Okonjima Bush Camp

Okonjima Bush Camp: Our full report

Rooms
8 chalets & 1 honeymoon suite
Traveller's rating
Excellent (97%) From 120 reviews
Open
All year

STOP PRESS! Okonjima Bush Camp will be closed for renovations from 5th January to 30th April 2015. In the same area as the Plains Camp, Okonjima Bush Camp is located a few kilometers south of Otjiwarongo. The Okonjima reserve is home to the Africat Foundation, and visitors here get the chance to view some of Namibia's large cats and learn about their conservation.

Okonjima Bush Camp is a little more luxurious and has fewer rooms than the Main Camp. It has eight chalets and a honeymoon suite. Built 80 to 100m apart from each other the thatched chalets enjoy complete privacy and are designed like particularly spacious rondavels. As you enter, there's a large queen-sized double bed in front of you next to a lounge area which could turn into another bed if needed. The rooms are decorated in a warm terracotta colour with carvings and artefacts, such as painted white giraffes, dotted about. Each of them is also equipped with a fan, private safe, a mini-bar, a hairdryer, insect repellant and a telephone as well as tea/coffee making facilities. Inside the chalets is a large shower and twin sinks, all en-suite. The shower is cleverly designed to look like a tree, and is separate to the toilet. Sculpted inner walls divide the lounge and bathroom areas.

The front of the chalet rolls up to reveal a beautiful view across the plains where you may spot warthogs running about. There's no verandah as such but a small shaded area with a bowl of birdseed, which you can scatter and then watch the birds come and eat it. If you keep still enough you can get some good photos.

The honeymoon suite is completely different – it's a rectangular room with large sliding glass doors in front of the bed, letting in a lot of light and giving a great view from the room. Next to the bed is a small lounge area with a fireplace and a minibar, and behind this is a bath and an outside shower. When we last visited in 2010, there was a rather friendly hornbill who kept tapping on the window, presumably wanting to come in!

The main area here is a curved building surrounding a lawn. The building has three areas – reception, the dining room and the large lounge with a fire place and a bar. Across the lawn and over a small hill is the swimming pool.

As with the main camp, big cats remain are the main attraction and the basis of most activities. Namibia has over 20% of the world's cheetah population – the largest concentration in the world, and Okonjima is the base for the Africat Foundation , which is devoted to saving the country's big cats - cheetah, leopard, lion and even caracal. A stay of one or two nights here will usually give you the chance to see big cats at close range, as guests can participate in leopard tracking, hyena tracking, cheetah tracking and night drives. You can also walk around the enormous ranch on your own if you wish, hop on a guided 4WD, or follow a trail with one of your hosts, who will illustrate the lifestyle of some of the region's original people.

Our view

Okonjima Bush Camp offers the memorable experience of viewing Namibia's large cats at close range, as well as the opportunity to spot hyena and other smaller animals. With a very high standard of accommodation, delicious food and knowledgeable guides, the experience is unlike any other lodge in Namibia.

Geographics

Location: Central Highlands, Namibia

Ideal length of stay: 2 nights

Directions: 48km south of Otjiwarongo on the B1 you will see a clearly marked signpost for Okonjima. Head west for about 24km along this track and follow the signs directing you towards Bush Camp.

Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Independent / Owner Run

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: Breakfast at Okonjima usually occurs at around 5am for those going out on a morning activity. It's therefore just a small selection of cereals, yoghurt and tea and coffee. A much larger full breakfast buffer is served on return from the morning drive. This one consists of the usual selection of bread, toast, muffins, cereals, fruit and juice, as well as a hot breakfast with the bacon and eggs cooked to order.
A light lunch is served. This may be a salad or small meal. On our last visit we ate a delicious chicken salad.
Dinner is a three course meal. The standard of food here is very high and the dishes are imaginative and well presented. On our last visit in April 2010 we tucked into tomato and onion tart, and beef steak with herby rice followed by a delicious chocolate fondant.

Dining style: Group Meals

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Further dining info: No

Special interests

Birdwatching: The guided and self-guided walks around Okonjima can be excellent for birdwatching, and the lodge itself has a variety of watering points, bird-baths, dams and lakes that help to attract in the local birdlife.

See more ideas for Birdwatching in Namibia

Photography holidays: If you want excellent, close-up shots of the big cats – especially cheetah and leopard – then Okonjima Main Camp ought to be high on your list. Obviously some of the cats are semi-habituated and not truly wild, but you’ll often be able to get very close to them.

See more ideas for Photography holidays in Namibia

Wildlife safaris: Okonjima does some fascinating work with the big cats, and visitors get the chance to see much of this up close, so getting much closer views of the big cats than are possible in most places. Obviously some are not truly wild – but if they were you wouldn’t be able to approach them so closely.

See more ideas for Wildlife safaris in Namibia

Children

Attitude towards children: Okonjima Bush Camp is aimed at those over 12 years old.

Property’s age restrictions: No children under 12 years of age are accepted.

Special activities & services: None

Equipment: None

Infrastructure

Power supply: Mains Electricity

Communications: There is mobile reception in the rooms and telephones in reception.

TV & radio: None

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: Patients would be taken to Otjiwarongo by car or flown to Windhoek.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Security measures: There is a guarded gate to the Okonjima property and there are panic buttons in the rooms.

Fire safety: There is a fire extinguisher in each room.

Extras

Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Included

Money: No currency exchange is possible. There is a safety deposit box available.

Accepted payment on location: Payment is accepted in local currency, US Dollar, Sterling Pound, Euro and Visa and MasterCard.