Reviews of Ongava Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Lovely location but not great on service
This was the third Wilderness Safaris camp we were staying in during the trip. While Little Kulala and Desert Rhino Camp were outstanding, as per earlier feedback, Ongava was let down by service.
The location is wonderful, as was our very private tent, and the waterhole viewing from the verandas is incredible - particularly seeing 5 black rhinos while having dinner - were all very memorable. But in terms of the service, we felt it was quite distant, at times even strange (with one staff arguing that we shouldn't get a glass for a bottle of beer as it might get knocked over!), and also not once was it acknowledged that the trip was our honeymoon.
There was one lovely lady who served dinner to us both evenings, and another very friendly lady who served breakfast, but otherwise the service didn't feel very personal. Also on departure I was settling the bill and found the guy doing the check out to be rather cool, with not even a handshake for good-bye. It was a shame as the two previous lodges which are part of Wilderness Safaris were excellent.
We would not come back to Ongava, but perhaps even stay within Etosha at one of the camps there.
Ongava Lodge review
Wonderful location. Service was ok but not as good as other lodges we stayed at.
This may have been due to the imminent change of management of the lodge. Disappointing to find that dinner was a buffet meal unlike the table service at all of the other lodges. Game drive guide was less informative than at other lodges.
Ongava Lodge review
The staff were all very friendly and helpful - some of the best quality we have encountered.
The room was lovely, delightful décor and good facilities. The lodge's waterhole was the icing on the cake - we saw the most phenominal amounts of game morning, noon & night.
Food was fine but could have had a bit more variety (we were there for 3 nights).
Ongava Lodge review
Great site, wonderful waterhole where its worth staying up all night for rhinos and possibly leopards. Very good guides.Read more about the whole safari
When we arrived here we were initially taken aback at the size of the lodge. It seems much larger than others and with many more people. We felt it was more like a hotel than an intimate game lodge and that a coach might turn up at any minute - and indeed one did, though not a very large one! Having said that we soon came to realise that we needn't have worried. The main area and the bedroom were very comfortable and well-appointed and the staff were excellent in every way. The food here was the best we had on the whole trip.
The only problem here was the other people - and it did seem like there was a lot of them. The guides and the management should make more effort to ensure that the guests don't make so much noise. We saw a lot of game at the water hole, including lots of lion and two or three rhinos both nights we were there, but many of the animals were visibly put off by all the noise the people were making.
The worst was from some people who were staying at Little Ongava above Ongava Lodge, and who probably couldn't see the water hole, but they were having a real party with a lot of shrieking and laughing. And people on the same game drive as us had no idea how to behave with wild animals, making a lot of noise and moving about in the vehicle all the time. At times it disturbed the animals they were trying to view but they were oblivious to the effects. It's a pity the guide didn't advise them before setting off, as some others did.
In your review you mention that the guides have at times been mediocre, we would have to say that whereas none of the guides we had in Namibia was as knowledgeable as other places we've been, they were all been good, and here was no exception. The guide we had here was good and fun to be with. We really enjoyed his guiding and his company.
Great safari lodge
Everything you want from a safari lodge - views, waterhole with game, we'll organisenised safari drives, easy access to Etosha.
Guide took us tracking white rhino on foot - an exhilarating experience. Experienced and efficient staff.
Significant downside at the time of our visit was construction of a new deck next to the main viewing deck/loung area, which created noise for guests and the game.
Ongava Lodge and Etosha
The location of Ongava Lodge just outside the Andersson Gate is ideal. The lodge is well appointed and the rooms are well designed and comfortable. The mosquito nets were very effective. The food was excellent - we all had kudu as the main dish.
It was great looking at the animals coming to the waterhole either from the dining area or from our bedroom. We saw giraffes, a rhino and a number of different types of antelope. One of our party woke at 6 and saw a lion.
The staff were very helpful and the manager and his wife an excellent source of knowledge.
We did not go on any activities because we wanted to drive around Etosha. This was a fantastic experience. Driving ourselves was easy and gave us the chance to see animals and birds in a more natural setting than a game reserve.
We loved Ongava Lodge
Ongava was one of our favorite lodges. We enjoyed eating our meals on the open deck overlooking a small waterhole. Even though we visited in December, there were always animals at the water hole. We saw rhinos, zebras, wildebeests, giraffes and several other animals. This was all before we entered Etosha.
The staff were very pleasant and helpful. We enjoyed all of the meals. We appreciated the cook made sure there were vegetarian options for our vegetarian family member.
We had a scare after dinner when a very large python blocked our path back to our rooms. The staff member leading us, simply took a different route, but we worried where the python would show up again. This is when we realized we were surrounded by wild animals, and they were not all at the waterhole!
A very comfortable lodge with great views
We really enjoyed our stay at Ongava, which was very comfortable - until we found a scorpion in our room! However, one of the managers Will dealt with the situation very quickly and immediately put us at ease.
The rooms are very tastefully decorated and ours had an excellent view over the watering hole. The food was very good and the service excellent. Our guide, Teacher, was very knowledgeable and helpful and managed to locate lions and lionesses - in both the private Reserve and Etosha itself.
We would definitely stay at this lodge again.
Ongava Lodge review
Great location, facilities, activities and accommodation. Helpful and friendly staff.
Food was buffet style - sometimes this could be variable.