Reviews of Okaukuejo Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Okaukuejo better than expected
Having read some of the reviews of Okaukuejo we were not expecting this to be up to the standards of the other places we had stayed but the accommodation (Bush Chalet) had obviously been refurbished to a good standard and actually exceeded our expectations. Room was clean, comfortable and quiet and the air conditioning was the most effective and quietist we had in our entire trip. The chalet was conveniently situated for the waterhole, however going in late November we were too late to see anything other than some Zebras and small mammals there during our stay.
Food was a self service buffet - choice of two freshly cooked grilled meats plus other hot dishes and salads. Service was a little random and not always with a smile - bit of a holiday camp mass catering feel to it all.
Camp is an excellent base for exploring the park and whilst we did not see the vast concentrations of game that occur in the dry season we saw most of the parks major inhabitants during our stay. We checked out before breakfast to avoid any possible rush and although the need to have the room inventory checked grated a little, this process was actually quick and easy.
Okaukuejo - good game viewing - poor camp
NWR or Namibia Wildlife Resorts, State owned and State run have a lot to learn from the private sector. Our stay at Okaukuejo was our only disappointment of our total trip.
Our views were NOT just ours, a glance at the visitor book in reception showed countless complaints of rude, incompetent, untrained and just couldn't care less staff.
The restaurant was total chaos, food mediocre and poorly cooked, of a standard that you would expect in a works canteen or school dining room. Tables are relaid as diners finish their meal, but the tablecloths are not changed and the next diners therefore have food stains to look at as they eat.
At an evening meal, a jackal came to within about 10 yards of people eating, begging for food, and although a small wall separated us from the animal, the staff took no action despite being asked to shoo the animal away. We had been warned to be very wary of wild animals that appeared to have lost their wariness of humans in view of the risk of rabies. This was not a pleasant experience.
We had to pay a N$500 deposit for our room key and check an inventory of the room contents and advise any discrepancies, there were none. On checking out, we had to wait in reception whilst the staff radioed through to the cleaning staff to check whether we had taken anything or whether the inventory was correct, before we were refunded our deposit. Highly demeaning!
Now to the good part, our self drives in Etosh were wonderful, we saw so many animals and have some great photographs to prove it. There had been quite a bit of rain, so there were no animals apart from jackals at the floodlit waterhole, they were drinking elsewhere.
Etosh IS GREAT, but steer clear of NWR. Trouble is that the camp IS right in the wildlife reserve and no other lodges are so well placed.
Busy camp - good waterhole - good facilities
When you book to stay at Okaukuejo you know that you are booking at a busy camp that gives you good access to Etosha Pan, and that's exactly what you get.
In retrospect we think that the night drive @ 600$ per person, although good, was on the expensive side compared to other night drives offered on this trip.
Excellent all around.Read more about the whole safari
Elephants galore at Okaukuejo
We were looking forward to the waterhole but not looking forward to the camp. Okaukuejo was the biggest camp we stayed at and we were worried by the reports of noise and rowdiness that we had read on the Internet. Yes it is big but the accommodation is well spaced with many trees and open space so it does not give the impression that there are too many people. Do not waste money on the bungalows near the water hole; there are probably only three two storey ones that can actually see the water hole and even those are probably obscured by trees. Our bungalow was just across the road and well fitted out with a kitchen, living room, bedroom etc and with an outside BBQ area.
Reserving a table for dinner on arrival is a must and the food itself, buffet style has choice for all tastes.
The water hole is the main attraction here and we made a bee line for it on arrival and were able to witness a herd of about 40 elephants wallowing at will. Advice is too eat early and then go to the floodlit waterhole and on our two nights there we saw eight black rhinos each night. The ones on the second night were not the same as on the first for they were younger and we watched as they played amongst themselves just like children.
Whatever your reservations may be about the camp if you go to Etosha then you must spend one night at least at Okaukuejo.
Okaukuejo Camp review
Nice room near the waterhole ,which must be the best in Namibia. There were a lot of guests,but there seemed to be space for all,the evening meal in the resteraunt relies heavily on you arriving at the exact times.However it was clean and they managed to process lots of guests coming and going all the time.Read more about the whole safari
The camp is a bit like a small commuter town but the waterhole is superb and very easy to reach. It's worth going any time of day. This is what we came for and were not disappointed at all.
The food was fine and staff worked really hard to keep up with the buffet. Some guests behaved pretty badly, grabbing food and plates.
Okaukuejo Camp review
A big camp like a small town but in the bush. There are more than 100 cabins plus a camping ground. In high season the restaurant is very busy. You need to reserve a table. When they are very busy the tend to run out of things like plates.
The food is reasonably good and the service is as good as could be expected.
Cabins are comfortable and fairly well appointed many with fridge, kitchenette, braai, separate bedroom and mosquito nets.
The local water hole is well visited by animals especially at night but gets noisy with tourists.
The largeness of the camp does tend to detract from the overall experience especially after visiting many small 'wilderniess' camps as we had but there are good facilities if you need them. Petrol, swimming pool, food and gift shops. The rangers here can take cards for park fees.
The waterhole at Okaukuejo is a real treat
The great thing about Okaukuejo is its location. Being in the middle of the park gives great access to views across the salt pan, and you also have amazing access to the waterhole at the camp. When we were there in October, there were great herds of animals making their way down to the waterhole morning and evening, and amazing sightings including rhino, elephants and lions at night.
The camp itself is functional rather than luxurious, but our room was clean and comfortable, and the staff were perfectly competent.
We stayed 2 nights which was definitely worth it for getting a sense of the surrounding landscape, and the amazing amount of activity at the waterhole.
This is a large but efficient camp
Okaukuejo is a good centre for visiting several good water-holes. Inevitably it feels different from smaller private camps but it certainly served us well. The reception desk was efficient, our chalet was fine and the self-service restaurant provided good meals. The serving of breakfast until 0930 allowed us to go out at first light for two hours before returning to the camp to eat.
The floodlit water-hole provides really good opportunities to see rhino, one evening we saw nine there at the same time. The resident pride of lions at Okondeka are not to be missed either.
Obviously the size of this camp makes it a little more impersonal but all the staff that we met were friendly and helpful.