Little Ongava

Little Ongava: Our full report

3 suites
Traveller's rating
Excellent (97%) From 23 reviews
Best for 14+
All year

Little Ongava is the super-luxurious, exclusive sibling of Ongava Lodge and sits within the same private 300km2 reserve on the southern boundary of Namibia’s Etosha National Park. Set on the crest of a hill the lodge commands stunning views of the reserve which is home to a wide range of wildlife, including lion and rhino.

Although only a short walk away from Ongava Lodge, Little Ongava sits on the crest of a hill so feels very separate and operates as an entirely self-contained camp. With just three large suites Little Ongava is a very exclusive hideaway. Each spacious stone-and-thatch suite is divided into three main areas, all cleverly lit and separated by a series of wooden sliding doors. The bedroom forms the centre of the room, and behind is a separate dressing room. To one side is the lounge, where comfortable armchairs face an open fireplace and drinks are kept cool in the minibar. Glass doors in the lounge and bedroom slide back for access to a private deck with spectacular views across the reserve, complete with its own plunge pool.

In a large bathroom, to the other side of the bedroom, a claw foot bath stands in front of a floor-to-ceiling window with a great view over the reserve. A central wooden plinth holds twin sinks and there is a separate toilet and indoor shower. A short walkway leads to an outdoor shower and a 'sala' or outdoor day bed. This is five-star safari luxury, complete with temperature-control air conditioning. Each room also has its own safe and mosquito nets over the bed.

Long wooden walkways wind around the rugged, rocky terrain and gnarly trees to each of the rooms. While there is some distance to walk, especially for tent three, this does help to make each room feel incredibly private. The walkway leads down the hill to the relaxed main thatched area. Here a large lounge furnished with a library and a stone fireplace and a bar stocked with the usual high quality wines and spirits, but also an impressive range of South African and Namibian distilled gins as well as some Namibian craft beers.

The lounge opens out onto a large viewing deck which overlooks a waterhole below. This is a great spot for a sundowner drink and on our last visit we watched a rhino and her calf come to drink, followed by two lions. Guests may dine under the sky or under the cover of a thatched roof. Ongava Lodge also has a small open-sided chapel that can be used for weddings.

Activities at Little Ongava can be carried out in the Ongava Private Reserve. While it doesn’t have the phenomenal herds of wildlife and vast salt pans of Etosha itself, the reserve does have over 25 lions, in excess of 2,500 head of game, and is one of the few places in Namibia with a reliable chance of seeing both white and black rhino. As this is a private reserve the wildlife viewing is a lot more exclusive than within the park, and there is also the opportunity to track rhino on foot with Ongava’s excellent guides, although it’s always recommended that this activity is booked in advance.

The entrance to the Ongava Reserve sits adjacent to the Andersson gate into Etosha, and morning drives normally head into the park, although visitors can also opt to sit in the photographic hide shared with Ongava Lodge, waiting quietly for animals to pass or drink from the waterhole.

Our view

The three opulent suites here offer very high levels of comfort, and make Little Ongava a great choice if you are looking for a very luxurious safari experience. In fact, the rooms are so lavish that we found it hard to tear ourselves away to go on a game drive – even if, in the end, it was worth leaving for the pride of lions that we found, as well as the variety of other game spotted.


Location: Etosha National Park, Namibia

Ideal length of stay: 2–3 nights

Directions: On the C38, The turning off the C38 to the Ongava Reserve is just a few metres south of Etosha's Andersson Gate. Once inside, follow the signs to Ongava Lodge for about 20 minutes. You will need to park at Ongava Lodge, from where it's a couple of minutes' walk up the stone steps to Little Ongava.

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

Key personnel

Owner: Wilderness Safaris

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: The European-style food here is of a very high quality, and is very varied and imaginative. A sumptuous breakfast buffet is served at Little Ongava.
A light lunch is offered on the viewing deck. On our last visit this was mini vegetable quiches with a mixed salad followed by raspberry cheesecake.
Dinner consists of three courses of innovative and delicious food prepared to a high standard.
Tea and coffee are available all day, and cakes are served for afternoon tea.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: Beers, house wine, local spirits and soft drinks are included. Please note that champagne, imported wines or premium brands spirits are offered at an additional cost.

Further dining info: Yes

Special interests

Honeymoons: The privacy and luxury offered by Little Ongava is perfect for those wanting to spoil themselves on their honeymoon to Namibia. They offer special treats for honeymooners such as private dinners, and will even run a relaxing bubble baths for you.

See more ideas for Honeymoons in Namibia

Birdwatching: Birding at Ongava Reserve and Etosha make a great addition to a Namibia birdwatching break, with over 300 species of bird, including the violet wood-hoopoe, bare-cheeked babbler, red-necked falcon and Carp's tit.

See more ideas for Birdwatching in Namibia

Wildlife safaris: Within the Ongava Reserve, and with Etosha National Park on the doorstep, Ongava Tented Camp offers wonderful wildlife viewing including the opportunity to see black and white rhino, elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard and a plethora of plains game.

See more ideas for Wildlife safaris in Namibia

Luxury: Little Ongava cares for only six guests at a time, offering very personal service combined with classic luxury. Expect large suites with private plunge pools, day beds and open fireplaces; this tiny lodge is strong on creature-comforts.

See more ideas for Luxury in Namibia


Attitude towards children: Children aged between eight and 12 years are welcome at Little Ongava provided that the family books and pays for a private vehicle and activities. Children over the age of 12 are considered adults.

Property’s age restrictions: No children under eight.

Special activities & services: There are a few games in the lounge that children could play.

Equipment: None

Notes: Children must be supervised at all times by their parents.


Power supply: Mains Electricity

Power supply notes: There are plug points in the rooms for charging electrical equipment and for using hairdryers.

Communications: There is cellphone reception at Little Ongava.

TV & radio: There are no TVs or radios.

Water supply: Borehole

Water supply notes: We are told by the lodge that the tap water is safe to drink, although there is a water cooler with filtered drinking water in the main area. All the rooms have plumbed-in showers and flushing toilets. Water is solar heated.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: Staff at Little Ongava are all first-aid trained. There is a small clinic at Okaukuejo that can treat minor complaints, but in more serious cases patients would be airlifted out. The nearest doctor is in Outjo.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Security measures: There is no guard but the main gate to the reserve is locked at night.

Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in all rooms.


Disabled access: Not Possible

Laundry facilities: A complementary laundry service is included.

Money: No currency exchange is possible.

Accepted payment on location: Payments may be made in Namibian dollars, South African rand, US dollars, GB pounds and euros cash, as well as by Visa and MasterCard credit cards and travellers' cheques.

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