Reviews of Okonjima Plains Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Okonjima Plains camp
We arrived a little late for the evening activities. The welcome was wonderful with very friendly and helpful staff, refreshments and a stunning reception building. The facilities were of the highest quality, the view rooms were beautiful, very comfortable and the highest standard that we could expect. We had two connecting rooms for our group.
One point which I raised with the staff was that in my room there were two double beds for my 80yr old mother, my 11yr old daughter and myself, three guests two beds and only towels and glasses/cups for two people. The staff said there was nothing they could do about the beds but brought the other extras. It wasn't such a big deal but if my daughter had been older I think it would have. In the end and as is her was she wanted to sleep on the floor between the beds so we made a bed with blankets etc.
The evening meal was wonderful, the views of the waterhole, the building etc were superb. The guide trying to organize our drive for the following morning didn't seem to have much knowledge and we were left a little unclear as to what was going to happen as our group wished to participate in 2 different excursions. However, following a great sleep, 5:30 alarm call, coffee and cakes at 6 our actual guide Martin arrived. He was excellent!
He had a first class knowledge of the site, the wildlife the history, the ecology and was determined to show us as much as he could. We were supposed to be back for 9 and arrived after 10 as he did everything he could to find a leopard, we didn't see on but get very close and we did see everything else. It was really great in windy and dusty conditions, the whole family loved it and we ended up seeing the cheetahs wild dogs, hyena, and lots more besides.
As with all of the sites we stayed at for only 1 night we should have stayed for 2 nights at least.
Leopards & Cheetah
We were able to visit the Hoba meteorite (worlds heaviest metal meteorite) en route to Okonjima - well worth the slight deviation. The reserve .... We booked an early morning trip in search of leopard and although there are no guarantees to see any we were lucky enough to find three and we spent an exiting couple of hours watching them at really close quarters.
When they finally moved on we headed back to camp. although we had booked to look for wild dogs in the afternoon we saw them on the way back. So in the afternoon we took a guided tour of the reservation's work rescuing cats and returning them to the wild and helping farmers protect their herds from the indigenous carnivores - well worth your time. This included getting close to two cheetah.
The rooms are close together but entirely private - safe to walk to and from even in the dark as the camp is isolated from the main reserve. They have large picture windows looking out over open bush with various herbivores visiting the waterhole. We had a small family of wart hogs bedding down for each night against the wall of the room.
Great safari at Okonjima Plains Camp
This was our first ever Safari camp/trip anywhere and it set the bar for the others very high.
Our prime focus was wildlife and it delivered in Spades - great sightings of Cheetahs & Leopards as promised and loads of other great sightings including a colony of baboons, a brown hyena, kori bustards, dik diks, elands, genets, giraffes, honey badgers, jackals, porcupines, red hartebeest and wild dogs.
The AfriCat foundation was very interesting.
We had great game drives, including a night drive just for my son & I when we saw the honey badgers and porcupines and much more.
The food was excellent.
To explain the two only ‘good’ ratings below:
Rooms - more than adequate for us but couldn’t rate as excellent because the en suite in the garden room was small, a bit dark and a bit bare.
Service - two slight hiccups: I wanted a shower one afternoon but no hot water and it wasn’t fixed quickly so I had to wait till the next morning (was tied up with the night drive in the evening); upon paying by card for the activities as we were leaving I was told the first attempt had failed but in fact ended up being double charged. To their credit, by the time we arrived at our next camp there was a message for us telling me that and sending me a form to claim a refund.
My son & I can highly recommend OPC - the icing on the cake was a leopard wandering in front of our car on the exit drive!
OK, but somewhat impersonal atmosphere.
Rather a large, barn-like main meeting /dining area, but excellent views of water-hole and bush. Meals OK, and not all staff warm and friendly.
But excellent safaris and a guide who put a great deal of effort into tracking and viewing leopard and cheetah.
Room rather querky, but all mod cons and everything worked properly.
Okonjima Plains Camp review
It's a pity that guests in the Plains Camp can't watch at the waterhole where the nocturnal porcupines and honey badgers come. We didn't know that when we booked. However the 'View Room' was lovely, very spacious and comfortable with a superb view.
We took the 'Tracking cheetahs on foot' option. It's only the last few hundred metres that are on foot, most of the tracking is in a vehicle. The staff member who explained the activity options to us didn't make clear that we had a choice between tracking cheetahs or wild dogs and hyenas. We thought it was a single activity, tracking whichever of the three could be found. Having said that, it was very enjoyable and we had a good guide and saw cheetahs and a leopard so it was a great experience.
We did two of the self-guided walks which were beautiful. On one, the Chacu, for part of the route the arrows on the ground pointed in a different direction from the arrows on the map. We found this quite confusing (and we are experienced hikers). The maps should be corrected.
Okonjima Plains Camp review
The standard twin bedded room was wonderfully spacious with two double beds looking out of a panoramic window onto the plains beyond.
The main Camp sitting/dining area with wood burners overlooking the water hole was very atmospheric.The small shop was good and on reflection the best we saw.
The most wonderful camp we had stayed
We encountered a rental car issue.
They offered us lots of help in solving problem, phoning car company, pumping the tire, guiding us where we can find tire shops.
Wonderful staff, great food, unforgetable game driving, clean and spacious accommodation.
We were upgraded to Bush Camp from Plains Camp and it was amazing. Fabulous room, with its own little waterhole - guinea fowl and warthogs visited us.
The staff were incredibly helpful - our guide, Richard, was superb. Saw leopard in the evening and walked with cheetahs the next morning.
Can't fault it and want to go back. we will definitely recommend to our friends.
Lovely gift shop too!
An absolutely stunning facility.
Okonjima is a stunning facility which has been upgraded and modernized in every way.
Our "view" room (as it is called) gave us an up close look at the animals as they sauntered past our window. Our cheetah tracking tour was excellent and professionally managed. We were fortunate enough to spot two orphan cheetah sisters.
Another facet of Okonjima which we liked is their affiliation with the Africats organization which rescues endangered and at-risk animals.
A wonderful experience
Okonjima is centred on it's conservancy work and it's game drives. The accommodation was extremely spacious with a large picture window looking out over the bush. What a wonderful view to wake up to!
The main area is functional and a bit like a large canteen but serves it's purpose. The staff were very friendly and efficient.
We did four tracking activities leopard, cheetah, wild dog and hyena while at the camp as well as visiting the Africat Centre.
All of the drives were extremely successful and our guide Emms together with assistant Michael were very engaging,knowledgeable and helpful.