Reviews of Ongava Tented Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
A great centre-piece to a fab vacation
Ongava was the focal point of our visit to Namibia in many respects and we were not disappointed.
First, it is a very well-appointed camp. Cameron and Wendy have created a great family atmosphere - helped by two of their daughters being around for some of our time there - and are to be highly commended for the warmth of their welcome and general hospitality: they are great hosts. The waterhole is a real draw to the animals at least in October and the regular visiting porcupine, Charlie, is a bonus.
Second, the camp has excellent guides. We saw a very wide range of animals including frequent white rhino sightings and lions, as well as many species of herbivores. Our guide for most of the time we were there was Rio and he was outstanding both as a guide and as a man: we really enjoyed our outings with him.
Within that context we were able to persuade Cam and Wendy to let Rio take us out on a couple of night drives - without any difficulty though it seems not to be a normal service notwithstanding what the brochures say. These were certainly the highlight of our holiday: even though we had to work hard to find animals we were very well rewarded, especially by the rare sighting of an aardvark - but also by an excellent leopard spot, frequent African wildcats, a cape fox and a genet.
We'd recommend that Ongava offers night drives as a matter of course especially now that Rio has identified some key spots for the nocturnal animals - at least for guests who are staying for a few days and have time and patience to indulge in activities which might not bring instant gratification.
While we saw half-a-dozen or so not previously seen species when we moved into Etosha - notably black rhinos and elephants - the vast majority of the 32 mammal species we saw during our vacation were in Ongava, which says much for both the range of animals and the quality of the guides.
I guess if we have one other suggestion for improvement, as noted below it would be the food which was a little inconsistent in quality. The best was very good indeed; but there was the odd dip or two in quality, especially (but not exclusively) when we were having early dinner before our two night drives. A slightly better white house wine would also be welcome (but the red was very good).
That said, we'd have no hesitation in recommending Ongava to all-comers and suggesting a four night stay there to take in the full range of its offering, including a trip or two into Etosha itself (we did one half-day trip).
Ongava tented camp
Cameron and Wendy said the camp was a home and they definitely created a homely atmosphere, which we enjoyed.
The gap between morning visits to Etosha and the start of the afternoon drive was very short. I think it could be extended.
A porcupine joined us for tea!
Another Wilderness Safari camp, so high standards expected and we were not disappointed.
Our hosts, Wendy and Cameron were superb, meeting us promptly on arrival with welcome cold flannels, followed by a soft drink. The tents were beautifully furnished and the outdoor shower, whilst enclosed to preserve modesty, allowed us a stunning view of the clear night sky. We were met and escorted promptly to and from our tents after dark and our luggage was delivered to the tents. Hot water bottles again.
We went on an afternoon game drive and viewed a number of different types of antelope and our guide, Binius, went to great lengths to ensure we saw white rhino up close and personal. We, along with others from the main camp, were able to track on foot for a short distance.
Cameron's knowledge of the stars and his after dinner anecdotes made you feel more like a member of the family than a short term visitor. We were also able to view a porcupine at close quarters since there is a semi tame one which visits in the evenings.
One night was not enough here.
The next morning we had a game drive into Etosha for several hours. Again Binius, through radio contact with colleagues, enabled us to get a good view of two lionesses at a watering hole.
To ensure we used our time to the best possible advantage, Wendy and Cameron arranged for us to take a packed lunch with us that day. There was plenty to eat and a good choice of food.
ongava Tented Camp
We really loved it here and we would liked to have stayed longer.Read more about the whole safari
A small oasis on the edge of the Etosha
These were the first real tents we stayed in and were excellent. The welcome from Cameron and Wendy was superb and they remianed fully engaged with us throughout. Nothing was too much trouble. We had hoped to stay longer here but it was fully booked so only one night.
The water hole right outside the main building was a never ending facination and plenty of scope for photographs. The description of the night sky by Cameron was real fun and I can now find the Southern Cross quite easliy, except of course we are now back in the northern hemisphere!
Ongava Tented Camp
Were made to feel very welcome. The guides were knowledgable & helpful.Read more about the whole safari