Little Ongava is the more luxurious sister property to Ongava Lodge...
Little Ongava: Our full report
Little Ongava is the super-luxurious, exclusive sibling of Ongava Lodge, within the same private 300km2 Ongava Game Reserve on the southern boundary of Etosha National Park. Set on the crest of a hill, the lodge overlooks the reserve, which boasts a wide range of wildlife including lion and rhino.
With just three large suites, Little Ongava is a very private lodge with very personal service. Each spacious stone-and-thatch suite is divided into three main areas, all cleverly lit and separated by a series of wooden sliding doors. The bedroom forms the centre of the room, and behind is a separate dressing room. To one side is the lounge, where comfortable armchairs face an open fireplace and drinks are kept cool in the minibar. Glass doors in the lounge and bedroom slide back for access to a private deck complete with its own infinity pool.
In a large bathroom, to the other side of the bedroom, a Victorian bath stands in front of a floor-to-ceiling window with a great view over the reserve. A central wooden plinth holds twin sinks and there is a separate toilet and indoor shower. A short walkway leads to an outdoor shower and a 'sala' or outdoor day bed. This is five-star safari luxury, complete with temperature-control air conditioning. Each room also has its own safe and mosquito nets over the bed.
Wooden walkways wind around rock boulders to link the suites to the relaxed main thatched area. Here a large lounge furnished with a library and a stone fireplace opens out onto a large viewing deck which overlooks a waterhole below. This is a great spot for a sundowner drink and on our last visit we watched a rhino and her calf come to drink, followed by two lions. Guests may dine under the sky or under the cover of a thatched roof. Ongava Lodge also has a small open-sided chapel that can be used for weddings.
Activities at Little Ongava include day and spotlit night drives in open 4WD game-drive vehicles. Morning drives usually head into Etosha National Park whilst afternoon drives take place on the Ongava Reserve. Visitors can also opt to go on guided safari walks or sit in the nearby hide waiting quietly for animals to pass or drink from the waterhole.
The three opulent suites here offer very high levels of comfort, and make Little Ongava a great choice if you are looking for a very luxurious safari experience. In fact, the rooms are so lavish that we found it hard to tear ourselves away to go on a game drive – even if, in the end, it was worth leaving for the pride of lions that we found, as well as the variety of other game spotted.
Ideal length of stay: 2–3 nights
Directions: On the C38, The turning off the C38 to the Ongava Reserve is just a few metres south of Etosha's Andersson Gate. Once inside, follow the signs to Ongava Lodge for about 20 minutes. You will need to park at Ongava Lodge, from where it's a couple of minutes' walk up the stone steps to Little Ongava.
Owner: Wilderness Safaris
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: The European-style food here is of a very high quality, and is very varied and imaginative. A sumptuous breakfast buffet is served at Little Ongava.
A light lunch is offered on the viewing deck. On our last visit this was mini vegetable quiches with a mixed salad followed by raspberry cheesecake.
Dinner consists of three courses of innovative and delicious food prepared to a high standard.
Tea and coffee are available all day, and cakes are served for afternoon tea.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Beers, house wine, local spirits and soft drinks are included. Please note that champagne, imported wines or premium brands spirits are offered at an additional cost.
Honeymoons: The privacy and luxury offered by Little Ongava mean that it is well suited to honeymooners who wish to spoil themselves or splash out on their trip. The lodge offers special treats for honeymooners such as private dinners in your suite, and they will even run you a relaxing bubble bath in the lovely Victorian bath on arrival.See more ideas for Honeymoons in Namibia
Birdwatching: Birding on the Ongava Reserve and in Etosha is very good with over 300 species of bird, including ten out of Namibia's 14 endemics, such as the violet wood-hoopoe, bare-cheeked babbler, red-necked falcon and Carp's tit.See more ideas for Birdwatching in Namibia
Wildlife safaris: Within the Ongava Reserve, and with Etosha National Park on the doorstep, Ongava Tented Camp offers wonderful wildlife viewing including the opportunity to see black and white rhino, elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard and a plethora of plains game.See more ideas for Wildlife safaris in Namibia
Attitude towards children: Children aged between eight and 12 years are welcome at Little Ongava provided that the family books and pays for a private vehicle and activities. Children over the age of 12 are considered adults.
Generally recommended for children: Little Ongava isn't a natural choice for families; the atmosphere is fairly adult, and there is little for young children to do. The open raised walkways are also not suited to children. For families with younger children we would recommend the larger and more informal Andersson's Camp – Little Ongava's sister camp on the same reserve.
Notes: Children must be supervised at all times by their parents.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: There is cellphone reception at Little Ongava.
TV & radio: There are no TVs or radios.
Health & safety
Malarial area: Yes
Medical care: Staff at Little Ongava are all first-aid trained. There is a small clinic at Okaukuejo that can treat minor complaints, but in more serious cases patients would be airlifted out. The nearest doctor is in Outjo.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: There is no guard but the main gate to the reserve is locked at night.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in all rooms.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: A complementary laundry service is included.
Money: No currency exchange is possible.