Reviews of Okonjima Plains Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
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 !
There are now an extra two gates to get from the B1 road to main camp, all opened very efficiently by waiting staff. The place has also expanded in hectares, and on the day we arrived they had just released a small number of wild dogs into a new compound.
Seeing cheetahs is always a delight but viewing Mafana, a male leopard, in full view unobstructed by tall grass or bush was marvellous. Excellent food and company at this camp.
Okonjima Main Camp review
This was my 10th visit to Okonjima since the mid nineties so I know it well. It has expanded considerably in that time and although all the facilities are first class I still preferred it when it was smaller. I understand that the owners now feel it is as large as they want it to be.
Staff and Guides were excellent and they provided a special activity programme to meet our needs.
Accommodation and food were excellent.
best gardens of anywhere
Another wonderful place (close second to Mushara)
Lovely lush gardens and pool.
The restaurant was great and staff friendly
Rooms were a bit cold and decor (rocks) was rather odd but comfortable nevertheless
We saw leopard (at distance), hyena and practically tripped over cheetah
Upgraded to bush camp
Usual excellent very friendly service.
Should have gone full board as this would have included all activities for which we had to pay separately and were more expensive.
Kirsty and Ben were in Bush Chalet and we were upgraded also to the Honeymoon Suite!
Paul our game driver was very good and very helpful.
Walking with TV stars.
Important to note that we stayed at Okonjima MAIN CAMP not the bush camp as stated above.
Another one of our favourites but more so because of the Africat work/experience.
Lovely lodge, people and excellent food.
There are ten new rooms called "View" rooms of which we had one. Massive rooms with a huge bed and a picture window overlooking the bush with oryx, warthog and zebra wandering around. (Warthog served as lawn mowers - interesting!) Lovely swimming pool. gardens and excellently furnished main lodge which has recently been extended.
The activies were everything and unique - - tracking leopard, nightdrives, tracking cheetah on foot, porcupine hide etc as well as the opportunity to find out about the Africat work.
We were very lucky to go out with excellent guides - Martin who perserved for hours and eventually found a male leopard feeding on a warthog in a tree, and then A.J who took us on foot tracking four cheetah. These four cheetah are shortly to be featured in an ITV series called Wild Cat Country which we believe starts on September 10th. Both of these activies were "once in a lifetime" wonderful experiences.
We don't think anyone should go to Namibia without visiting Okonjima. It was really special experience and two nights is the absolute minimum - three nights would be better.