Ongava Lodge: The Lowdown

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When we think of Ongava Lodge, two things come to mind; the views, and the rhinos. The lodge looks out over a bustling waterhole on the edge of Etosha National Park, so there’s almost always something to distract you, and, although they’re highly endangered, the Ongava Conservancy is a great location for seeing rhino.

What’s Ongava Lodge really like?

Ongava sits on a private conservancy just south of Etosha National Park. The lodge has 14 stone and thatch chalets, including one family chalet. These have ensuite bathrooms which have both indoor and outdoor showers, which we love and found to be wildly romantic, if a little chilly on a cool July evening. The feel is homely and rustic with lots of natural wood and stone used in the décor. The rooms are well spread out and during the hours of darkness you’ll be escorted to and from your room so you don’t meet any unexpected 4-legged visitors en route to the main lodge- this is real wilderness. Once at the main lodge you’ll find the bar and restaurant, where you’ll eat your meals- when you’re not mesmerised by the view. For us the sight of a baby rhino coming to drink at the waterhole one evening made dinner far too much of a distraction! Ongava Lodge also has a swimming pool- it doesn’t get much use during the winter months, but it’s wonderful on a hot summer’s day.

What can I do at Ongava Lodge?

Our guests come to Ongava Lodge two ways- either they’ll drive in and stay on a half board basis, heading out each day to explore Etosha National Park in their own vehicle, or they’ll fly in, and activities will normally be included as part of their stay. These include guided game drives on the private Ongava reserve and in Etosha National Park, visits to the hide at the waterhole and nature walks, though the latter does normally need some advance notice as it requires specialist guides. If you’re driving yourself in and want to participate in the guided activities, just let us know and we can book these for you in advance.

Giving back at Ongava Lodge: The owners of Ongava take seriously their duties in protecting one of the world’s more beautiful corners, so you’ll notice little touches here and there such as the solar-powered hot water in your room. Not only does the conservancy house populations of rare black and white rhino, there is a research centre continually working to advance scientific understanding of these threatened creatures.

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