Ongava Lodge

Reviews of Ongava Lodge

Excellent(91%) From 134 travellers
Excellent
90
Good
33
Average
8
Poor
3
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 134 of our travellers who have visited Ongava Lodge, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mrs E & family from UK
Arrived on: 16-Jul-2019 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Front row seats for Rhino!

We were slack jawed when we walked into the restaurant and reception at Ongava. It is absolutely stunning. A briefing from one of the guides, Brandon, about not going out of your chalet alone after dark added a frisson of excitement - after all, this is an unfenced camp. All the chalets overlook the waterhole and as I sat quietly on my veranda various animals wandered past me such as rock Hyrax, Waterbuck, various other antelope...You are at the same level as the water hole so you really do feel like you are amongst the animals.

We went on a late afternoon game drive with our guide who managed to find a very wide range of animals for us including 4 white rhino, two adults and two calves. The land is so very dry (more so than usual at this time of year due to the drought) that Ongava are, quite rightly, feeding the rhino. This has the benefit of attracting all sorts of other animals too who come along for a meal including common zebra and the rare mountain zebra, giraffe, Oryx and many others. They also feed the porcupine in the evening and a dream came true for me when I witnessed two huge spiny fellows marching up the stairs to the restaurant kitchen for their evening meal. We turned and saw two rare black rhino plodding towards the illuminated waterhole.

What a wonderful place.

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Mr J x 4 from USA
Arrived on: 30-Jun-2019 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Average
Average
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

The Hide

The best part about Ongava Lodge is the hide. We got close to black rhinos and giraffes. Great photography opportunity.

Unexceptional staff from the top down.

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Mr & Mrs M from Edinburgh
Arrived on: 28-Jun-2019 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Great lodge, lots of animals to see

Great lodge, friendly staff, lots of animals near the lodge watering hole (including a black rhino) and in the game reserve itself, could get very close to the watering hole at the hide but also great views from the lodge and chalets, spotted our first rhinos, lions and giraffes.

Food was great and lovely to eat outside at night.

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Mr & Mrs T from Twickenham
Arrived on: 27-Mar-2019 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good

Ongava Lodge review

Overall 8-9/10. Lovely setting and great view from the main area. Good room, well laid out, well appointed, but no view of the savannah. Service was very good across the piece and we had an enjoyable ‘sun-downer’ safari, but quite pricey at 830R per person. Had a great ‘hide’ down by the water hole from which to view the animals. Food was good and definitely good enough, but not excellent. Wine was included with meals which was a nice surprise! WiFi worked well in the room but had broken down in the main area, but was fixed the day we left. Good staff.

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Mrs B from Swindon
Arrived on: 20-Feb-2019 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Poor
Poor
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Poor
Poor
Food:
Poor
Poor
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Over rated

We were looking forward to this lodge as we had heard it was meant to be very good. Of all the places we stayed this was the only one we had issues with. The location is fabulous and we saw plenty of game but the staff in the restaurant had “attitudes” and very lax. Food was not very good, fairly unimaginative and breakfast cereals completely covered in flies. Poor hygiene, chipped crockery. Not what you expect considering the high rate they are charging. They are living on past goodwill and the fact that they have a great location.

Trip into Etosha was a waste of time, did not see anything much and can only describe it as ‘godforsaken’ land. Probably because of the time of year so not their fault. Ongava reserve provided plenty of game.

Several guests were annoyed that they allowed people prebooking the prime positioned tables for dinner overlooking the water hole by placing their jumpers or books on the chairs well before dinner. Needless to say they were mostly German and the three nights we stayed we never got a decent table at the front.

We had wonderful lion sightings and maybe we should have stayed at the Ongava tented camp which is more intimate.

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Expert Africa comments

We are really sorry that Ongava Lodge didn't live up to these travellers expectations, or indeed our own expectations - we generally see very positive feedback from a popular camp. We passed their comments to the management team who acted immediately to improve the food standards and replace chipped crockery. Pre-booking of tables is not their policy, but it's hard to deny people the chance to get a table if they arrive early.

Mr J. from Warwick
Arrived on: 18-Feb-2019 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Ongava Lodge

Another fabulous lodge. The dining room overlooking the floodlit waterhole gave us some great sightings of black and white rhino and lions all sharing the waterhole while we drank our glass of wine! The game drives in the reserve were excellent where we saw rhino's lions and elephants. The hide next to the waterhole was amazing and meant we managed to capture many close up shots of the animals. We drove ourselves into Etosha which was very easy but a little disappointing, due to our own impatience! We visited recommended waterholes and if there was nothing there we moved on to the next one. We should have lingered at each one. As a consequence we travelled many miles and only saw grazing animals. Our own fault - we'll know better next time!!

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Four poms from Somerset
Arrived on: 15-Feb-2019 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Ongava Lodge review

Generally the best overall experience of the trip. Lodge overlooking a waterhole and the hide next to the waterhole were highlights.

Superior service, very comfortable high quality rooms. Excellent guides. Lots of game. A wealth of Rhinos. Animals/birds not on the list: Hartebeest, Waterbuck, Impala, springbok, Hornbillls - grey, yellow, Kori Bustard, Koorhan, sand grouse, Goshawk, Steppe buzzard

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Mr A from Oxfordshire
Arrived on: 10-Feb-2019 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Ongava Lodge review

This is a stunning lodge in every aspect. From the moment you arrive at the gate you are looked after by a dedicated team. We took a number of drives in the reserve and a trip to Etosha with Leon and his knowledge really helped us get the most out of each trip.

Rooms and communal areas are well appointed and food always to a high standard. Dining whilst overlooking the waterhole is quite an experience.

Do try to take some time to sit in the hide at the waterhole.

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Mr R & Mrs S from Southsea
Arrived on: 19-Jan-2019 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Beautiful Location, Excellent Service

From being greeted by Andriano, to leaving, a great Lodge in every regard.

Our room was charming and well appointed. The staff were very attentive and helpful. The restaurant and food a delight. As it was dark by the end of our evening meal, and there was the possibility of wild animals in the vicinity of our room, we were personally escorted back to our lodge room by an ‘armed employee’ which was reassuring.

My wife did a game drive which she loved....well organised and informative. Overall a great lodge which we would recommend.

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Mr & Mrs A from Hants
Arrived on: 24-Dec-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Ongava Lodge review

but it was Christmas.

We found the infrastructure, maintenance and management on our trip into Etosha had deteriorated badly since our last visit, and were most grateful you had insisted on booking us into Ongava for Christmas.

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