Reviews of Okaukuejo Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Okaukuejo Restcamp review
The waterhole is always a delight! Our rooms were well placed near the waterhole which was great. The refurbishment was good on the whole but some of the air-conditioning was noisy. The restaurant is fairly basic which may concern some people and the pool tile surrounds were broken but perhaps they haven't updated that yet.Read more about the whole safari
Fine facilities, first clas waterhole
We've marked Okaukeujo "excellent" overall relative to what it is, ie a state camp, rather than because it compares with the privately run Ongava. Despite some reservations before we arrived (based on comments from some people we encountered who had stayed there) we were pleasantly surprised. We had originally intended to stay two nights here and would not have been unhappy to have been doing so.
The accommodation was very pleasant indeed and the dining facilities were good - we commended the chef for the quality of his roast game. We were fortunate enough to have a room just a few yards from the waterhole, which is a great facility. Again, we were spoiled for elephants and black rhinos.
We used Okaukeujo to explore the west of Etosha, going as far west as Ozonjuitji m'Bari, ie as far as we were permitted, which we thought was very impressive in terms of the sheer number of animals there (although we were less impressed with the Ghost Tree Forest). This was the (unintended in our original itinerary) last stop of our trip and allowed us to leave on a high note.
lovely pool at okaukuejo restcamp
we had a fantastic chalet here, really close to the waterhole and were awoken at dawn by a lion's roar which was really exciting. it can be quite distracting as the chalets are very close to the waterhole so you can hear people talking, but on the whole the restcamp has good facilites, a lovely pool which was very refreshing from all day in a dusty car, the steak was really tender and delicious at the evening meal, a good choice of food at meal times, very clean rooms, and we like the fact that there was a book listing animal sightings from the day before which gave a guide of where to go.Read more about the whole safari
Okaukuejo Restcamp review
Okaukuejo's main benefit is its location and the waterhole. The work being done to upgrade the camp is however ruining it. The rooms look great but are badly thought out - the power sockets are inaccessible and too few with only one being available to use. There is a noisy refridgerator in the room which makes it hard to sleep. The showers dont drain well and often flood the bathroom. On the plus side the air conditioning works.
Service in the restaurant is as bad as ever and the shops are a disgrace with a poor selection and frequently running out of things.
Maintenance has not improved so leaky pipes and lights not working go un-repaired for a long time.
Having to leave a N$500 key deposit is insulting - no private lodge does this and the deposit is only returned once the staff have checked the room and counted the spoons and cups !
The night drives are over-priced and are frankly terrible. The guides are not properly trained and give inaccurate or downright wrong information. The drives are run on the cheap with the driver trying to operate the spotlight as well as drive which doesnt work well
Expert Africa comments
Expert Africa discussed the recent addition of a refundable N$500 deposit that is now required when staying at any of the restcamps within Etosha National Park. Although the deposit is here to stay, Expert Africa will now be making all their travellers aware of this before they depart on their holiday so that visitors to the restcamps are prepared for the deposit before they arrive.
The Namibia Wildlife Resorts organisation (NWR) is aware that their service and food standards are in need of quite a serious overhaul. Their priority was to finish their scheduled refurbishments by November. This has been completed and now the staff training has begun. The MD of NWR commented to Expert Africa that the feedback sent to him by our travellers was incredibly useful and aided him in knowing what aspects of the refurbishment and general upgrade of all the NWR properties still needed work.
Very good locationRead more about the whole safari
We stayed here one night in a bungalow overlooking the waterhole. It was in an excellent position (number 3) and very well appointed. The restaurant served a good buffet meal and we spent the evening sitting at the waterhole watching the black rhino/ elephant stand off which kept everyone entertained for an hour.
There seemed to be game drinking there all the time day and night and we hardly needed to get the car out for good sightings. Later on however when we returned to the bungalow we initially thought that the drains were blocked. However we rapidly realised that the problem was the smell from a huge herd of elephants at the watehole!
The best restcamp
Better than Halali, good waterhole and waterhole bungalows. Food again a bit hit and miss.
Site not finished but quite good especially is the area of the waterhole bungalows.
The nicest camp in Etosha
Having previously been at Palmwag Rhino Camp, where the animals all run at the first sign of humans, we were bowled over when we arrived at Okaukuejo and saw a giraffe at the watering hole at 4pm! We were staying in a WaterHole Villa - these have just been refurbished and the standard of ours was good. Tea/coffee-making, a fridge and aircon. We also had a small 'garden' that we could sit in however, as we were only 10m from the waterhole, we spent most of our downtime there.
Okaukuejo's waterhole is quite large and attracted a lot of animals throughout the day. However at night it really came alive. On our first night, after dinner [about 9pm] we saw over 30 elephants come to drink, plus four rhino [white] and eight giraffes. How the animals aren't spooked by all the noise from the people watching them, the spotlights and camera flashes going off is amazing - but they're not.
There is a tourist shop which sells food but the choice is limited and not particularly good quality. If you want to self cater [even the bungalows/villas have access to a BBQ], ensure you stock up at a supermarket before entering the park. The restaurant does an all-you-can-eat buffet for about £10 per person which is very reasonable. The food is always the same, salads/soup, breads, roasted game and hot veg/potatoes and a variety of desserts - it's not haute cuisine but it's fairly tasty.
We also stayed at Halali, and Okaukuejo was definitely the better equipped and furnished of the two. The staff aren't particularly friendly or helpful in either camp - perhaps because it's government run.
Finally, don't forget to check the sightings books in the main office at the camp, you'll get great tips about where the animals are and which waterholes are currently the most-frequented. We had an afternoon watching an elephant mudbath followed by a lion pride coming to drink thanks to a tip from this book.
The water hole was excellent.
The people in the camp have an attitude problem and treat guests like children. Quite a few people complained at having to pay a 500 Namibian $ deposit for their rooms, including me. We then had to wait to have the room inspected before having the deposit refunded. Bizarre!
The room would have been good if it had been finished. There were no shelves in the bathroom and no rail in the wardrobe to hang clothes. I have pictures to prove it. Also there was no number on the chalet and we couldn't find it. We asked an empolyee for directions and he sent us all round the houses, when in fact he was staring at it all the time. I only found it by trying the key in various locks. Great organisation!
Expert Africa comments
Whilst Okaukuejo is going through problems at the moment, it’s also important that these comments be taken in the context of this traveller’s general situation on their trip. To read these, please see the page entitled: ‘The Holiday from Hell’.
Loads of animals at Okaukuejo
Very pleasantly surprised at accommodation - much better than we had expected at a rest camp. However, we found the staff unhelpful, service in the restaurant very slow and chaotic to the extent that we made sandwiches in our room on the second night!
Even the petrol attendant found it difficult to raise himself up to serve us. But we were here to see the animals, which we did in abundance. Fantastic. Brilliant waterhole.