Reviews of Okaukuejo Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Okaukuejo Camp review
There was a marked contrast between this location and the previous ones all of which were excellent. We booked for dining late and therefore had a poorly positioned table and the food was a bit "tired". As there appear to be no other options for eating in this location, it may be better to book half board and maybe notify people of the contrast with some other sites. In the camp we encountered a scorpion, a brown house snake, large spiders in the rooms and jackals coming up to the restaurant.
The location was superb and we were able to see a superb range of wildlife at the local water hole by day and night, it was also a superb location for seeing many other water holes in western Etosha, when travelling independently it is difficult to see how this location could be bettered.
Comfortable camp and superb waterhole.
This was our second stay at Okaukuejo, having also spent 2 nights there in 2008. It is a large, busy and perhaps impersonal camp providing a variety of facilities for both "lodgers" and campers. The rooms are comfortable and well equipped and maintained. The restaurant had improved since our last visit - breakfast and lunch were always OK but dinner had been an exercise in taking a good joint of meat and roasting it to extinction - now the meats are barbecued, with much improved results, We also found the staff (with the exception of the woman in the Tourist Shop!) to be much friendlier and more helpful than last time.
The main attraction of Okaukuejo remains its waterhole. During the day there is a constant procession of giraffe, antelope, zebra and wildebeest (plus the occasional elephant) to the waterhole, although the numbers seemed lower than our last vist - possibly a result of the unusually heavy rain earlier this year whcih has resulted in more water still being available elsewhere. At night, black rhino are seemingly guaranteed and we also saw lion and elepehant, plus a numbr of balck-backed jackals.
At the time of writing, postcards that we posted at the Okaukuejo Post Office two weeks ago have not yet arrived.
Incidentally, whilst at Okaukuejo we met Dee, our guide on our earlier 2008 Wild About Afica trip - it was good to catch up with him.
Waterhole chalet best option
Extremely clean and tidy camp, no mean achievement for such a large camp.
Chalet was comfortable, well equipped, very well placed for waterhole viewing.
Food was a bit mass catering, but ok.
The administration is bureaucratic, out of date, prone to error.
Okaukuejo Camp review
Very special. If there is one memory of the trip I would keep forever, it would be siting by the Okaukuejo water-hole watching the animals.
What made it special was the fact that this is a large site (104 rooms?) but almost everybody at the water-hole respected the request for silence. That total silence from a human audience of several dozen people was magical. Of course, I have to say "almost everybody" - there are morons everywhere, but they soon got bored and wandered off to the bar.
The Guide Book says the Okaukuejo has a reasonably priced restaurant (important with a family B&B booking). However, the restaurant was very expensive, so we used the self-catering facilities in the room. Having said that, the rooms are rated Excellent because of the facilities - self-catering (cooker, microwave, fridge, utensils, etc) was well provided for, with a reasonable on-site shop.
Great waterhole for game viewing.
The camp looks pretty grim but in fact the chalets are spacious and very well equipped and pleasant inside.
Food was really not very good at all and we had to ask for the wine list several times before they arrived and then another wait for the wine and water.
Breakfast also very poor.
Staff did not seem to care as in the other camps.
Okaukuejo Camp review
This camp probably has the best location in Etosha. It seems however that because of this some of the staff is not really motivated to make your stay here even more special.
The waterhole is fantastic and we saw lots of rhino's there at night. We also went on a night drive which proved very productive, but not quite up to the standard of guiding we're used to on night drives in Zambia (the spotlight is operated by the driver so he might miss a few things).
Great place to see hundreds of animals
Once registration and payment of park fees was completed, which took some time as only 1 desk was open for registration, and lots of people were arriving, both for the rooms and the camp site, the rooms were a lovely surprise, lots of space, and great to have a fridge and a tea making facilities.
The waterhole at night is an amazing experience, and the main reason we had for wanting to be inside the park, however, during the day, the waterhole is just as good, with animals of every variety arriving, in their hundreds to drink. Every time we thought that it was all going to stop, another army of animals would arrive, we could have spent much longer there!
We found other people very willing to tell us which water holes to go to, where we would be likely to see other animals, which we did in the early morning and late afternoon, but during the day the camp waterhole couldn't be bettered.
Okaukuejo Camp review
We had a premier waterhole chalet - fantastic - couldn't improve on that for quality & location!
Food was self service & pretty good although things could run out - i.e "mass catering" but drinks service was very slow - on first night we only got drinks when meal was almost finished. When I tried to order direct from the bar on the second night they (almost) wouldn't oblige. Some guests got personal service from the chef but we struggled to get service.
We would not let this detract fram a superb opportunity for game viewing from dawn to dusk & beyond!
Kasane to Cape Town Day 9
Okaukeujo has two huge advantages over its competitors – its location in Etosha and perhaps the best waterhole in the park. Rooms are clean and comfortable (our waterhole chalet would have been absolutely fine for several nights, not just the one we stayed). Given the numbers catered for the food is good, chef highly entertaining, and restaurant staff friendly and helpful, even though they seem rushed off their feet at dinner.
Reception staff were surly and unhelpful, preferring to take phone calls about booking game drives days in advance instead of serving the increasingly frustrated queue of customers in front of them. Check in took 45 minutes but could easily have been longer if we had not insisted on being served rather than join the end of another queue whilst she handled calls. Doreen was actually very efficient when giving you her attention; management need to sort out priorities for front-line staff.
The system of asking for a N$500 deposit against breakages is pointless, given that nobody checks the accommodation before the deposit is returned. It becomes even more farcical when the inventory in your room is for the wrong type of accommodation!
The problems are epitomised by the camp's own feedback questionnaire which is all about how your reservation was taken and what you think of management ie: all about NWR head office and nothing about the people guests actually interact with.
Okaukuejo Camp review
Going through the Anderson Gate into Etosha was the most incredible feeling - and, as if on cue, we'd only just entered the park when a herd of zebra came out of the bushes and strolled across the road right in front of us.
Because of its size and the number of people there at the time Okaukuejo has much more of a 'school camp' feel to it. Not the place to go if you want to feel pampered (but who needs pampering anyway??) Again this is merely an observation and not a criticism in any way. The rooms were big and comfy and the food OK but we didn't think the evening meal options were very good value at R170 - not compared with most meals we had elsewhere.
As for the waterhole - WOW! - it was just like the pictures we'd seen with giraffe, zebra, oryx, springbok and warthog taking turns while the elephant and rhino claimed their own personal space and the jackals just ran in between everyone else. Your spine really did tingle as two pairs of luminiscent eyes appeared later in full darkness and two lionesses slinked down to the water. They got quite a lot of personal space!
The animal sightings book in the Reception area was really useful and pointed us in the right direction for several amazing encounters with lions and elephants in particular.
Would definitely return to Okaukuejo - given the opportunity!