Reviews of Okonjima Bush Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Big cat heaven at Okonjima Bush Camp
We were quite surprised to find how big the Okonjima estate is and how hilly (especially after the very flat Etosha). The tents were very good but lacked a deck - something we had grown used to! Hot water bottles again, great!
Food fantastic though wine was a little pricey compared with other lodges. The service again was extremely good and friendly.
We came to see cheetahs and on our first afternoon met up with seven animals in a medium sized reserve where those almost ready for release into a huge reserve are kept. While we did not see any in this vast area we did track a spotted hyena going up to him on foot to within a few yards and finally found a leopard who, although clearly resting after a meal, posed for us and then got up and walked away disappearing in seconds into the bush.
Thanks again to our guide, Michael, who also told us about the efforts of the Afrikat foundation to rescue and rehabilitate wild cats and also try to educate farmers, and more especially young people, on how to live with these predators. He also educated us on the way cheetahs live, pointing out many things we were not aware of.
This was another highlight of our trip. The accomodation at Bush Camp was lovely. The food was really excellent and the staff so attentive and happy to accomodate our every need. We especially enjoyed being able to open the sides of the chalet and watch the many birds that came down to feed and bathe at the bird bath.
We were so lucky to see Leopards at close quarters during the tracking trip, and a hyena with a kill. The guides were lovely and Albert was especially great fun and so informative. We did an evening sundowner trip and also watched the porcupines at the hide which was less good but still enjoyable.
We also went to track the Cheethah and spent a long time observing them. Nothing here was too much trouble for the staff and it really was a lovely place to stay for 2 nights near the end of our trip. Wish we had stayed longer. Thankyou.
Okonjima Bush Camp review
Service was slow and amateurish, and staff seemd to begrudge serving drinks after dinner.
The curio shop was closed for most of the day for some reason, which added to the general impression of staff indifference.
The food was also nothing special.
However the accommodation was fine, and the guided tours was excellent. Maretin our gude made up for the above.
Overall however I am glad i only spent one night there.
Okonjima Bush Camp review
Not our happiest stay .Reception staff did not (we think)give us clear information about what Half Board included as regard to the activities and this did lead to some confusion when bill paying ,as our last visit in 2007 included all activities .We were particularly concerned that the evening visit to the night feed was now chargeable ,on one night the visit lasted for only appx. half hour(the porcupine were still feeding when the member of staff led everybody out) and this was shown on our bill as 316N$ ,this charge was taken off afterwards.
We were told that as previous guests that we would have the chance to see the feeding of the cheetah's which our guide Chris managed to arrange but unfortunately a cheetah had escaped that morning and could not be located so we had to make do with a visit to main camp.However Dave Houghton came and apologised the following morning and we did have the bonus of a long chat on the latest news from Africat.
We did think that the evening meals were not of the same standard of our last visit.
Lovely cheetah at Okonjima Bush Camp
Okonjima was a great place to stay at the end of our trip, before driving back to Windhoek and flying home.
The camp was completely full, but they upgraded our second night to stay at the Bush Camp (we were down to stay at the Main Camp on night 2) which was a lovely touch. There were a few staff who really made us feel especially cared for, despite the fact it was a full house. The lodge itself is in a lovely setting with waterhole out the front, and the park is nestled in between small mountains on the plateau making for wonderful views on the drives.
The rooms were big with nice secluded views out into the bush - we had lots of birds and small springbok and warthog visit us throughout the day. The pool is very big and wonderfully cold, and there was no one where when we visited!
The meals were very good at Okonjima, amongst the best we had on our trip. They were particularly good at catering for me, given that I am vegetarian.
The activities are great fun and they guides completely mould the activities to suit the length of time you stay and what you would like to do - we did the Cheetah game drive, Leopard Game Drive and Hyena spotting on foot. With this last one, although we saw the hyena we were unable to get out of the truck because not only did a spectacular lightning and thunder storm roll in, but a mother leopard and cub were nearby. So we instead sat and watched them sitting in the tree - what a bonus! It was marvellous to see the efforts Africat are going to to preserve these amazing animals.
We really liked Okonjima and would recommend it as a lovely place to stay at the end of a holiday.
Okonjima Bush Camp review
We were upgraded to Okinjima Villa which was just fabulous. Anja and Johann do a great job here and run a splendid operation; it just works fantastically.
Johann is a great guide and the watering hole nearby is a great bonus as were the resident Wart Hog family.
Okonjima Bush Camp review
Our final nights were spent here, and again we were not disappointed. The dining style was communal which was fine, with lots of people of different nationalities mixed in together. However the game drives were split into English or German or whatever speaking customers and so worked really well.
The game drives were great because you could radio track leopard and hyena - great experience. The warthogs were good value too, as were the birds and the bird food for feeding them.
The lodges were spaced really far apart so you felt alone in the bush, and were particularly well designed.
Another highlight was the night time hide where they fed the porcupines, and occasionally a leopard - altogether a great experience.
Attention to detail
What I said about Main Camp also applies to here. I was even telephoned in my room to be asked what kind of drink I wanted for my sundowner later that day.
Outside my very comfortable and impressive room was a small water hole for birds, which had been filled, as had the tin box inside which was good quality bird seed. As a result I saw a great many birds of different varieties close up. The game drive here with Richard to see Leopard was also excellent, and on the morning of my departure I was lucky enough to be taken on the Bushman Trail by no less than four guides, each of which had certain knowledge or skills. I thoroughly enjoyed this educative walk in the bush.
After all the driving in Etosha, this was the perfect place to treat myself to a bit of luxury. First class.
Okonjima Bush Camp was a wonderful start to our trip, made even better by us being upgraded to the Bush Suite which is absolutely out of this world. Thank you Okonjima and I can't recommend the suite highly enough.
The journey from the airport was very easy even though we had just flown in, plus had a 90 min delay, as its on tar roads and is well signposted. It was still posiible to arrive in time to settle in and be ready for the afternoon activity at 4pm.
We found the activities very good with a 2 night stay just right for the number of activities on offer. Going to the hide after dinner was well worth it.
Staff were all lovely, overall we could not fault this camp.
Spotted Cats and Luxury
This was our only non Wilderness Safaris camp and we loved it. It is however quite different to the normal safari lodge and one must be aware that it is still a work in progress. The rooms with their bird baths and seed are fabulously comfortable and huge fun. We hunted the reserve all morning to photograph a particular bird only to find a pair at our bird bath on our return!
The lodge is beautiful and the food quite excellent - quality ingredients, beautifully cooked and imaginative menus. We had three terrific leopard sightings and spent a great deal of time in a cheetah enclosure. The unfinished element of this lodge is that the cheetahs are currently kept in enclosures of around 50 acres and the leopard, while free to hunt are collared and kept in a fenced 4000 hectare part of the reserve. Lion are extremely unlikely and those that they have are enclosed mental rescues too dangerous to visit.
The remaining 18000 hectares, while stunningly beautiful, has very little game but is worth a visit by twisting one's guide's arm. The ultimate aim is to fence the full 22000 hectares and release the cheetah and leopard into it with presumably other bought in game. The schedule is also different in that breakfast, lunch and dinner are taken with relatively short game drives/activities. They are just starting night drives but these take place after dinner and are at extra cost even for FBA guests. There is a night hide activity of about an hour to see porcupine and small cats attracted to scraps placed near the hide. This is also after dinner meaning that any night activity leads to a late night.
These are not real criticisms but we feel other Expert Africa travellers need to know that while this is a wonderful lodge to visit it is different. Huge thanks go to our guide Chris but note also that while water is provided on drives, if you take some from the bar it is charged as is all wine at dinner. That said, few will complain as the wines are quite excellent! We really loved Okonjima.