Ongava Tented Camp

Reviews of Ongava Tented Camp

Excellent(92%) From 70 travellers
Excellent
50
Good
15
Average
3
Poor
2
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 70 of our travellers who have visited Ongava Tented Camp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr & Mrs L from Huntingdon
Arrived on: 1-Sep-2009 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Ongava Tented Camp review

A lovely place to stay and relax for a few nights and very convenient for visiting the eastern side of Etosha.

Although small the waterhole can be very good at anytime of the day and can be enjoyed from the bar, dining area and your own tent.

The wine cellar has to be seen to be believed.

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Mr and Mrs L - London
Arrived on: 31-Jul-2009 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Ongava Tented Camp review

This was a very different experience for us. We have been many times to Africa but have never stayed at a game reserve that had bought all its animals in and is very managed and of course is fenced. The animals were plentiful and we spent some time with our guide Rio looking and walking for rhinos, which was successful, although we did not see Black ones there ( thank goodness we had done Damaraland) Plenty of lions.

We were again lucky to have Rio too ourselves almost the whole time. The one disapointment is that they do not have elephants on the reserve, because of the potential enviromental problems of destroyed trees etc. ( This perhaps needs to be told to clients in advance)

We did 2 trips also to Etosha which were excellent although we should perhaps have done a visit to the east side of the park where you can see the salt pan much better and where all the elephants were.! But we had super views of all sorts of game at the waterholes.

The staff at Ongava were particularly helpful articulate and shared ideas and views This might have been because the manager Paul was very much visable with the guests and was always happy to talk as were the rest of the staff.

Only one negative point and that wasthat hot water was only available at night, and in the very, very cold mornings at 6am it would have been nice to have washed with hot water or had some hot tea or coffee bought to our tents.

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Mrs & Dr S - Essex
Arrived on: 21-Jun-2009 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Ongava Tented Camp review

Our abiding memories of Ongava will be the time spent with our guide, Festus, and one of the camp managers, Gregory; they were both exemplary. Other staff, with one exception, were extremely good but in two short days Festus and Gregory became friends. The guides and managers often eat with guests and the chances to chat seem greater than in other camps.The setting of the tents is low-key but the water-hole in the front makes it spectacular, with regular arrivals of antelope by day and visits by rhino at night. The property drives were fascinating, varied and always fun whatever we saw, with lion, rhino, antelope and birds the main sights. We did 100 metres of rhino tracking on foot and on the last evening went to a nearby hill and watched the sun set on a Moringa tree, turning the white-silver bark a beautiful golden colour. The drive into Etosha takes a while and will probably be graded by what one sees - we were fortunate and saw elephant, lions making a half-hearted attempt at a chase and a million zebra and ostrich; ultimately though it was the view from the edge of the salt pan that was the unique part of this activity. The tents are large, well equipped (but with no electricity other than for lighting, recharging is done in the office) and comfortable - do ask them to drop the outside window covers in the chill of winter nights. Overall the camp and animals were really good but it is the people that would take us back.

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Mr & Mrs W - California
Arrived on: 11-Jun-2009 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Ongava Tented Camp review

Ongava was also wonderful! We were first put in a room away from the waterhole but, fortunately, someone we had met at the Desert Rhino Camp, had told us to ask for a room overlooking the waterhole. We did and, although we weren't able to move to the new room until our second night, once we did, it was fabulous. We loved just looking out our window and seeing the animals right there drinking and using the salt licks. We even saw a rhino there (and a leopard was around while we were out). The dining room also overlooked the waterhole and we had several of our meals at tables set up on the patio right next to the waterhole. We probably could have just stayed there and seen a lot of animals.

Each of the game drives was terrific. In contrast to the other places in Namibia that we had been, Ongava and Etosha were both teeming with animals. We spent half of the first day in Etosha, which was about an hour from Ongava, meaning that we spent quite a bit of time just getting there. We also weren't aware that the "game viewing" there was all around waterholes. It was a great way to see a lot of animals (and to take some wonderful photos) but it didn't seem quite as "fun" as finding the animals elsewhere in the bush. This is not in any way a complaint -- just an observation. My guess is that if it was someones first trip to Africa, they would be thrilled to see so many animals in one place. Since this was our fourth trip to Africa, we may have wanted more of a challenge in finding the animals. For that reason, we liked the game viewing in Ongava a little better than Etosha..

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Mr & Mrs S - Tunbridge Wells
Arrived on: 26-May-2009 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Best in our trip for wild life.

We were disappointed to have been able to book only one night here as, apart from no grand vistas, it was the most interesting, even exciting, of our tour. The reserve is large with plenty of game and several good waterholes including one right in front of the camp.

We did one drive which included early night in the reserve itself and one in Etosha which is adjacent. On the Ongava drive we saw at night black and white rhinos and a lioness at a waterhole and more rhinos at the camp hole. The camp atmosphere was emphasised with meals at a single long table with the energetic manager taking part and telling tales such as a lion being found on the couch one morning when the directors happened to be visiting!

Each evening a porcupine wanders in and around looking for titbits - strange animals that don't look up at you, seeming to obtain all their information from the ground or one's feet (keep them still!). The tents were large and luxurious with good verandahs but during darkness one had to be escorted to and from by a member of staff with rifle. Strange that a lot of the loos in game lodge bedroom suites, inc. here, do not have doors.

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Mr.B & Dr.T - London
Arrived on: 3-May-2009 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Ongava Tented Camp review

Absolutely loved it here.As everywhere in Namibia the service was excellant with friendly, helpful staff. The accommodation was wonderful, lovely comfortable bed with really good quality bed linen, pillows , towels and toiletries. The shower was a bit weak.

The shared areas eg bar , pool and dining area were lovely.

The water hole attracted plenty of game, eg giraffe, lion, rhino, lots of antelope.

We saw plenty of game within the Ongava reserve itself-rhino, lion, zebra, giraffe, and within Etosha we also saw elephant.
Our guide Festus was great, really knowledgeable and a good communicator too.

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D & S on Honeymoon from London
Arrived on: 2-Mar-2009 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Ongava Tented Camp review

The Ongava Reserve was a great place for seeing wildlife, which was brilliant given the time of year, and the nature drives were really excellent.

Our guide Festus was brilliant and found us a family of White Rhino the first day and lions the second day. Our tent was extremely spacious and well appointed.

The atmosphere was less formal than at some places, with everyone sitting around one big table to eat dinner with the guides, whihc meant we got to enjoy lots of spooky campfire stories about the resident lions!

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Mr R & Ms J - London
Arrived on: 24-Dec-2008 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Average
Average

Ongava Tented Camp review

Wonderful staff. I wish the toilets in the tents had doors or curtains however - a bit odd.

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Dr R & Mrs. C - France
Arrived on: 6-Dec-2008 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Poor
Poor
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Poor
Poor
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

A disappointing stay

We arrived here following heavy rain. The last part of the access road, leading to the Tented Camp, appeared not to have been very well maintained. There were large pot holes and indentations, which had filled up with water, in some cases, right across the road. We managed to make our way through this, with great trepidation in our 2WD car, once or twice having to drive into the bush at the side.

We were met by the manager and explained that we were somewhat shaken up by the drive and were worried about leaving again, if the rain should continue. He said that he had not looked at the road. The rain did continue and we mentioned our increasing worries about getting out several times but did not feel that this was taken seriously, or that anyone really cared. We knew that there was no mobile phone reception and that it was not safe to leave our car, if we should get stuck.

On our last day, on returning from a drive with our guide, we found the road being 'made up' using large lumps of stone and a bulldozer which was making the situation worse. On returning for lunch we again asked the manager about the situation and he said that the road would be smoothed over and passible by the evening. At sundowner time we asked him again about the road. He had not been to look! We then said that we would like to get our car down to the main entrance gate straight away, as it was still raining and we were leaving in the morning. He agreed to this but then spent some time radioing for a guide to help us, until we pointed out that it was now practically dark and he decided to follow us in a Land Rover himself.

We were bogged down in mud several times but just managed, with much spinning of wheels and stalling, to get to the gate, in the dark. We went back in the Land Rover. The first course at dinner had been served but none kept for us. We got away in the morning by joining a drive, although this meant early rising and checking out at 7 but no other alternative at a more reasonable hour, for getting to the gate was offered.

For 2 of our 3 nights, we were the only guests, so staff were not busy. It would have been possible for arrangements to take our car to the gate to have been made much earlier, without our having to insist on some help and to have ended up negociating mud in the dark. By our third night, other guests had arrived, some of whom shared our concern about the access arrangments. We were told that we could stay on longer, if unable to leave, or be towed out of mud but neithor of these options appealed to us! There were other things too. Rain that blew into the bar area, creating a small flood, never seemed to be mopped up, so that guests were paddling to get from here to the eating area. Sandy footprints from the night before were not swept up in the dining area at breakfast time.

The camp itself and the tents were beautiful. It had been particularly recommended to us by our daughter, who stayed a few years ago, when it was under different management. None of the above problems would have appeared had it not rained. However, this was not good service and showed no apparent concern for guests' well being. The whole situation could have been made acceptable with some effort on the part of the manager - possibly the car could have been returned to the main gate straight away following our arrival.

We'd love to go back but would need to be sure that the management was of the previous standard. It was a real disappointment, as we'd been looking forward to our stay here so much and it was our longest stay in one place. The guide, Barnabus, was excellent but told us he was leaving for another job very shortly. In spite of the weather, he twice found lions for us to see and clearly went to great trouble to make our stay interesting, in spite of the weather.

Incidently, unlike at other Wilderness Camps, we were not asked to fill in an evaluation form. This was in fact, as relief, as it would have been an embarrassment and we preferred to leave on civil terms with the manager.

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Mr. & Mrs. T from Welling, Kent
Arrived on: 28-Sep-2008 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Fantastic Ongava

Definitely the best camp ever! Cameron and Wendy obviously love their job and put in 110% as do all the other staff. They also eat with the guests which ensures plenty of conversation and laughter.

The waterhole is amazing. Only 30feet from the lounge and very well patronised throughout the day. Our first night a black AND a white rhino came to drink AT THE SAME TIME resulting in a little tussle over the 'right to drink'! (the white rhino won through sheer bulk). The second night two lions came to drink.

The rooms were beautiful with an inside and an outside shower. The food was excellent.

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