Onguma Tented Camp

Onguma Tented Camp: Our full report

Seven tented rooms
Traveller's rating
Excellent (93%) From 79 reviews
Best for 13+
All year

Onguma Tented Camp is situated on the private Onguma Reserve bordering the eastern side of Etosha National Park. Thus you can explore great wildlife on the reserve as well as inside the national park. Fresh, modern and tastefully designed, the camp is laid out around a floodlit waterhole which can be seen from both the main areas and the rooms.

It is one of four lodges on this reserve; the others are Onguma Bush Camp, Onguma Tree Top and Onguma The Fort being the most up-market of the camps.

Three beautiful hand-crafted giraffes stand guard over the entrance to Onguma Tented Camp's open-fronted main areas, which are housed beneath three tented roofs, like those of a circus big top. The design also incorporates large wooden poles to support the part canvas, part brick structure.

The décor is simple: earth tones with splashes of colour. Two almost identical open-plan guest lounges are each furnished with a large, plush charcoal sofa, a high-backed or zebra print armchair, a few large bean bags, a dark wooden coffee table, a wooden saddle stool, and some bright scatter cushions. Separating these two living areas is a tea/coffee station, and built into the limestone wall is a large furnace fireplace for those chilly winter evenings. The lodge also boasts a wine cellar offering a good selection of wines.

Dining at Onguma Tented Camp is in a roofed area with a stone wall at the back and the remaining sides completely open in the warmer summer months, offering clear views over the floodlit waterhole. During the rainy season or cold winter evenings the canvas sides are lowered and closed off to keep out the cold. Outside you’ll find a fire pit – a great spot to socialise and keep warm in the evenings. During a stay here, we saw a giraffe at the waterhole during dinner as well as numerous kudu, impala and zebra coming to drink throughout the day, and on our last visit in 2018 there was plenty of activity too.

A walkway leads to the small infinity pool, an attractive area where beanbags and a few sunloungers beckon.

Gravel pathways link the main areas of Onguma Tented Camp's with seven tented rooms, which differ only slightly – in the location of the bathrooms.

Each of the rooms is on a raised wooden platform with a large, partly shaded veranda, whose two comfortable armchairs and a small table making it a pleasant place to watch wildlife at the waterhole. The big-top design continues, with the inner layer of material in each room supported by a large wooden pole in the centre. The whole front section has double sliding glass doors in a wooden frame, with roll-down canvas flaps which can be zipped closed, and similar flaps cover the tent's large mesh windows.

Inside, the tents are both practical and comfortable. A high-backed armchair sits beneath a tall lamp. An animal skin rug fronts the twin beds which are pushed together against a concrete headboard dotted with tea lights. Metal bedside tables with adjustable reading lamps flank the beds.

Other practical furnishings, some behind the headboard, include wardrobes, full-length mirrors, luggage racks, shelving and a straw shopping bag with pool towels and a linen robe. There are double electric sockets, too, plus a free-standing fan, a tea/coffee station, and even a jug of ice cubes.

Separated from the bedroom by two high limestone walls, the spacious en-suite bathroom boasts his-and-hers handbasins, with large horizontal mirrors hanging above, and a separate toilet with a wooden door. There's a stone walk-in shower with a powerful shower head and a large free-standing silver bath with great views of the bush. A tree stump serves as a small table, topped with bath salts in a large silver pot, while glass dispensers contain shower gel and shampoo. Each tent also has an outdoor shower, reached through a wooden door to the side of the room.

Although many visitors will drive themselves into Etosha National Park, activities at Onguma Tented Camp include morning and evening game drives into Etosha National Park, although the camp's vehicles go no further than Halali. Onguma also offers shorter sunset drives, on the Onguma Reserve where no self-drives are permitted and morning bush walks where a guide will point out many of the smaller inhabitants on the reserve that you may miss from a safari vehicle.

Our view

Onguma Tented Camp has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere in comfortable, beautifully designed surroundings. Use the camp as a thoroughly relaxing base to explore the Onguma private reserve or as a base to access Etosha National Park. The camp waterhole is an added bonus and you should see plains game here from the comfort of your own chalet.


Location: Etosha National Park, Namibia

Ideal length of stay: 2-3 nights

Directions: The turn-off onto the Onguma Reserve is just a short drive along the C38 from Etosha's Von Lindequist Gate. The Tented Camp is 10km from the entrance gate into the reserve. Note that the camp offers transfers free of charge from Mokuti Lodge.

Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: André Louw

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Half Board

Food quality: During our last stay we found both the food and the service to be of a consistently high standard.

Breakfast: was served as a buffet with a selection of cereals, fruit salads, fresh fruit, a choice of confectionaries, a cold meat platter and the option to order warm breakfast items from the kitchen including porridge, pancakes, omelettes and the traditional Full english breakfast items.

Dinner is a delicious four-course meal. During our visit, we sampled a creamy broccoli soup soup followed by an entrée of crumbed mushroom served with tartar sauce. There were two choices for main course, either grilled kudu steak served with brown onion sauce or pan fried kingklip served with a lemon caper sauce. Bothmain were also served with roasted potato wedges, sweet carrots and green beans.The meal was rounded off with a delicious malva pudding with custard.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Further dining info: No

Special interests

Wildlife safaris: With Etosha National Park on its doorstep, and also being situated in the Onguma private reserve, Onguma Tented Camp is a fantastic base from where to explore these wildlife rich areas.

See more ideas for Wildlife safaris in Namibia

Luxury: Combining luxury with traditional style, Onguma Tented Camp lies on the eastern side of Etosha National Park. Whether you’re keeping a look out for passing animals from your private veranda or relaxing in the roll-top bath, the watchword here is comfort.

See more ideas for Luxury in Namibia


Attitude towards children: Onguma Tented Camp is not fenced, so safety for younger children is an issue.

Property’s age restrictions: No children under 12 are allowed at Onguma Tented Camp. For safety reasons children under 10 years are not permitted on game drive vehicles. Children under the age of 16 years are not permitted on walking safaris.

Special activities & services: No

Equipment: No

Notes: The camp is unfenced and so is the pool so children should be supervised at all times.


Power supply: Mains Electricity

Power supply notes: There is a back up generator

Communications: There is cellphone reception in camp, with the signal stronger in the main areas. There is internet in both the main areas and the individual chalets

TV & radio: No

Water supply: Borehole


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!

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: The nearest doctor is in Tsumeb, about 112km from the reserve.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Security measures: Guests are escorted to and from their tents after dark. There are 24-hour security guards at the entrance gate to the Onguma Reserve, and no day visits are permitted.

Fire safety: Fire extinguishers inside each tent


Disabled access: Not Possible

Laundry facilities: Can be done at an extra charge at Bush Camp.

Money: There is a safe in each room. There is no currency exchange.

Accepted payment on location: Payments are accepted by Visa and Mastercard or in cash in Namibian dollars or South African rand.

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