Reviews of Ongava Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
This was, obviously, very luxurious but unpretentious. Our room overlooked the water hole which gave us amazing views of the rhino and other animals drinking there. The drive into Etosha was helpful and the drives on the reserve very interesting.
We found the staff helpful and caring. Ruth was unwell for 24 hours and was very well-looked after.
The room itself was one of the best we had throughout our holiday and the views from it and from the communal area were superb.
Ongava Lodge review
We were disappointed to find out, when we arrived, that the Ongava is no longer a Wilderness Camp. One certainly notices the difference under the new management. The hotel seems dedicated more to groups than individuals.Read more about the whole safari
Ongava Lodge review
The Ongava Reserve provides quite the opportunity to do much of " the big five" up close and personal. Etosha is much more commercialized and far less of a personal experience due to high traffic volume, separation from the water holes, and personally, we would pass on Etosha next time due to our other Namibian and Botswanan experiences. The lodge's staff and management were fabulous. Overall, the meals were fine. The steam table buffet-style food was disappointing; however, the "braii" meat entrees at dinner were cooked to perfection. For us, our objectives clashed with our guide: he was much more of a guide for the "big five" whereas we desired the birds, the ecology, and other African subtleties. The speed of everything made one miss much of the charm of Africa. The bunker at the lodge is a wonderful place to spend 3 or 4 hours watching the animals and birds up close, including the stunning sand grouse show through late evening.
Service recovery at Ongava Lodge
While at out previous location we received a message that Ongava Lodge had double booked us and could only offer us a place at Ongava Tented Camp. Not sure why we were the ones being bumped as our booking had been made 10 months previously and almost certainly at least some of those at the Lodge would have booked after that. They offered non stop activities at no charge in compensation. First feelings were of unhappiness but a few things happened that we would not have experienced at the Lodge so it worked out, albeit by luck.
We were taken out more or less as soon as we arrived early afternoon when normally we would relax in camp and recover from the drive from the previous lodge. Got to see 2 white rhino up close in Ongava Reserve and then on our way back in the dark the guide saw black rhino in the dark. He took us to a hide where we were able to watch 2 white and 2 black rhino from about 15 feet at a waterhole for about 30 minutes before returning to camp for dinner.
The location of Tented Camp means we would not have seen them had we been at the Lodge. The next day we were up early to be taken to Etosha, but the guide quickly turned back after reports of a lion near the camp. We within 10 feet of a large male lion for about 10 minutes as it made it's along the roadside. Had a good full day in Etosha and saw a wide range of animals including Giraffe, Cheetah and Elephant. Returned to camp after dark completely exhausted. Camp has it's own waterhole right by the restaurant so got see a few antelope at breakfast. we were taken to our lodges after dinner by armed guard and advised not to venture out. One guest assured us a lion crossed their deck during the night.
Staff service was excellent, just the back office error let them down.
Great view. Very smart Lodge
The Lodge was very good. Food was good and the water hole was excellent. We loved going down to the hide to get a closer look at the animals. We were lucky to see both Black and White Rhino and giraffe coming up close to drink.
The staff were good although the guide came to talk to us and although we were interested in a night drive, he didn't take us up on it. We were driving ourselves around Etosha by day.
Great Rhino viewing
Excellent comfortable accommodation. Lovely communal areas and especially enjoyed dining with a view of the waterhole and the nightly visit of the Rhinos. The hide was also a welcome addition being able to watch from such close range.
The Lodge is ideally suited for self drivers to visit Etosha.
Ongava Lodge review
This Lodge we arrived at after spending sometime driving through Etosha, less game than we expected except elephant at Olifantsrus Water Hole. Met by Chris, meet and greet girl, after long confusing drive down their track which needs more signage.
Very hot and lots of steps to the main areas, very smart. lots of others staying. Our chalet, No 1, excellent position to view their waterhole, where there is always something going on. PM Game drive with guide Pascalis,. drove a long way through dense vegetation seeing very little. Expensive with not much to see. The Etosha Game Drive very expensive N$1200 each.
Lovely room extremely comfortable near pool & Lodge. Good night viewing of Rhino at dinner, escorted by armed staff back to room due to 16 Lions in camp night before.
Watched waterhole all next day, saw lots of game Black & White Rhino, spotted Hyena.
Ongava Lodge review
Enjoyed our stay although very warm (40 degrees) so not much activity during day once we got back from our early morning trip in the the park (Etosha).
Our guide for the safari was not very interesting and gave impression that he was finding it all pretty boring having done it all many times before.
wonderful place, wonderful staff
Wonderful location with lions, zebras, giraffes right in front of the veranda.
Very friendly staff.
The guide was very friendly and gave a lot of interesting information during our safaris.
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.