Reviews of Okonjima Bush Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
No catnaps at Okonjima Bush Camp
After the half-hour drive from the main road it was pleasing to find that the camp was absolutely gorgeous.
The room at Okonjima is our favourite and it was a big shame that we only stayed there one night.
We did more activities in the nineteen hours on the camp than we did anywhere else, simply because they were so interesting - leopard tracking, porcupine feeding, lion watching, cheetah breakfast and wild dog spotting.
The food here was really exceptional - afternoon cake, 4 course dinner, sunrise muffins pre-game drive and bushmans omlette post game drive. Our guide Dean was full of fun and knowledge.
The highlight of our holiday!
Okonjima exceeded our expectations. In all respects, our visit was remarkable.
The lodge itself, the activities (especially tracking the leopards and cheetha with an excellent guide),the staff, the food and facilities generally all combined to make Okonjima truly memorable.
Okonjima - The Cat's Whiskers!
Waterberg to Okonjima was not very far at all, so we detoured back to Otjiwarongo to see the crocodiles (over-priced!).
We got to Okonjima in time for an afternoon game drive (Leopard tracking) and were not at all disappointed. The guests (usually 4-6) split up on various vans and seek out individual tagged cats. We saw a rare Pangolin, had great views over the game area, and also saw lots of other wildlife. After some trouble seeking out the leopards (they can be hard to find, even when tagged) we found TJ basking in the late afternoon sun; and other cars were not in attendance when we arrived.
The room was lovely and had a wonderful area for birdwatching outside - a bird bath was positioned about ten feet from the room and a box of bird seed was provided to scatter. However, we did cause a stir in reception after seeing a large snake (possibly a black Mamba?) behind the bird-bath - luckily, it did not return (as far as we know)! Dinner was average fare, but presented well. Our room was excellent, but the weather did turn cold and very windy, which rattled the canvas all night.
Our early morning drive was to seek Cheetahs, first by car, then on foot. First though we saw the male Lions they have up close, and took some amazing pictures as they posed superbly in the morning sun. The Cheetah tracking again took plenty of time (Do they drive you around for a while as the other cars take turns?), but we found two Cheetah lying deep in the grass. That afternoon we did the Africat leg of the activities, and saw Wild Dog, plus the five Cheetah who cannot fend for themselves; again this offered superb photographic opportunities, and with just four guests per car, you are not disappointed by lack of clear shot etc.
Our last night dinner was fine, and we washed it down with a bottle of local fizz! It was still cold, but it was lovely to find a hot water bottle for each of us in our bed when we retired that night! We passed on the nature walk on our last morning, as we needed to pack. A perfect place to end the holiday.
Okonjima Bush Camp review
We knew this place had a great reputation before we arrived, and it really lived up to it!
Wonderful room, good food and a beautiful setting. The staff were all extremely friendly, knowledgeable and welcoming. But of course it was the animals who stole the day. Definitely worth staying here to learn about the Africat foundation and generally about the cat population in Namibia.
I would also recommend the Bushman breakfast after an early start tracking the cats...
Excellent set up and staff.
As I wrote in the Guest book at the Bush Camp - Okonjime came up to and exceeded expectations! We saw and photographed Lions, Leopards and Cheetahs in the first 24 hours and the facilities were excellent. The guides, particularly Albert, were excellent and the whole staff very friendly and efficient.
That said, I did not realise in advance that the hides at the Bush and Main camps were seperate, and I would have liked to have had a chance to take some pictures from the Main Camp hide - Oh well.
We were a little alarmed to discover, about ten days before our departure, via an online BBC news report, that there had been an armed robbery at Okonjima in February. Not wishing to be alarmist, for obvious reasons, we did not broadcast this information during out stay. Also understandably, no mention of the incident was made by any of the staff. We did wonder whether you knew of this incident in advance, but understand that if you did it also put you in a difficult position. Mercifully there was no sign of any similar problems and the security, if it had been 'upgraded' was still low key and not intrusive.
Expert Africa comments
At Expert Africa, we try hard to keep abreast of incidents in Africa. We were informed of the robbery at the Okonjima’s private campsite (not the lodge) within 48 hours of it happening – and swiftly obtained a full, factual statement on the incident, even though it did not affect any of our travellers.
Thankfully, incidents like this remain extremely rare. We’ve sent visitors to Namibia for 16 years, during which we’ve come to regard it as one of the safest countries in the world for our travellers. In this highly unusual case, we were happy that the response on the ground was swift and comprehensive. We decided not to contact any of our travellers about the incident because, to date, we have had no indications that it is anything other than a very unfortunate, one-off event.
Okonjima Bush Camp review
Access road poor, especially in heavy rain.
Guide (Sanel) was really excellent and carried on regardless of the rain.
We did not see any leopard here.
I think they got us up early just so that they could get us out of our room by 10.00am.
mixing it with the cats at okonjima
Okonjima is an amazing place and well worth including in anybody's itinerary if interested in leopard & cheetah.
Tracking the leopard with our wonderful guide, Arnold, was great fun and getting up close to the cheetahs the following morning equally amazing. It was also nice to see wild dog, even if they were in captivity. The venture is a little bit commercial, but then you could say that about most private reserves and Donna and her team do it better than most.
The night time viewing of honey badger and porcupine also produced a brown hyena sighting - magic.
We'll be back. Top quality service and very good food.
Okonjima Bush Camp review
Okonjima is an eficiently run operation. We we welcomed by a young training hotel manager who belted through a list of instructions and directions in a gasp and clearly needed to learn to hide her stress in fornt of guess.
Happy to report that the rest of our stay was excellent. The food probably the best we had had at all the lodges and the drives were run by knowledgeable and pleasant guides who clearly loved what they were doing.
In a one night stay we packed in a lot in the 20 hours we had (lunch, afternoon drive, dinner, night hide, morning drive, breakfast, exit) and we enjoyed every moment. For a more leisureIy pace I would recommend 2 night stay.
Okonjima Bush Camp review
We wish we had come here first. Seemed all together a little false. Rooms very good, staff good, food was great though.
Lots of added costs, most places were inclusive which is a nice touch. Sun downer seemed like a chore to the guide, and at one stage it felt like a disney ride in our 4 wheel truck chasing leopards. Pity, probably a good place to start a holiday when you are non the wiser.
Excellent accommodation , very good food including vegetarian options,knowledgeable and friendly guides.