Reviews of Okaukuejo Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
There are two sorts of waterhole room at the Camp - those close to the front, which are two storey arrangements with a verandah and a second row further back which are on a single level. We had the latter which were comfortable, but rather small. We would advise you that great care is needed in recommending which room to book, even some of the front row rooms have no view of the animals because of the trees between them and the waterhole! The whole camp (like the other 2 in Etosha) was overhauled in 2007 so is in great condition.
The waterhole was fantastic with large numbers of visitors by dawn, day, dusk and night - so it was great value being close by just to pop down to see what was happening and who needed a drink.
Some very noisy jackels seemed to live in the camp, despite warning signs about them - they obviously don't read well!
The camp is quite large but even though it was full when we were there, it didn't seem too crowded, although meal times could be somewhat frustrating with the numbers of people being serviced. All meals are buffets and this can lead to long queues throughout the meal periods as some seem to go back 2 or 3 times! The dining room and its outside extension are very large and can get incredibly noisy, but there is a small "a la carte" room alongside which provides a quieter area but with the same buffet arrangements and no extra charge! A good alternative if one knows about it, we were lucky to be told on our second day and used it for 2 nights.
Although it's at the western end of Etosha, Okaukuejo is a good base for the park and seems better than Namutoni which feels very small in comparison. A very helpful petrol station that quickly fixed a tyre punctured by a large nail obviously picked up nearby.
One comment - on Page 365, Chris' book suggests that camp accommodation fees include the park entrance charge. This is NOT the case - a car and 4 adults costs N$330 per day in addition - so needs to be added the budget.
Okaukuejo Campsite - Facilities good - showers hot, etc. This campsite was the dirtiest I had, bits of food and rubbish on the ground.
Ground was so hard I couldn't get my tent pegs in and had to use stones to secure my tent. Broke all my pegs!
Good food in restaurant, great next to waterhole. Friendly staff.
Elephants and rhino
This has been much revamped since our visit in 2001. Our roundel was beautifully furnished and equipped and spotlessly cleaned each day. The restaurant service was efficient despite the numbers of people it copes with. We only had one evening meal there but the game was the best of the entire trip. They still need to sort out how to keep the icecream frozen though! The shop was much better stocked and had most goods most of the time. We took an night game drive which was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, even if no big cats showed up!
The only problem is the length of time it can take to get anything done in the office. They seem to need to produce masses of paperwork for the same thing and there is just not enough staff at the peak times of checking in and out. The few staff work very hard to deal with 6 things at once!
2 corrections to information we were given in UK. Firstly, park entrance fees are not included in accommdation costs and must be paid on arrival. Secondly, the check of your room upon departure is done by radio and is speedy in our experience. Don't be tempted to hand over your passport/driving licence as a deposit on the room - we saw several people hurrying off and forgetting these and another person whose licence had been lost in the office!
Take your own teabags - and Englishman with no breakfast tea is not worth knowing!
Expert Africa comments
Expert Africa appreciates the comments regarding the room check upon departure made here. The system implemented by Namibia Wildlife Resorts whereby a deposit is required before check-in, and only returned when the room has been checked upon departure, is relatively new. Our personal experience of this system was of its early stages and so we are pleased to hear that it has improved since then.
We note that Namibian park fees are not included as part of a holiday cost in our initial correspondence with travellers. This is when we detail out the chosen safari and what is and isn’t included in the cost. We will look into mentioning this again to travellers before they depart so that they can plan accordingly.
Okaukuejo Restcamp review
great game viewing at waterhole. rooms by far superior to cafetriaRead more about the whole safari
Okakuejo has the best water hole in Etosha
We were only a small walk from the water hole which has constant comings and goings.
We lost count of however many Elephants we saw as well as 6 Rhinos and a Hyena in one short evening
Lovely stay at Okaukuejo
Okaukuejo is unique, it's a large complex in the middle of the safari park. It's not luxurious, though our Waterhole Chalet was very comfortable and beautifully located.
The food is institutional and the service tends to the terse. But that's not the point! The location is fantastic, the waterhole at night is spectacular, and not bad during the day. There are plenty of places to drive to to watch even more game, and the birdlife just wandering about the camp is excellent.
Okaukuejo Restcamp review
This location is superb and you have to stay here. Inside the national park we could walk from our bungalow 2 mins to the main watering hole and sit all day and night watching a variety of animals come to drink including zebra, giraffe, rhinos, elephants, wilderbeasts, kudu, etc etc.
The bungalows were very clean, spacious and well prepared for any mozzies. Food at the restaurant was not great (think of mass catering) but was OK for 2 nights.
If you want to self-cater DON'T relay on the shop - very poor range and quantities - bring it with you! Post Office is great!
Okaukuejo Restcamp review
The NWR places at Okokuejo and Halali had very nicely-refurbished rooms and chalets and were a big improvement on what they were ten years ago. The waterhole at Okakuejo was full of game and a constant source of interest - elephants throughout the day, hundreds of springbok, plenty of giraffe and oryx and two resident jackals. Rhino visited every night - six on one occasion.
We were delighted with the whole park - we made two drives each day and saw almost all that we would wish to see, including quite a number of lions on three occasions, two leopards eating a kill, right next to the road, and a distant cheetah.
I suspect that the lion population is pretty high in Etosha now, but we still counted ourselves very fortunate in our sightings. I would rate Etosha as at least as good as parks like Tsavo and Amboseli.
The food at Okokuejo was excellent, too, with friendly restaurant staff.
Exceeded our expectations in every way
Previous feedback on Okaukuejo had led us to expect a rather down-market experience. In every way this place exceeded our expectations. Check-in was prompt and we knew that we would be required to deposit N$500 (we were only charged one deposit for two rooms). Bush rooms were clean, tidy and decently sized. Only one of our two rooms had a inventory present and an ice-tray was missing from the fridge; we did inform reception who didn't seem too interested.
Swimming pools and grounds were beautiful and overall impression is that this place is good enough to compete with any resort hotel in the world. Restaurant meals in the evening were rather a scrum with significant queues for main courses, but choice was wider than anywhere else we visited and quality was excellent . Second evening ate at 1830 rather than 1900 and avoided most of the queuing.
Some info we read in the UK before departure suggested that Okaukuejo had an ATM and internet cafe, but neither were present and nearest bank was south at Outjo. Hotel and park fees can be paid by credit card, but don't rely on topping up cash reserves here.
We spent hours at the water hole, both during day and at night. Constant visits from big groups of large and small animals. Just fantastic.
During our full day at Okaukuejo, we explored the furtherest western water holes and found these teaming with life, but with few other visitors. Didn't feel need to take guided tour, and managed to see virtually every animal that we wanted at a pace that suited ourselves. After checking out we drove through park eastwards and were rewarded with numerous close encounters of the animal kind.
Before coming to Namibia we thought that we would be lucky to get close enough to get decent photos of any of the big animals. In the event we were regularly stopping the car to allow deer, giraffe and elephant to cross the road immediately in front of us. We have returned home with 6Gb of pictures and 5 hours of video. This place is outstanding.
Much smarter than 13 years ago!
In Etosha the first choice is whether you stay in the park or not. We think that staying in the park is the right way to go as it cuts down on the amount of driving you do each day to get in there and you have the signfiicant advantage of the night time game viewing at the waterholes at the ldoegs (when we came back from dinner the first night we stayed there were more than 30 elephants and 3 rhinos at the Okaukuejo waterhole!)
The revamped lodge rooms are much smarter than they were and of a good standard, if a bit cramped. The food is a bit canteen like and outside of the canteen there is little in the way of self-catering faiclities in the rooms.