Reviews of Okonjima Plains Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Okonjima Main Camp review
Our last place on our trip, and one of the highlights.
Our guide (Sydney) was brilliant, taking us within 10 feet of Cheetahs and a leopard.
The 24km drive is an experience in itself.
A great place to stay, but use cash to check out, it took us over an hour to pay with a debit card.
We had a Bush view room. This had a great view of the bush (and lightening storms) behind main camp with various antelope and small animals all making an appearance, The room itself had a huge window to make the most of the view and was very comfortably and stylishly appointed. This was our favourite accomodation!
The activities offered by Okonjima - especially the Leopard and Cheetah tracking - were awesome and it was amazing being able to see these beautiful cats at such close range. The staff were really flexible on the activities offered - we did the leopard tracking twice. We also discovered that the managment know their first aid - following an encounter with wasps halting the hyena tracking.
The staff were great and gave us a complimentary bottle of fizz on our first night for our honeymoon.
We arrived too late for the afternoon activities and therefore did not learn quite how everything works. By day 2 we knew that our Guide sorted out our days and not reception. It might have been good to have this explained when we arrived. Also on night one couples were left on their own and then integrated on day two. We would actually have preferred to be integrated when we arrived as we felt a bit out of it on our first meal.
Despite these niggles we had an excellent time here, it's a fairly slick operation and they know what they are doing. We didn't initially ask how much safaris cost and were therefore amazed to ultimately find out that they were very reasonable at around £40 each. Rooms were comfortable (but architectually lacking) with a stuning view. Dining was a good experience.
Of course the reason to be here was to see the Cheetahs and Leopard which we did - a truly wonderful experience and not to be missed
Okonjima Main Camp review
Welcome Ok. But service after that was poor. I think they lose interest if you are not taking there trips. eg we all have to wait until 8.30pm to eat, after the evening trips return. We thought our throats had been cut. The food was cold. We complained but literally no response.
Rooms were like barracks with curtains that could not keep the sun out, so very hot. No air con.
View from the room was superb. Not good for a one night stay on the way back to airport as drive in is 24 km.
Okonjima Main Camp review
Didn't really receive much information about Africat, which we would have expected, and was one of the main reasons for visiting.
Shop was often closed during opening hours. Room was lovely - light, spacious, lovely view, good bathrooom.
Electrics poor. Couldn't get a hairdryer that worked and struggled to find a socket where the mosquito machine worked.
Nice having same guide for duration of stay.
Had a good time at Okonjima Main Camp
In 2007 we stayed at Bush Camp and were hoping for a similar experience at Main Camp. The reception was very good and we really liked the lounge and dining area. However, when we were shown to our room (View room 4) we were very disappointed. It was not what we expected in Africa. We saw the buildings on the way in and thought they were staff quarters as they were of breeze block construction with a corrugated steel roof.
Once inside we found the decor very spartan and were amazed to discover that the furniture was made from sheet steel. Even the door frames were made from steel box section. As I come from an engineering background it was like going back to work. The room lacked warmth as there was only one picture on the wall. We would have expected to have a few pictures of Cheetah and Leopards adorning the walls. The bathroom/shower were very good though.
There was no air conditioning, which is fair enough, but as the temperature was 38/39 degrees we thought they might have had the windows open and the 2 fans going full blast. As it was it was like entering a sauna.
When we went out for our afternoon game drive the staff came into the room to tidy up and we don't why they closed most of the windows and turned off the fans. All the opening windows have mesh to prevent insects getting in. The room was just too basic and too hot.
On a positive note the staff were excellent, especially Sydney, our guide, who went the extra mile to ensure we got great sightings of Cheetah.
We enjoyed the food, especially dinner, where we were put with other guests. Our first dinner there will live long in our memory as we really hit it off with the other 4 guests and haven't laughed so much during dinner for ages.
We were upgraded from the Main Camp to the Bush Camp on arrival, which was a pleasant surprise, and we ended up with the huge honeymoon suite.
Our guide found us good sightings of leopard and cheetah, the reason for going, and it was very interesting to hear all about the importance of the Africat project. And seeing the orphaned wild dogs they have taken in was a bonus. If you want to photograph Warthogs, wait until you visit Okonjima as there are masses, rather then trying to snap them en route as we did.
There is a bit of a long gap between the mornings activities (0700 to 0930) followed by brunch, and the afternoon activites which start at 1600. However, walks can be organised and are a safe option here, and the pool area is grassed and larger so condusive to a more conventional poolside relax and swim. Plenty of birdlife too. No mosquitos.
Suggest visiting REST on the way out of Okonjima, after the second gate and before reaching the main road. It is a vulture and other endangered birds of prey sanctuary where a comprehanesive guided tour and talk is given. It is run on shoe string privately so every visitor's entrance fee helps.
Note to Okonjima -
(1) Provide flannels in the bathrooms.. It was the only camp not to do so and they are very useful when it is hot.
(2) My chosen sun downer drink for the whole holiday was whiskey and ginger ale. At Okonjima I could not have that unless I paid for it. It is not more expensive than Gin & tonic, wine, etc which was on offer .... so why ...? I was disappoointed with this small thing and the fact that we had to pay for water in our rooms. The wine was more expensive than we had come across before, but if, as I understand, 25% goes to Africat, then I don't mind.
Okonjima Main Camp review
Okonjima the room was excellent but we thought their wine was expensive and we took a ride to see Cheetahs which was 440 rand and we considered this very expensive. This was not a safari as the animals were chipped and would never be released.
Very useful stop off on way to Etosha.
We upgraded to the Bush Camp - great choice!
NB THESE ARE COMMENTS FOR BUSH CAMP
As we had some spare budget we upgraded to the Bush Camp. Although we didn't have a view of a water hole from our room, we did have a sunken bird (or warthog) bath and a supply of birdseed directly outside. For birdlovers like us it was marvellous.
This was another very comfortable place to stay with great staff, good food and a very knowledgeable and helpful guide (Albert.)
Great stay @ the lodge
Once again we regret not staying here longer, great welcome. Lovely dining & lounge area, very friendly staff, great food, well catered for veggies, & tasty afternoon tea & cakes, most welcome.
Amazing how ordinary ( not ot tatty, but well painted plus a mini sitting deck) the hut/room looked from the outside, then when you walked in to be met by a huge bed, lovely clean white linen, and the most ENORMOUS picture window over looking the bush. ( Oryx just outside beneath a tree! ! )
Lovely bathroom, super shower & v large, plus own wash basins, very nice. Will certainly be back here again.
Good afternoon safari drive & night time visit to water to see porcupine up close, great !