As there are lion and rhino and the camp is not fenced after dusks guests are escorted by man with rifle - we had no problems and none have been reported but its as well to know this before going. Festus our guide was spectacular and all staff couldn't do enough for us.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
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2 Thank cultureoutdoors
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2011

Etosha was the third stop on our tour around Namibia. We'd been to Windhoek, seen leopards, cheetahs and hyena at Africat (Okonjima), and now it was on to Etosha to see some real game. We arrived at midday and it was rather hot so being welcomed with a mixture of ginger ale and lemonade was lovely, as was the welcome committee, an abundance of zebra etc. all drinking at the watering hole! We completed our registration and were shown to our tent (number 8). This has an adjoining tent for another two people (good for families or larger groups but as we were just two they reassured us this would not be used during our stay, not that we'd have been terribly bothered if it had been!)

The tent was by far the most luxurious tent I have ever seen. Wooden floor, two showers (in and outdoor), toilet, sinks etc. The hot water is provided by the 'donkey' boilers outside which are only set alight in the evening (although they can be set alight at other times if you request it).

We had lunch laid on for us alone that first day as the the guests on the trips were late to return. We had a few hours rest before heading off for our first evening drive. Leon was a great tour guide. I cannot fault him. He went out of his way to make our experience the best it could be. We met some lovely people while with him too. The other guests are all interesting and having dinner with them and learning more about Namibian culture was a real treat.

Our first full day included a trip to Etosha which meant a very early start. I don't know how the guides do it. It's a long trip, about 6 hours and they don't fail to spot the smallest of animal and drive in the heat. We stopped for biscuits and coffee at one point which was nice. While at Ongava and on our trip to Etosha we saw: white rhino, black rhino, giraffes, lions (including some rather playful cubs), elephants, zebra, kudu, oryx, springbok and so much more.

The food at Ongava was good. The lunch menu was relatively small and limited but really tasty. The game kebab was probably my favourite. The dinner consisted of a starter (soup), then a buffet of a meat and fish (usually) and then a dessert to finish off. The wine, beer and gin kept flowing. Of course sundowners on the evening drive were a must.

I can't fault this place, the staff or the experience. I think it may have been nicer to stay an extra day (three rather than two) so we could have done one more trip and had a little more time off but it was superb from start to finish. We didn't use the pool, it was quite small but had a good view of the watering hole.

(Note: You have to be escorted from the dining area to your tent when it is dark for safety reasons. This didn't really bother us as we weren't exactly wanting to go to and fro much.)

Room Tip: Tent 8 was with an adjoining tent for another two people so good for groups.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank travjourno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
55 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2011

This was my favorite accommodation in the private Ongava private concession which borders the southern lines of Etosha National Park. Managed by Wilderness Safaris - this is my idea of safari...under canvas, in comfort and in a hot bed of wildlife activity! Wilderness Safaris knows how to deliver. The tents are newly redesigned and provide spacious, luxurrious havens for guests. The main lodge is open and sits in front of a very popular watering hole for locals...wildlife that is. Guided game drives and walks are conducted daily with highly experienced guides -- the highlight of being in the care of Wilderness Safaris. A word of warning for the faint hearted -- this camp is VERY active with wildlife and is unfenced.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Junglejody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
191 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2011

Having stayed at Wilderness Properties before, we were looking forward to staying at Ongava Tented camp for 4 nights.

Arrival - we had flown in on a charter from WDH. On arrival, there was no one waiting to collect us. The pilot called several different people, and we were collected after 40 minutes. No apology at check in at all.

Camp - There are 11 tents, all overlooking either the water hole, or open land. Tents 1-4 are between the car park and lounge area. Tent 4 can get noisy from the bar area. Tents 5-10 go away from the lounge area. Tent 5 like 4 can get noise from the fire pit. We experienced this one night.

Tents - The tents are all in raised platforms. Indoor and not so private outdoor shower. Hot water is through Donkey Boilers, so uses wood (not eco friendly). It is usually available at 6pm, but can be made available at anytime on request (takes 20 minutes to heat up). There is a separate toilet and twin vanity. Plenty of cupboard space. The tents have 12v electricity to run the lights only. You must charge all your appliance at the office. Our tent had twin beds pushed together.

Food and Bar - The quality of food varied. We were pushed to have lunch on arrival, "as the kitchen was ready". Lunch turned out to be the same all 4 days. A choice of a ploughmans platter, Mezze, Salad, or lamb and Haloumi kebab. Plus soup of the day. Come on - it gets boring. On our last day we asked for a meal to be put together with ingredients from the various dishes. Breakfast was a choice of fruits, juices, bread (can be toasted), tea/coffee, porridge and pastry. You could also order a cooked breakfast from the kitchen. Dinner was a choice of two proteins (we had to make decisions while on game drives - Chicken or beef?) with vegetables, preceded by a starter or soup and then desert.

One day we had a picnic lunch. It was awful. Some balls (don't know what they were), a limp salad and a single little salami sandwich. IT was truly pathetic.

Also they struggled to get allergies right.

The bar was very generous. Great wines, and choices of beers and spirits as well as soft drinks. There was always tea and coffee available all day.

People - The staff were wonderful. From the managers, to the guides, waiters and bar staff. All were great. Always a smile. We had a great time with them.

The best part about the camp was the deck and the waterhole. Our first night we had 2 rhino come and drink while we were having pre-dinner drinks. Our last night during desert, a lioness came to have a drink. One day at lunch, the lioness tried to kill a zebra by the waterhole. Our last morning two large male lions came to have a drink (we heard them but did not get out of the tent as it was dark). Everyday we saw Kudu, Waterbuck (introduced), giraffe, springbok, Guinea Fowl and many other creatures come to the waterhole and drink.

Game Drives - Ongava is a 30,000 acre private reserve next to Etosha. We saw plenty of game and enjoyed the solitude. Our guide - Joel was knowledgable and great company. One day we went to Etosha. It was like being in a zoo. Too many vehicles and people. We did not enjoy Etosha, and spent the rest of our days around Ongava.

Overall a fantastic experience. The only let down was the food. It was freezing cold in July, but we were there for the experience, and that was great. We were told best time to go is Sept-Nov.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank roadwarriorafrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2011

This is a wonderful place to stay to see Etosha and the Ongava Game Reserve because you stay right amongst the animals. Saw our first lion within a couple of minutes arriving. The tents are comfortable but you do need to prepare for the cold winter/dry season weather with overnight temperatures below zero - our toothpaste froze.

Our guide, Leon, made it a truely memorable experience.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank GKandEC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2011

We had a fantastic time at Ongava tented camp - our first real safari experience. We arrived and were generously welcomed, both to the rules of the camp and our fantastic 'tent'. We had no idea at tent could be so luxurious - polished wooden floorboards, beautiful furniture, comfortable beds with egyptian cotton sheets... All overlooking the waterhole, which in the dry season (we were there at the end of the wet season) is supposed to provide spectacular game viewing right from your balcony. The setting itself isn't as spectacular as some that we experienced in Namibia, but it makes up for scenery with the waterhole and atmosphere - the camp is unfenced and so we required an escort (with shotgun in case of carnivores wandering into the camp) back to our tent at night! We were so pleased that we spent the extra money and went to the private reserve of Ongava, rather than just visiting Etosha. This is pretty much vital during/ end of the wet season, as our only trip into Etosha was after a heavy rainstorm and failed to yield much game. But it was a different story in Ongava, where our incredible guide, Vestes, headed off into deep bush to find rhinos, zebras, lions and even a cheetah (he hadn't seen one for 6 months!). We definitely had the best guide of our trip, who had fascinating facts to share about all the animals and birds that we saw, making the most of every game drive. The service at the lodge was fantastic and inclusive, with everyone sitting around the communal table to share the good standard meals. Overall a brilliant and unforgettable safari lodge.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Flashworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ongava Tented Camp

Property: Ongava Tented Camp
Address: Etosha - Ongava Game Reserve | PO Box 58, Okaukeujo, Etosha National Park 9000, Namibia
Location: Namibia > Oshikoto Region > Etosha National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 35 Specialty Lodging in Etosha National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ongava Tented Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ongava Tented Camp is tucked into a hidden valley at the foot of a dolomite hill in Ongava Game Reserve bordering Etosha National Park. Eight large comfortable Meru-style tents all have en-suite facilities, open air showers and private verandas; the family unit sleeps four. The main area, built of stone, canvas and thatch, fronts onto a much-frequented waterhole; watching wildlife coming to drink from here or from the swimming pool is a favourite pastime.Ongava's proximity to Etosha allows for game drives in the National Park and on the Ongava Reserve itself. Other possibilities include guided walks, birding and spending time in hides. Ongava holds one of the largest rhino custodianships for the Namibian government in the country and is one of the few private game reserves in southern Africa where guests can see both black and white rhino. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ongava Tented Camp Hotel Etosha National Park

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