Reviews of Onguma The Fort
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Onguma Plains Camp review
You can regard the positioning of an imitation adobe Moroccan fort on the plains of southern Africa either as inspired design or as Disneyland kitsch. Either way the design of the building with its multiple water features, curtains and air vents works beautifully and the site overlooking the western park with a water hole is stunning. Compared to Okaukeujo the water hole was not so busy, but there are not many places in the world that you drink a cocktail sitting in a swimming pool while watching deer, warthogs, wildebeest and jackals.
The camp features in one of the "100 great destination" guides - deservedly, as the ambience is fabulous. By the time we arrived we had been on the go for two weeks and had seen plenty of animals, so we gave the game drives a miss and chilled out all day around the pool, lazy but most enjoyable. Staff did everything possible to make our stay comfortable. Dinner was served in a leisurely and elegant fashion, and was very nicely presented although the overall quality did not quite match the standards to which it aspired.
As walkers we found the need to drive from rooms to main building irksome, but preferable to being supper for the local lions.
Onguma Plains Camp review
Lovely view, especially of the sunset and great place to stay. Very nice architecture that fits in well with the surroundings. The lighting in the rooms is very dim and could be a lot better, this is also true of the verandah where dinner is served.
Good staff, although some need a little more experience, but this does not take away from the fact that they are polite, friendly and welcoming. The menu is read to you, and it can be difficult to understand accents and this can cause confusion over what is to be served. Suggestion to manager that a printed menu along with being read the items was accepted, but we were told the owner disapproved, as it took away from a personal service. The service was personal, but being confused about the food was not very good.
Very relaxing place, we could easily have stayed longer. Really lovely to be able to open the side of the room to the sunset and use the outdoor shower.
This was an excellent lodge in a lovely setting - definitely the best on the trip. Our little 'private fort' with its view of the fairly active waterhole was lovely and had a huge bathroom. The swimming pool was really fantastic and the first one we found where you could actually swim lengths rather than just cool off. The food was without a doubt the best we had anywhere in Namibia and the service was very good.
Although we chose to drive ourselves around Etosha rather than take the organised trip, the guides were still very happy to give us tips on where to go. Because Onguma is so close to the gate we were able to get into Etosha as soon as the gate opened and we ended up being a lot luckier than those on the main trip (who left a lot later) and saw white rhino, two leopards as well as lots of lions all within two hours. We also did a night drive on Onguma's own reserve which was excellent - with a very informative and enthusiastic guide.
One small suggestion would be to have mosquito nets over the beds as we were innundated with moths as the netting at the side of the building had quite big gaps under it. The roof also leaked when we had rain but it didn't detract from the overall experience.
Expert Africa comments
Onguma Plains Camp have subsequently reported back that custom-made mosquito nets are in the process of being manufactured and as soon as they arrive will be put into place.
Also, the roofs at the lodge have now been sealed so rain water can no long get through.
one of the most stylish hotels we have stayed at - particularly villa. air conditioning a very welcome indulgence.
room and communal areas excellent. good welcome, and staff - whilst still training in some cases - pleasant. food well presented, but only average compared to other lodges.
activities a little disappointing in terms of animals seen, although not for lack of effort by guides . the afternoon drive was too late, arriving back just before dinner . needs to be shorter or start earlier.
separate email sent concerning these activities as confusion over whether or not included in the package.