Located just outside Etosha National Park is Onguma The Fort...
Onguma The Fort: Our full report
Located on the Onguma Reserve, very close to the eastern entrance gate of Namibia’s Etosha National Park, Onguma - The Fort (previously known as Onguma Plains Camp) is an elegant and stylish base from which to explore Etosha National Park. It is the most luxurious of the Onguma properties and therefore suited to those who prefer a little luxury while on holiday. Although it shares the reserve with its sister properties, including Onguma Bush Camp, Onguma Tented Camp, Onguma Tree Camp and Onguma Etosha Aoba, it is entirely separate and totally private.
With its turret and 12 rooms, or 'mini suites', each designed like a mini fort, Onguma The Fort clearly resembles a fort. Lined up in rows of six rooms on either side of the main building, each room is about 50m from the next, offering privacy and seclusion. The lodge uses a golf buggy to ferry guests from their rooms to the main area and back, especially after dark when it is not safe to walk on your own.
The spacious rooms are built in a Moroccan style, with terracotta and browns mixed with bright colours and high-beamed ceilings. A large double or twin bed, surrounded by mosquito netting, dominates the room. Glass windows on two sides offer a view of the waterhole and Fischer's Pan, and any passing game. Outside is a large partially covered deck with sunloungers, a bench covered with colourful cushions and a shady tree. All rooms are equipped with a small writing desk, a minibar, tea and coffee making facilities, as well as a fireplace, a telephone and air-conditioning. There's also mosquito repellent, a hairdryer, and a couple of nature books and magazines. There is also a basket with pool towels should guest like to visit the swimming pool.
The spacious bathrooms lead off an entrance hall and continue the Moroccan theme. Each has his-and-hers basins, a shower and a toilet, plus a small chair or lounger. A door leads from the bathroom onto the deck where outdoor shower that is fully screened from other rooms, although watch your bare feet on the hot deck if you choose to shower in the middle of the day!
Onguma - The Fort also has one Fort Suite or 'Sultan Suite', inside the tower of the main building which is perfect for honeymooners. The suite has a large bedroom with its own lounge area and private viewing deck overlooking the waterhole. There is a television with satellite channels in the lounge, as well as a fridge, a telephone and air conditioning. The bathroom here has both a bath and an open shower.
The main area of the Fort continues the Moroccan style, with heavy carved antique doors, lanterns, and ochre plaster walls. Flowing throughout the building is a large water feature, which includes little waterfalls and, in the central courtyard, a long narrow pool with stepping stones. The entire water feature is lantern lit at night, lending a calming atmosphere.
The lounge is furnished with comfy sofas and brightly coloured scatter cushions around a fireplace and also has views of the waterhole. The open-sided dining area allows you to see the stars from your table. To the back of the building is a large deck with more tables and chairs and a tree for shade, with a good view of the waterhole which is frequented mainly by warthogs and springboks, with the occasional larger game coming through. Drinks served here are accompanied by snacks from the bar.
The water feature continues to the swimming pool and an outside bar, where a few shaded sunloungers adorn the deck. There's even a separate shallow pool with chairs and tables in it, so that you can keep cool while enjoying your afternoon drink! Water from here flows via a small waterfall into the cool plunge pool, which is very welcome on a hot day.
Overlooking all this is The Fort's main tower from where there's a lovely view over the Onguma Reserve. It's a great place to watch the sunset (the waiters will even bring your drink up the tower for you), with a cushioned seating area at the top, and a larger seating area filled with scatter cushions on the level below. Below the main area is an air-conditioned bar and wine cellar where guests are welcomed to select a bottle to enjoy with dinner.
Activities from Onguma The Fort include morning and afternoon game drive in Etosha, sundowner drives on the Onguma Reserve, and night drives – also on the reserve. It’s also possible to do morning bush walks, which last about 90 minutes. The night drives usually take place after dinner and last about 2 hours. The camp is well situated for those driving themselves into the park, but self driving is not permitted within the reserve.
Our viewOnguma - The Fort offers a high standard of food and service in a beautifully designed camp on the edge of Etosha National Park, suiting those looking for elegance and luxury, With its location close to the entrance gate, it is convenient for driving yourself into the park, or for taking a guided trip with the lodge.
Ideal length of stay: Spend 2-3 nights here to explore Etosha and enjoy relaxing at the lodge.
Directions: The entrance to the Onguma Reserve is on your right just before you enter Etosha National Park at the Von Lindequist Gate. Onguma The Fort is about a 20-minute drive from the reserve entrance.
Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Owner: Visions of Africa
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: A sumptuous breakfast buffet is served on a large wooden table in the centre of the lounge where guests help themselves. As well as the usual selection of fruit, yoghurts, cheeses, meats and breads, guests can have a hot meal cooked to order by the chef.
A three-course lunch is served with a choice of main courses. The food is light and tasty – perfect for a hot day. On our last visit in December 2016, the starter was stuffed mushrooms, followed by a choice of tuna salad nicoise or vegetable gnocchi served with a tomato sauce. Desert was a lemon cheesecake.
Dinner is a tasty four-course meal. The food here is varied, interesting and imaginative with authentic South African cuisine mixed with subtle north African flavours. We enjoyed the starter of spicy African peanut soup, which was followed by a second starter, which was an aubergine stack with bacon, tomato and mozzarella cheese. The main course was either grilled eland steak with cranberry sauce or Dijon baked salmon fillet with hollandaise sauce. Both mains were accompanied by potato wedges, yellow patty pan (a type of squash) and broccoli. Desert was a very tasty chocolate amarula mousse.
Snacks are available from the minibar in your room at an additional cost.. Snacks such as biltong and peanuts are served to those taking pre-dinner drinks on the deck or out on an afternoon game drive.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Drinks are an extra cost.
Further dining info: Yes
Honeymoons: Onguma the Fort is an isolated and exclusive camp with a beautiful honeymoon suite, the Fort Suite, offering privacy and lovely views across Fischer's Pan. Enjoy your lavish bedroom, and spoil yourselves with the delicious food and great wines on your Namibia honeymoon.See more ideas for Honeymoons in Namibia
Attitude towards children: Onguma Fort welcomes children over the age of 12.
Property’s age restrictions: No children under 12 are accepted here.
Special activities & services: None
Generally recommended for children: No
Notes: Onguma The Fort is an adult only lodge. Children are welcome at Onguma Bush Camp which caters for children of all ages.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Power supply notes: There is a back up generator
Communications: All rooms have a phone and there is also cellphone reception at the camp. There is free WiFi in both the main area and the rooms.
TV & radio: There is a satellite TV in the Sultan Suite.
Water supply: Borehole
Water supply notes: The bathrooms are fully plumbed and have flush toilets
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: The nearest doctor is in Tsumeb, and the camp has a first-aid box with all staff being first-aid trained.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: The gate to the reserve is manned during the day and is locked at night. Guests need to be escorted to and from their rooms after dark.
Fire safety: Fire extinguishers are found in each room and in the main area of the camp.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: A laundry service is available for an extra charge.
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 rands.