Our Guide to Namibia
Ongava Private Game Reserve, Etosha, Namibia
At a Glance
Black and white rhino can be seen in the Ongava Private Reserve
Watch game come to drink at the waterhole in front of the main area
The Ongava Private Reserve Borders the Etosha National Park
Cool off in the swimming pool
Watch game from the hides, that overlook water holes
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
The best time to visit Etosha is from April to September as the temperature is tolerably cool, especially at night. From May to September the increasingly thirsty animals gather at waterholes, making it the best time to go to Etosha for game viewing. Summer is best time to travel to Etosha for bird watching as migratory birds (both intra-African and Palaearctic) flock into the park's many habitats after the summer rains.
To start planning your vacation to Ongava Lodge
Ongava Lodge is situated along the southern boundary of Etosha National Park in the privately owned Ongava Game Reserve. From its beautiful vantage point overlooking a waterhole and the plains beyond, enjoy a plethora of game that arrives to drink.
Ongava Game Reserve is the ideal base for your activities when visiting Etosha. Ongava Lodge’s 14 brick, rock and thatch double cottages are located at the top of a hill and each is tastefully furnished and has air-conditioning, an en-suite bathroom and a private balcony. Two of the cottages interconnect so they work very well for a family.
Meals are served in Ongava’s spacious ’lapa’, with its comfortable lounge area, convivial bar and magnificent views over the waterhole.
With Etosha a stone’s throw away, game drives are in open 4x4 vehicles into the Okaukuejo area where lion, elephant, cheetah, gemsbok, springbok and hartebeest can be seen regularly. Additionally, dusk and night drives offer an opportunity for guests to experience nature after dark. A number of safe and secure hides are also available to spend time on close-up wildlife viewing or photography. If this all sounds too strenuous, there is also a shaded swimming pool.
Game drives and day trips into the easily accessible Okaukuejo area of Etosha National Park are rewarding, with sightings of lion, elephant, gemsbok, springbok, red hartebeest, and white and black rhino. Guests at Ongava Lodge share a dedicated guide and Land Rover, ensuring the best possible nature experience at one of Africa's great wildlife destinations.
The Ongava Game Reserve is unique in that it is one of the few private game reserves in southern Africa where there is a chance of seeing both black and white rhino. For those who enjoy close wildlife encounters, tracking white rhino on foot with a guide is a highlight not to be missed.
Accommodation at Ongava Lodge consists of 13 chalets and one family room, attractively built out of brick, rock and thatch. Each chalet has an en-suite bathroom with flush toilet, shower and double hand basins. Air-conditioning and overhead fans keep guests cool in summer. Mosquito nets are fitted to the windows and each room features a tea/coffee station and a safe. The rooms have glass-fronted doors which lead out onto a private, covered veranda, overlooking the plains.
As there are no childcare facilities available at the Ongava Lodge, the lode does no accept children under the age of 16.
Facilities at the lodge include a lovely shaded swimming pool, a game viewing hide and a floodlit waterhole.
Activities at Ongava Lodge revolve around day and night wildlife-viewing drives, visiting hides that overlook waterholes and walks with experienced guides. A hide at the camp waterhole provides superb photographic opportunities. The Ongava Game Reserve features all the characteristic wildlife of the area, with both desert-adapted black and white rhino to be seen as well as lion.
Meg Shepro (Staff)
Our stay at Ongava Lodge was wonderful with very comfortable accommodation and kind hospitality. We enjoyed an afternoon game drive where we were treated to lion and rhino sightings! The meals were great and during dinner one evening we watched as four black rhino socialized at the waterhole in front of the dining deck. It was a truly unforgettable experience.
Louisa Verney (Staff)
Ongava Lodge is in a wonderful position at the top of a hill, with spectacular views across the Ongava Private Reserve. I loved staying in the Ongava reserve as we had the opportunity to go on game drives in the Etosha National Park, whose gate is at the entrance to the Private Reserve. But also we had the opportunity to go on a game drive in the reserve away from the crowds and also go on a guided walk to discuss the plants and insects as well as seeing game in the distance.
Ongava Lodge is a slightly larger lodge than Little Ongava, with 13 thatched cottages, but the rooms were all comfortable and I loved being able to shower under the stars in my outside shower. Another highlight of my stay was during dinner we were lucky enough to see several black rhino and a couple of lionesses come in to drink at the floodlit waterhole below the main area...which had all the guests mesmerized!!
Guests at the Ongava Lodge can enjoy stunning views of a bustling watering hole a stone's throw from the breakfast table. Sipping tea early on my first morning at the lodge, I was dumbstruck to see the long necks of a herd of giraffes float above the treetops toward the watering hole.
Activities in the private reserves near Etosha
The private game reserves around the Etosha National park have the advantage that they are not governed by the strict rules that apply in the Park. This enables guests to enjoy guided game walks and night drives in these reserves.
Game drive in Etosha National Park
Venture into the Etosha National Park on game drives. The Park covers 22,270 km² and is home a a wide range of birds, mammals and reptiles. Due to the arid nature of the park the game congregates round the waterholes to drink
Wild Northern Namibia & Skeleton Coast
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Location & directions
Ongava Private Game Reserve, Etosha, Namibia
Ongava Lodge is situated along the southern boundary of Etosha National Park in the privately-owned Ongava Game Reserve. The Ongava Private Reserve, encompasses a huge 30,000 hectare slice of bushveld whose best-known residents are a thriving population of white and black rhino.
How to get there
Windhoek Airport (430km) is the closest international airport. From here you can take a light aircraft flight to Ongava's (1 hour 30 minutes) private airstrip near the camp where a member of staff will meet you and transfer you to the camp. Alternatively, if you wish to self-drive from Windhoek it takes approximately 4 hours 30 minutes.