Anderssons Camp

Anderssons Camp: Our full report

Rooms
18 tented rooms.
Traveller's rating
Excellent (91%) From 66 reviews
Children
Best for aged 6+
Open
All year

Situated on the private Ongava Reserve, the family-friendly Andersson's Camp is centred on an old farmstead, with a modern safari theme. Just 20 minutes' drive from the entrance gate to Etosha National Park, it is well located for visiting the park. Although Andersson’s camp continues to thrive, it’s due to close at the end of 2017 to make way for a combined research/tourism camp: The Ongava Centre of Environmental Excellence or “OCEE". Keep in touch with us for the latest news on this.

Andersson's is set 8km inside the reserve, against a distant backdrop of the low Ondundozonanadana Range of hills. The surrounding plains and mopane woodland within the reserve have some good game populations, particularly lions and both black and white rhino.

If you plan a fly-in safari, or want something that's a little smaller and more exclusive in the same area, the obvious alternatives to Andersson's Camp on the same reserve would be the more upmarket Ongava Lodge, its simpler sibling Ongava Tented Camp, or the very exclusive Little Ongava .

Unlike its sister camps, Andersson's is completely fenced to deter large animals from walking through, making it a good, relatively safe choice for travellers with children. At its heart is a renovated farmstead, in front of which is a large, floodlit waterhole. A real highlight of the camp is its underground hide, accessible along a short pathway and through a tunnel, all within the camp's boundaries, so guests can walk there without an escort. The view from the hide is at eye level with the waterhole, offering the chance to get up close to big game. It's a perfect spot for keen photographers, with plenty of comfortable seating and even a tea and coffee station!

The main area itself is under a large shady roof overlooking the waterhole. As well as an outdoor dining area with individual tables, there are several seating areas where armchairs and comfortable sofas scattered with cushions are arranged around various small tables. Tea and coffee are available all day for guests to help themselves.

To one side is the bar, lined with high wooden stools, and well placed next to a large new swimming pool set in a verdant lawn. It's more practical than the original above-ground pool, although for purists that still remains. There is good WiFi in the main area.

Furthering the family-friendly atmosphere of Andersson's is a curio shop, selling children's items such as clothes, shoes and toys, as well as the usual souvenirs and African crafts

On either side of the main farmhouse are 20 tented rooms, including 2 family units, all raised up on wooden decks to give an enhanced view of the surroundings from a small private veranda. The family units are comprised of two separate rooms, that share an entrance and are joined by a boardwalk inside, the rooms are simply but tastefully furnished, and all have tea-and-coffee stations, fans, and plug sockets for charging batteries, but not larger electronic items like hair dryers. .Each of the en-suite bathrooms includes an airy shower within a stone wall, topped with netting.

Although some guests prefer to drive themselves into Etosha, activities at Andersson's Camp (all at extra cost) include guided trips into the national park, plus guided nature walks and spotlight night drives on the Ongava Reserve – although they cannot usually offer day drives on the reserve. For a more leisurely approach, just sit back on one of the comfortable sofas with a glass of wine or a gin and tonic and watch the comings and goings at the waterhole.

With the motto 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Andersson's endeavours to be eco-sensitive. Most of the natural vegetation has been kept throughout the camp, and many materials from the original farmstead were re-used when the camp was rebuilt; even the smaller pool was once a farm reservoir! Energy-saving initiatives include solar-heated water for showers and dual-flush loos.

Collectors of trivia might note that Andersson's Camp was named after Charles John Andersson, one of the first Europeans to travel through Namibia, in the 1840s and 1850s. The explorer has also given his name to the Andersson's Gate into Etosha National Park, just beyond the Ongava Reserve.

Our view

Andersson's Camp is a good-value lodge for independent travellers and families who wish to explore Etosha National Park on a self-drive trip, or for those who would like to take advantage of the lodge's own guides. The added bonus of the waterhole, and a fantastic hide, makes the camp well suited to those who wish to take a more relaxed approach to game viewing.

Geographics

Location: Etosha National Park, Namibia

Ideal length of stay: 2-3 nights.

Directions: From Windhoek, head north on the B1 to Otjiwarongo, and then bear northwest onto the C38. Just before the entrance gate to Etosha National Park, there is a sign on the left you to Andersson's Camp and the Ongava Reserve. Go through this gate and follow the signs along a gravel drive to the lodge; from the gate to the lodge takes around 20 minutes. There is an airstrip on the Ongava Reserve, and from here Andersson's Camp is just a short drive.

Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Wilderness Safaris

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Half Board

Food quality: Breakfast is a delicious buffet of cereals, yoghurt, fruit, bread, pancakes, jams and spreads, with tea coffee and juices to drink. A hot breakfast is cooked to order.

A cold light lunch of salads and sandwiches.

Dinner is a delicious three-course meal, which will be announced in both English and the local Damara ‘click’ language. On our last visit we started with soup, followed by a braai (barbecue) with three choices of meat, and rounded off with apple crumble and custard.

Tea and coffee are available all day and cake is served at 4pm.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Further dining info: When we last visited in June 2014, lunch cost Namibian $120.

Special interests

Family holidays: Andersson’s Camp is a friendly, safety conscious and fun camp in the Ongava Reserve. Perfect for a family safari holiday in Namibia, it is fenced, with a sparkling swimming pool and a great hide at eye-level to the waterhole.

See more ideas for Family holidays in Namibia

Wildlife safaris: Wildlife enthusiasts can watch the animals coming to drink at the waterhole from the lounge area of the lodge. Etosha National Park is just 30 minutes drive from the lodge, and here you can find a whole range of large game animals such as rhino, elephant, lions, and, if you are lucky, leopard.

See more ideas for Wildlife safaris in Namibia

Children

Attitude towards children: Children over six years of age are welcome at Andersson’s Camp, though those aged 6–16 must share a room with an adult. The minimum age for walking is 13.

Special activities & services: There are craft activities with beads for older children, and some children’s books and toys.

Equipment: There are cots for babies.

Notes: With an unfenced pool and some steps around camp, children should be supervised at all times. Although the camp is fenced, there’s always a possibility of dangerous game, like leopards, being around – so children need to be supervised by adults at all times.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Mains Electricity

Power supply notes: There is a back-up generator in case of a power cut.

Communications: There is cellphone reception at the camp, and WiFi in the main area

TV & radio: None

Water supply: Borehole

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: All staff have first-aid training, and the nearest doctor is in Outjo. In a more serious situation, travellers would be airlifted to Windhoek.

Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk

Fire safety: Inside each chalet is a fire extinguisher.

Extras

Disabled access: Not Possible

Laundry facilities: A laundry service is available for an extra charge.

Money: There is a lockable safe in the room and guests are welcome to use the lodge's safe.

Accepted payment on location: Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Cash payments may be made in US dollars and British pounds, as well as Namibian dollars and South African rand local currency. No travellers’ cheques can be exchanged.

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