Onguma Bush Camp: Our full report
Bordering Fischer's Pan, on the eastern side of Etosha National Park, the private Onguma Game Reserve covers 34km².The comfortable Onguma Bush Camp makes a good base from which to explore the eastern side of the national park, being only 9km from the Von Lindquist entrance gate.
Onguma Bush Camp is one of five lodges within the small game reserve, which also incorporates Onguma Tented Camp, Onguma Tree Tops, Onguma Etosha Aoba Camp and Onguma The Fort . Significantly, the Bush Camp is the only one of these to be fully fenced – bar three of its newest rooms – making it the most child friendly of the camps on the reserve, and also the most economical.
Now a days, Onguma Bush Camp is a slighter larger and smarter camp than in years gone by, with extensions, and refurbs along the way that bring it slightly more in line with the other Onguma properties.
It now has 18 rooms, all with air-conditioning and a ceiling fan. Each is also equipped with mosquito nets over the beds, a tea and coffee station and a hairdryer. The rooms are divided into several types:
- Three standard twin loft rooms are built in a terrace with seating in front of each room on the shared veranda and views over the lovely manicured garden. All have twin beds in the main room, but otherwise their layout differs. These rooms also include a loft area for children and the bathroom is shared.
- Three family rooms each have two separate bedrooms with a shared bathroom and small lounge area.
- Three rondavels have similar facilities to the standard rooms, with twin beds, but are slightly smaller and are located away from the other rooms. This is their entry level room category.
- Eight Waterhole-/Pool-View rooms are the same size as the standard twin rooms, and are the latest addition to Onguma Bush Camp. Unique within the Bushcamp, the Waterhole-view rooms are set in an unfenced area overlooking the newly enlarged waterhole. As a result, you get the feeling of being in the bush with plains game such as the black-faced impala and common duiker often seen at the waterhole. However, because of the lack of fences, these rooms are not recommended for children.
- One Settler's Room (formerly the honeymoon suite) this room is the biggest and most luxurious with its own lounge complete with DSTV and writing desk. It is also the only room with a bath.
Activities from Onguma Bush Camp include morning and drives in Etosha National Park, plus sundowner drives on the Onguma Reserve. Note that there can be up to 9 people in the guided safari vehicle. The landscape here is like that of eastern Etosha, a mix of pans, woodland and open plains, grazed by impala, oryx, wildebeest and springbok. These in turn attract the predators such as lion and leopard, and rhino are present too – but sightings are never guaranteed! There is also the new Onkolo water-level hide where you can sit and watch the animals and birds come to drink from a whole new vantage point, plus interpretive bush walks where you learn more about the environment, spore identification and ‘small creatures’ that often overlooked on a game drive. Alternatively, you can easily drive yourself into Etosha National Park, as the entrance to the reserve is just metres from the park entrance.
Onguma is the only fenced camp on the Onguma Reserve and because of this, it is the best option here for families travelling with younger children, as well as those not wanting to blow their budget. Because of its convenient access to the Etosha National Park, it can be a great base from which to explore the park.
- Etosha National Park, Namibia
- Ideal length of stay
- A two- or three-night stay is ideal here.
- Onguma Bush Camp is located on the Onguma Reserve, just outside Etosha National Park's eastern gate.
- Accessible by
- Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Half Board
- Food quality
- A tasty buffet breakfast includes the usual breads, muffins, cereal, cold meat and cheese, yoghurt, fruit and juice, with tea and coffee. A hot breakfast cooked to order is available too.
The camp offers a choice of light lunches such as salads or sandwiches.
We thought dinner here was of a good standard. It is usually a set menu of three courses; we had lentil soup followed by eland steak served with sweet potatoes, carrot and cauliflower. To round it off we enjoyed a delicious peppermint cheesecake.
- Family holidays
- Overlooking a pumped waterhole on the Onguma Reserve, Onguma Bush Camp is just 9km from the gate into Namibia’s famous Etosha National Park. As the only fenced property on the reserve it is an ideal stop off on a family safari.
- See ideas for Family holidays
- Photography holidays
- With its own waterhole in from of camp and access to the reserve's water-level hide Onguma Bush Camp is a fantastic stop for photographers visiting Namibia. Amateur and professional photographers alike love the angles from the equipped hide.
- See ideas for Photography holidays
- Wildlife safaris
- Onguma Bush Camp is in a superb location for venturing into the wildlife rich Etosha National Park and is especially good for those travelling with children who are well catered for here.
- See ideas for Wildlife safaris
- Attitude towards children
- Onguma Bush Camp welcomes children of all ages.
- Property’s age restrictions
- There are no age restrictions here.
- Special activities & services
- There is a special games room for children and a children’s menu is available. Child-minding can be provided on request at no additional cost, but please note that the minder may not have professional childminding qualifications.
- Baby cots and high chairs can be provided.
- Generally recommended for children
- Onguma Bush Camp is the only fenced camp on the Onguma Reserve and is the best lodge here for families travelling with children. That said, activities still revolve around game drives, with few chances to get off the vehicle; this may not retain the attention of smaller children very well.
- Although Onguma Bush Camp is fenced, children must be under parental supervision at all times.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Onguma Bush Camp
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Onguma Bush Camp have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- Power supply notes
- There is a back up generator incase of mains power failure.
- There is WiFi in the main area.
- TV & radio
- Water supply
Oshivelo Farming and Onguma Anti-poaching Unit
As well as providing excellent safari lodges, in 2012 The Onguma group set up a large-scale sustainability project, Oshivelo Farming, which successfully provides jobs and income for many of the local people - at present there are over 180 permanent, plus another 100 seasonal employees. They have cultivated and developed a farm that has grown in size over the years, which now produces a vast array of vegetables, so much so that several hundred tonnes of vegetables are currently sold monthly. Currently it’s one of the top five vegetable producers in Namibia! Through the project, they are also able to help the local Oshivelo community with equipment etc. for the school and they also built the village soccer field.
Onguma are also involved in conservation and as such run the Onguma anti-poaching unit, on the reserve to help protect the endangered population of rhino. Since its introduction, the poaching of rhino on the reserve has dramatically decreased, which is great news!
See more great sustainability projects in Namibia
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The nearest doctor is in Tsumeb, about 100km away.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- The main entrance gate is locked at night.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers in all of the rooms.
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- A laundry service is available for an extra charge.
- No currency exchange is offered.
- Accepted payment on location
- Payment may be made in cash in US dollars, GB pounds, Namibian dollars or South African rand. Visa and MasterCard payments are accepted, too, although the bank may charge a surcharge.
Other lodges in Etosha National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.