Ongava Tented Camp

Reviews of Ongava Tented Camp

Excellent(91%) From 114 travellers
Excellent
80
Good
24
Average
5
Poor
5
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 114 of our travellers who have visited Ongava Tented Camp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr & Mrs J. from London
Arrived on: 12-May-2017 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

Exciting Lion camp

Great game drives, with an excellent local guide.

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raedrian
Arrived on: 15-Apr-2017 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

Pleasant stay at Ongava Tented Camp

This resort had a unique character as the cabins and main buildings were very airy and the dining sitting area had a close view of a watering hole. This made for interesting game viewing from an easy chair with camera and beverage in hand. The game safaris in their own reserves surprised us with close sightings of Rhinos (rare blacks) and giraffes.

The safaris into Etosha were more challenging as there had been a lot of rain so the game was not as plentiful at the usual waterholes. Nevertheless, we saw about a dozen lions spread out over 3 locations along with other game.

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Mrs B. from Gabriola Island, Canada
Arrived on: 11-Apr-2017 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

Best stay of the trip

Everything here was wonderful, the rooms, food, service, activities, guides ....

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Mr K & Mrs J and Mr J & Mrs R - Scotland
Arrived on: 3-Mar-2017 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Average
Average
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Poor
Poor
Activities:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Average
Average

Great accommodation marred by poor service

I should start by saying that the whole western end of Ongava just about needed flippers it was so wet.

This may have resulted in being sent off to Etosha for our whole day at Ongava, which in the middle of the wet season was predictably unproductive (bar a couple of good birds and 1000 springbok). Judging by the size of the car park at Okaukuejo game viewing in the high season is going to be shared with an awful lot of people.

Side tracks in Ongava remained virtually unusable throuhout.

Our guide liked driving (a bad sign in my books) but was keen to deliver results, which thanks to a crackling radio he finally did on our second morning, surprising a rhino which promptly shot off into the bushes and then some young lions trying to hunt out in the open.

But 'wild' it isn't. Ongava is pretty small and my impression is of a high density of visitors. First of all there's the crackling radio. Then there's the hype: armed guard within the close camp precincts and a briefing prior to a hoped for walk to see rhino (which we never found) which stressed 'my 375 magnum' and 'if I shoot, I shoot to kill', etc. This may impress some, but it's over the top, as is the two page indemnity (see Doro Nawas).

The tented accommodation was gorgeous and having a personal 4 by 4 and guide equally good, but the staffing was not on the ball and the food was frankly dire at this price point.

Frankly, it's not recommended.

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Mr J. from BIggar
Arrived on: 3-Mar-2017 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Average
Average

Good but overpriced

Seemed hard to justify £225 per head per night more than the cost of Anderssons Camp when owned by the same people and access to exactly the same reserve.

OK we were in a brand new Toyota and Anderssons may have had older vehicles. We had three game drives and one walk. Loud radio in the vehicle detracted from the wild experience.

Chasing rhinos unsuccessfully on our first evening a bit of a flop. Eventually saw one white rhino briefly because we had disturbed it and it promptly ran off. Good game drive on our last morning with sightings of lions very close.

Guide had good knowledge of birds but I hated the radio.

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Mrs B. from Lancs
Arrived on: 28-Feb-2017 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Poor
Poor
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Terrible
Terrible
Food:
Terrible
Terrible
Activities:
Good
Good

not good

The only lodge that was way below standard.
on the positives-
guide was good and game viewing ex.
room was good
on the negatives-
food awful
management non existant and I suspect this was the whole problem

On the day of our arrival we were told Neil was our guide and to meet at 4.30 but he was no where to be seen and everyone else left with their guides so we asked someone and they said our guide was Abner tonight and someone else tomorrow but they didnt know who. So we had to run to catch up with our guide only just getting there before he left. He obviously didn't know we were with him either. we had a tremendous downpour while on the drive and he had only enough waterproofs for 6 and there 8 of us so we all got totally drenched. when we arrived back we asked who would take us out tomorrow and they said it would be the same guide again so we had to go and find him to ask about the times for meeting up. Altogether a real mess!!!!!!! and this is meant to be a holiday

The meals were best described as awful. The only food we enjoyed as pea soup one night. The steak I had on the first night was inedible and the fish on the second night was cooked in soggy batter probably straight from a frozen packet or worse.
When we checked out the only person on the place was our waiter and that pretty much says it all !

This is the worst place we have stayed in years and really disappointed.

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Expert Africa comments

Following these travellers comments Ongava Tented Camp (OTC) have expressed the regret that the standards here were not as high as everyone would have expected and they have apologized whole-heartedly.

Shortly before their stay the Ongava Reserve broke away from a longstanding partnership with Wilderness Safaris and it seems that the effects of striking out on their own were still being felt during these travellers visit. At the time there had been a spate of short notice staff departures leaving the camp understaffed and overstretched. Whilst this shouldn’t be an excuse we believe this was the major contributing factor to the apparent lack of management and subsequent communication problems.

Since these travellers stayed here the camp has been actively increasing the number of staff and training the existing members to improve standards.

Similarly since their stay the camp has undergone ‘off season’ renovations and partial closures. As a part of this the chefs have been sent on an ‘intensive weeks training at the Silver Spoon academy’ to improve the standard and quality of the food.

So, whilst we understand that these travellers were disappointed by their experience here we believe that their comments have not only been heard by the camp but also acted upon. We hope that this will help future travellers enjoy the high levels service we have come to expect from Ongava Tented Camp.

Mr C & Mr A - London
Arrived on: 28-Dec-2016 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

A great few days

We really enjoyed Ongava Tented Camp. From the moment we arrived the staff greeted us with smiles and a positive attitude. Nothing was too much trouble.

The accommodation was lovely, in permanent tents. The setting was great and the common area was lovely to spend time in, with a little pool and a water hole not far away. We were there after they had had significant rain which meant that not a lot of wildlife came down to the water hole but it was still great.

Our guide (Leon) was fine, although he could have been more forthcoming with his knowledge of wildlife and birds. We saw a lot of rhino, a large bull elephant, plenty of antelope etc. but the lions and other cats were elusive.

Would definitely recommend Ongava Tented Camp. Might be better to go during the dry season when the wildlife is likely to be more visible.

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Ms J. from Northamptonshire
Arrived on: 26-Dec-2016 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Ongava Tented Camp review

Everything was excellent here, with the exception of the odd meal.

Highlight of the stay was our full day (12 hour) safari with Zuma in Etosha.

All of the staff were really helpful

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Mrs & Mr A - Western Australia
Arrived on: 9-Nov-2016 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Ongava Tented Camp review

We had one night here and it is a very nice camp but probably a little bit dated compared to some of the tented camps.
The afternoon game drive was excellent which is inside the private game reserve.
The tented rooms are clean and comfortable with views up to the waterhole.
The main camp area looks across onto the waterhole and is great for viewing game coming in for a drink.
The evening meal was excellent as was the wine selection. Breakfast was basic.
The staff were all very nice and were very friendly and helpful.

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Mr & Mrs W. from Clitheroe
Arrived on: 18-Oct-2016 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Greeted by elephants

This camp has its own, busy waterhole about 10 metres from the terrace. We were greeted by elephants as we checked in. Later visitors included kudu, springbok, giraffe and a black rhino.

Our first sundowner trip was memorable for our close encounter with a female black rhino and her calf. We later watched lions relaxing by a distant water hole. An early morning trip into Etosha saw us visiting busy waterholes in the south of the Park. Our guide Leon proved an expert at spotting game. Our final sundowner trip in the Reserve gave us the chance to spend some time watching the pride of lions with their enchanting cubs. The evening finished with a sighting of a white rhino with her calf.

We believe that Ongava was previously run by Wilderness Safaris. It seems to lack the same esprit de corps as the WS camps we have visited. This is why we have rated the camp as Good rather than Excellent.

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