Reviews of Okaukuejo Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Watering hole is the only reason to stay here
We had very low expectations staying here. The sole, and only reason for booking Okaukuejo, was to stay close to the flood-lit watering hole. And for that reason alone, it was worth it.
We knew that the government run camp would be fairly basic and without a lot of character. So those expectations were met. The room was very tidy, clean and roomy. The other facilities - i.e. the swimming pool - were not as clean.
The food was below our expectations - very poor. Dinner consisted of overcooked grilled game and mayonnaise laden salads. Vegetables were so overcooked that there was no taste.
Service/friendliness was the worst we experienced on our entire trip. It wasn't that it was so bad, but everywhere else was much better.
However, that being all said, the watering hole was indeed amazing, and for that alone, we are happy we stayed here. The amount and variety of wildlife was incredible. We had never expected to see rhinos, never mind baby rhinos. And at one point, during the sunset, it felt like a scene out of "The Lion King" but without the cheesy music.
So, if you are looking for a reliable place to view wildlife within the comfort of your room, and can put up with bad food and mediocre accommodation/service, then we can highly recommend it.
The best waterhole in Etosha to see wildlife.
It is a great place to watch wildlife right a few meters from your room. The service is poor.Read more about the whole safari
Okaukuejo Camp review
We had 2 nights in main camp.
Well organised and we could sense a bit more service minded staff compared to our visit two years ago, so keep at like that.
A lot of animals showing up at the waterhole and we had some stunning encounters with lions at two other waterholes as well.
The chalets were very nice and all in all good service.
Better than expected at Okaukuejo
We had a waterhole chalet, and used it to advantage, even going out to look at the waterhole in the middle of the night, seeing both rhino & herds of elephant, as well as many other game species. Though some aspects were below par, it is a definite must in terms of a 2 night stay.
Though it is a self-service restaurant, service was very poor, with almost no attention given to us once we'd been seated. However the food was better than we'd expected. Wine was half the price we found elsewhere - only N$70 for a bottle of Rosé.
Rooms were good and comfortable and included a fridge, which many other private lodges did not have.
The pool filtering system was either switched off or wasn't working, so the water surface wasn't pleasant. Also there were insufficient loungers for those that wanted to sunbathe, which after a long drive we certainly wanted to do.
Accomodation itself was very good.
We were glad that we had gone to Halail first- we saw lots of animals in the eastern part of the park and then returned west to Okaukuejo. We went out to the west of the camp but saw very little wildlife. If we had gone here first , I think we would have been disappointed.
Okaukuejo Camp review
This definitely was very like Butlins with lions but however the location and waterhole were such a big plus that it didn't matter.
It was a great base to explore the park and the sheer numbers and variety of animals around is mind boggling. The room was OK,a bit dark, but we spent very little time in it as there was so much to see. The swimming pools were pleasant and much appreciated in the hot afternoons.
The restaurant was a self service buffet and was OK but not all elements turned up at the right time and service, seating and amount of cutlery were very hit and miss. Had a local school singing one night and that was excellent.
The only organised activity we took part in was the night drive and we saw a huge amount of night, the occasional rhinos rear end retreating into the distance, but little else. The driver was not to be deterred and he drove us endlessly for hours only stopping after a near collision with an extremely large, very cross elephant. An interesting experience but not one I would recommend.
When we left we drove to the other end of Etosha which was very different and I would have liked to have spent a bit more time in maybe one of the other lodges in the park.
Okaukuejo Camp review
In six weeks of traveling in Africa staying at 15 safari camps, this is the only one we were unhappy with.
Although we were warned by Chris McIntyre's book that the camp had variable reports, we did want to stay near the waterhole.
First, the staff was unfriendly, not knowledgable about Etosha and not helpful. We couldn't an answer to even simple questions like "is there a restaurant at Halali?" I suppose it's a reflection of the staff dealing with masses of people but we didn't have any such experiences elsewhere.
The food was really awful. The first night there was sufficient food but it was all cooked badly. The second night they seemed to have run out food. The trays that were full of food (rice, vegetables, etc) were almost all empty. Since we don't eat meat (which was not a problem at any other lodge), we were reduced to a dinner of rice and ice cream. At breakfast the next morning most of the food that had been there the previous morning wasn't there. When we got to Halali for lunch, we found that they had run out of a lot food.
Unfortunately, we didn't see much at the water hole while we were there and, as the book warned, there was a lot of noise from people talking loudly on their cell phones.
We did have some great sightings at the water holes in the park during the day so would have been much happier at a lodge outside the park.
Okaukuejo Camp review
bi improvment since last visit and waterhole is still a big attractionRead more about the whole safari
Busy and impersonal
What this camp lacked in the personal touch and quality services, it more than made up for with its location inside Etosha national park and its floodlit waterhole. Here, we could sit in comfort for as long as we wished watching a procession of animals coming to drink at the water hole right under our noses.
Our cabin was nice, but the overall welcome and restaurant service were no better than average. The camp was very large, busy and not very attractive looking. But then that is reflected in the price, which is considerably less than the luxury lodges outside the park.
Worth tolerating for the incredible waterhole
The overall rating is Good due to the Waterhole, which is without doubt the saviour of the camp, but we knew that before we went - and the waterhole is why we picked this camp. The big surprise for us was that the rooms weren't at all bad - apart from the slightly institutional feel - and perfectly adequate. The rest of the camp isn't great though - especially at dinner time which is, frankly, a zoo. The food isn't very good either (save for terrific grilled impala on our first night) and my husband was ill while we were here - although I do mainly blame him for eating a clearly undercooked sausage at breakfast.
What's frustrating is that it wouldn't take much effort for this all to be considerably improved.
But the waterhole - oh my goodness. It was breathtaking. We sat for hours and hours here - 2 hours before dinner, and 2 after dinner each night (the second night slightly aborted due to a horrible dust storm). Then 2 hours the next morning between 9 and 11 having visited other waterholes earlier. We couldn't tear ourselves away - families of elephants trumpeting as they charged in to drink, 13 giraffes nervously approaching before drinking, a pride of lions on both nights, 8 black rhino, including a tiny baby, hundreds and hundreds of kudu, sprinkbok, wildebeest, oryx & zebra. It was mesmerising.
As grim as some aspects were of this camp, we'd happily do it all again.