Onguma The Fort
Onguma Private Game Reserve, Etosha, Namibia
At a Glance
Private plunge pools
Watch the spectacular sunset over the scarceness of the Etosha Pans from your deck
Game drives in the Onguma Reserve and the Etosha National Park
Eye-catching interiors: angular furniture and twists of lime green, scarlet and pinks in fabrics and cushions
Star gazing, the night skies at Onguma are unbeatable
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 holiday to Onguma The Fort
The Fort overlooks the sparseness of the Etosha Pans and is unlike any other lodge in Namibia.
It provides guests probably one of the best sunset views in the whole of Namibia, and easy access to Etosha National Park with its incredible wildlife.
Located on the eastern side of Etosha, Onguma Private Nature Reserve has over 20,000 hectares of protected land and wildlife and boasts over thirty different animal species, including a family of black rhino.
In a landscape dotted with only animals and camel thorn trees, Onguma The Fort has a classic African feel with strong Indian and Moroccan flavours characterised by beautifully crafted window and doorframes. The inner courtyard with its large water feature calms the senses and guests can enjoy magnificent views from the tower. A large deck off the lounge area overlooks a waterhole where a variety of game come for refreshment every day.
Each suite has a bedroom, dressing area and air cooling system and the spacious bathrooms have both indoor and outdoor showers. The private deck includes sun loungers on which to relax and drink in the view. The Fort Suite is located in the Main Tower and offers similar facilities on a larger scale.
Activities revolve around game drives in and around the reserve and also into Etosha National Park. he Etosha Pan is parched and dry most of the time, but occasionally a few rivers and the unpredictable heavy summer rains can fill it. After particularly good rains, Etosha Pan can attract over a million flamingos to its salty waters. While the Pan itself is extremely salty and as a result does not support much vegetation, its edges give way to a surprising variety of vegetation types: from the broad swathe of mopane that encircles the broader area; to the tall tree canopies of the tamboti and terminalia woodland in the east; and to the open acacia-strewn plains, grasslands and dwarf shrub savannah in the west. Here mopane woodland dominates, whilst a low row of dolomite hills, evocatively called the Ondundozonanandana Range, provide relief to the otherwise flat surroundings and harbour populations of the endemic Anchieta's dwarf python and the local subspecies of rock hyrax.
The Fort consists of 12 mini suites, each one is completely private and about 50 metres apart from one another. There is also a honeymoon suite, the furthest away from the main area and the most private and also the Sultan Suite in the tower. All are equipped with a bar fridge, telephone and an air cooling system for those warmer days. The spacious bathroom has both an inside shower as well as an outside shower area. All rooms have lovely wooden decks which extend to the outside seating are with loungers for relaxing and enjoying the extraordinary view.
There is also the Fort Suite situated inside the Main Tower. It has a large beautifully designed bedroom that leads into a lounge area and out onto a private viewing deck. The lounge is equipped with a satellite television system, a bar fridge and telephone facilities. The large bathroom has a wonderful open shower area, as well as a bath.
There are no specific child care facilities and it should be noted that there is a minimum age of 12 years in camp.
Activities from the Fort all revolve around game viewing in specially adapted 4 x 4 safari vehicles which take guests on morning and afternoon game drives in both the Etosha National Park and the Onguma private reserve. They are able to offer night drives in the private reserve. Interpretative bush walks are also offered with knowledgeable guides.
The Fort has a cooling swimming pool for guests to enjoy between safaris.
Rose Gemmell (Staff)
Onguma The Fort has been designed in the style of a Kasbah and is a totally unique lodge perfectly positioned on the edge of the Etosha Pan which, in the heat of the day becomes and amazing mirage. The main area and swimming pool over
looks an waterhole where game frequently comes to drink so you can enjoy a dip in the pool and a spot of sunbathing whilst having spectacular game viewing at the same time!
Louisa Verney (Staff)
Onguma The Fort is a stunning, small and intimate lodge on the easterly edge of the Etosha National Park. The lodge has the most stunning views to the shimmering white Etosha Pans and I would highly recommend going up to the top of the tower one evening for sundowners.
The lodge is built in the style of a Moroccan Kasbah and all the suites are vast and very comfortable. The whole lodge has a very tranquil feeling, inviting you to unwind.
Onguma The Fort is very close to the Von Lindquist Gate so you are well positioned to be one of the first guests into the Etosha National Park in the morning. Also As The Fort is on the Onguma Private Reserve guests have the opportunity to go on night drives and guided walks on the private reserve.
In 2007, the Fort at Fisher’s Pan opened on the southern edge of Etosha National Park. This exotic structure—tall, thick walls; massive studded doors; multiple patios; secret staircases—sits on the edge of a large watering hole. The Fort is the latest addition to the Onguma Safari Camps, a collection of lodges in the private 50,000-acre slice of Etosha known as the Onguma Game Reserve. The rustic cottages at the Fort exude casbah-cool: North African chandeliers, tadlakt floors, and brass-tray bedside tables. The bathrooms are housed in octagonal towers with high ceilings, Philippe Starck and Oxo fixtures, and tall freestanding mirrors in distressed frames. In addition to game drives in the private reserve, the Fort takes guests to the main Etosha game park. The toll-plaza entrance and numerous vans and private cars are a bit of a disappointment, but the game is another story. On a four-hour excursion, you can expect to see giraffes, elephants, wildebeests, steenbok, leopard tortoises, monitor lizards, and the occasional lion. Evenings back at the Fort are especially magical, with the deck lit by Moroccan lanterns and sconces. Out at the floodlit watering hole, you can watch zebra assemble at sunset. Onguma, it turns out, means “the place you don’t want to leave.
Location & directions
Onguma Private Game Reserve, Etosha, Namibia
Onguma Fort is situated directly next to the eastern side of Etosha National Park in the Onguma Reserve of northern Namibia. Etosha is one of the world's largest national parks, stretching more than 350 kms from east to west and covering an area of 22,275 square kms.
How to get there
Windhoek Airport (530km) is the closest international airport. From here you can take a light aircraft flight (1- hour 30-minute) to Onguma's 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 is an approximate 5-hour 30-minute journey.
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