Reviews of Okaukuejo Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Brilliant waterhole - best we found
We were very close to the waterhole, which was great! Lots of activity there (pity we missed the lion brothers!) Only problem was the camp, like the others in Etosha, is being re-furbished, so it looked a bit 'unfinished' and the restauarant was temporarily housed in a large marquee, very chaotic! The buffet was a bit of a scrum!
Discount for vegetarians if you only want the salad bar, but you have to make a point of it.
Didn't find the service all that friendly - could have done with more staff really.
We weren't expecting to have to pay a N$500 deposit on the contents of our room - that wasn't really a problem, but I did make it clear that there were two less towels in our room than it claimed in the printed itinerary. Just in case!
FANTASTIC WATER HOLE!
VERY WELL ORGANISED, AND RUN WITH MILITARY PRECISION! tHE NEW BUILDINGS WERE WELL DONE.
WE WERE 50 YARDS FROM THE WATER HOLE WHICH MEANT THAT THE KIDS COULD POP THERE BY THEMSELVES.
THERE WAS ALWAYS ANIMALS AT THE WATERHOLE. tHE EVENINGS WERE TOTALLY MAGICAL-SO MANY ANIMALS, ESPECIALLY ELEPHANTS.
WE FELT THAT BBQ TOOLS SHOULD HAE BEEN AVAILABLE, AND ALSO CUTLERY. We were glad to have stocked up in the Outjo supermarket because the shop had very limited stock for self catering.
On arrival we felt a little disappointed, as this was not quite of the standard we had had up until then, especially as when we went to check in, we were told that we were not on the computer and they could not accommodate us. However, after a couple of 'phone calls to Expert Africa in Windhoek, and perhaps a closer look at the computer the matter was resolved.
Gradually we gained a better understanding of what the camp was all about, and found it to be quite good.
Our bungalows in relation to the waterhole were brilliant. The dining room was undergoing refurbishment at the time and meals were served in a marquee, which everything considered was quite good.
It will good when it's finished
The location of the waterhole and the opportunity to view animals at close quarters more than compensated for the amenities of the restcamp.
A major construction programme is nearing completion and we sure this will make a huge difference.
Our accommodation was very good but the 'meals in the marquee' left a lot to be desired. Our bungalow has a fridge and sink and if the on site food store had contained a better supply of provisions we would have been happy to look after ourselves.
That said Etosha is a wonderful place and the chance to see hundreds of animals at all times of the day was something we shall never forget.
As I have already mentioned to Tracy, our booking had been changed. When we originally booked, we asked for two 4-bed rondels in order that they should be side by siide (as advised by Expert Africa). I had not noticed on the booking slips sent that this had been changed to three 2-bed accommodations which was not what we needed for 3 children and 2 adults.
When we got there it was not organised. We were told that we had two 2 bed lodges and that the workmen weere still in them. This was true. The airconditioners were still being put in, the windows had no locks, the front door had no handle, the front had not been finished with great big potholes in it and there were no self-catering utensils. In the end an extra bed was put in one room and at one stage they wanted to charge me for that!
The maid was lovely and as helpful as anyone could be. She said that she had told everyone that the rooms would not be ready! I had to negotaite with the workmen to be finished in time for us to occupy the rooms at 5.45 pm. The man at registration was not helpful.
Trying to sit around the swimming pool with inadeqaute seeting did not help eveyone's temper. I wish we had known to go and sit around the waterhole which was where we eventually ended up. This was a great move and we saw amazing sights.
The lack of organistaion also extended to the restaurant which was in a tent, but the food was good and the people helpful.
The next day when the situation was sorted out and I had spoken with Expert Africa I went back to ensure thatthe Halali rooms would be OK. At that time I found someone (a lady) who did know what was gomig on and wanted to know why I ahd not picked up the keys to our third room! I explained the whole thing and told them the the rooms we were in were OK for now but they would need finishing before they let them again. I was not the only person complaining. She was as helpful as she could be.
The experience was great because of the wildlife and the waterholes. The poor sservice was NOT down to the maid who tried her level best to help us. Advice from Expert Africa was helpful but at a weekend Wilderness Safaris in Windhoek were out.
Other travellers need to know about the restaurants which may be difficult in the future and whether there will be utensils to self cater as well as how much food will be available at the shop. In fact we found that there should have been utensils and there were 4-bed lodges as we had ordered near the waterhole.
Excellent rooms, poor food choices
The restuarant was closed for refit, and the temporary restuarant facilities were in a temporary tent. There was often queues for 15 - 20 mins to get any food, and most of the time the food was scarce and extremely limited. The staff were disorganised and the whole process of getting either breakfast or an evening meal was stressful and chaotic.
The whole experience was a very negative view of the restcamp.
The shop was poorly stocked and so there was no alternatiuve other than to use the restuarant. Future visitors should be advised to stock up at a shop or supermarket beofre they arrive at the camp as our room at least had a fridge that we could have used to store food if we had brought some with us.
The waterhole at the camp was amazing and a highlight of our trip, and the rooms were outstanding - they are better than some european 5* hotels we have stayed in
There's an elephant outside the room!
The opportunity to watch the wildlife at the water hole at the bottom of the garden both day and night was amazing. I couldn't believe that there was an elephant about 20 metres from our front door when we first arrived. We hoped to see lions at night, so we set the alarm and went out to the waterhole at 1.00 a.m. we were rewarded by seeing 18 giraffe drinking and we waited patiently for over an hour but the lions never appeared.
The room was excellent, we liked the design, interior finish and landscaping. We liked to be able to sit outside in the mornings for breakfast and watch the birds and animals. The swimming pool was good.
As the restaurant was being re-built when we were there it was difficult to know what the food would be like normally. During the period we were there the restaurant was housed in a marquee, with plastic tables and chairs and the food on offer was mediocre - although we did manage quite a good chicken and chips! one night.
We appreciate that it would be difficult to have fresh food in the shop, but even so the stock in the shop was very limited - their fridges were empty and the groceries were also in short supply with very little choice - we didn't want Tescos but felt there could have been more on offer - especially as there is nowhere else to go for supplies.
The reception staff seemed overwhelmed when a lot of people arrived at once, and didn't seem to have quite caught up with the new buildings - directions to our room were not very clear.
We felt that the restaurant, shop and reception didn't really match the standard of the location and rooms. It will probably be much better when its finished.
The update accommodation is really good
Apart from one officious member of staff in the reception office our overall experience was very good indded. The new accommodation was on a par with or better than the other lodges. The temporary restaurant was fine though I am not sure that the same buffet every night would be suitable if staying longer than we did.
The water hole is rightly regarded as the main attraction and provided and endless procesion of activity and interest. We were told at several places later in the holiday that a big price hike is planned for this November. If so whilst this may be justfied by the improved facilities it will be a barrier for many.
Wonderful Water Hole at Okaukuejo
The new decor was excellent (and unexpected). Lovely shower, taps, bedding, etc. It was still unfinished (gravel being laid outside) - but this was really not a problem although I think the first night we were there was the first time dinner had been served in a marquee (during the renovations) and it was rather average - and cold.
The water hole was fantastic - but any chance of suggesting it be made a 'no-smoking zone' for future watchers?!
Generally we were thrilled by the wildlife we saw in the park.
This camp is not designed for travelers!
Our accomodation's location was outstanding! We overlooked the waterhole and could sit on our balcony in our pj's to watch the night time display! The watehole made our trip there! Unfortunately the neither the hot water, a.c., nor ceiling fans worked during our 3 day stay.
For self drive you need to be prepared BEFORE coming. Get groceries, stamps and information ahead of time in Outjo. Don't expect to be able to use the pay phone or find an array of groceries in camp. The little camp grocery store runs of bread by noon and has only a small assortment of food stuffs (like a US convenience store.) The snack bar closes early so one is forced to eat dinner in the pricey restaurant which only has a set price meal.
The telephone did not work with our Namibian phone cards, and 2 of the 3 phones were out of order. On a good note, the petrol station is open long hours and the petrol is normal prices. They don't take credit cards for gas but will write you a chit which you can pay at the grocery store. There is an internet site...expensive but available if you need it.
There is little information to be had on what areas animals are in, even in a general way. The staff at the information desk also handles reservations and I found them rather short tempered to the point of rudeness when asked for a map, etc.
Road conditions in Etosha are poor with miles of corrugation, unlike the rest of Namibian roads which are kept in good condition. In a small car this gets tiresome (no pun intended) after several 40 km forrays to hope to see animals.
This is Etosha's 100th annivesary year. There was much hubub to prepare for the events. They really need to look at how they can serve the visitors with food, groceries and pleasantly delivered services instead of building more to impress dignataries. I really would not go to Etosha's camp Okaukuejo again.