Ongava Game Reserve, Etosha, Namibia
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ONGAVA LODGE RATES: Ongava Lodge
ONGAVA LODGE - ONGAVA GAME RESERVE, ETOSHA,
Ongava Game Reserve, a 70,000 acre
private reserve on the southern boundary of Namibia's Etosha National
Park, has three camps: Ongava Lodge, Ongava Tented Camp and Little
located in a different part of the reserve. Guests can choose the style
size of camp that suits
camps are managed independently and each has its own full-time staff,
guides, managers and vehicles. All three camps have a similar activity
schedule. Ongava Tented Camp is situated more towards the center of the
game reserve, at the base of the foothills of the Ondundozonanandana
Range, meaning "mountain where the boy took the calves".
Etosha has great concentrations of game, especially in the dry winter
months, and there are wonderful views out onto the salt pans which dominate
the center of the park. Etosha's only drawback is that the accommodation
offered within the park is in the form of large, impersonal public rest
camps. Ongava offers an excellent alternative. Ongava Lodge is situated
on the private 66,000 hectare Ongava Game Reserve, which shares a
common border with Etosha. The lodge offers the full Etosha experience
providing great accommodation and service, as well as the opportunity
to take night drives and nature walks on the reserve, activities that
are not allowed within Etosha. Ongava Lodge is operated
by Wilderness Safaris.
For images of Ongava Lodge, click Ongava Lodge
Ongava Lodge offers luxury accommodation in 14 en-suite chalets made of rock and thatch. There are impressive views from the main lounge, pub and dining areas, as they are situated close to the top of a hill, part of the foothills of the unpronounceable Ondundozonanandana Range. There is also an inviting pool to cool off in the heat of the day. Meals are either served in the main dining area under thatch with a view over the camp's waterhole, or on the dining deck under the stars.
14 large rock and thatched chalets consisting of:
• 11 twins (2 extra beds available for children/triples).
• 2 doubles.
• 1 family.
• 2 guide rooms (4 guide beds - not the same standard as guest rooms).
This camp can accommodate 30 guests plus tour leaders. It can also be combined with Little Ongava (premier style) and/or Ongava Tented Camp (vintage style) to increase capacity for a group.
• En-suite bathrooms with shower, double basin and outside shower (except for the family unit)with a view.
• Overhead fans.
• Tea / coffee making facilities.
• Private wooden viewing deck overlooking the reserve.
• Hairdryers provided in rooms.
• 220v Electricity in the rooms.
• Soaps, shampoos and hand lotion are supplied in each room.
• Twin 3/4 size beds.
• Situated close to the top of a hill with wonderful views across the plains.
• Split-level thatched roof covering the lounge, dining room and bar.
• View over waterhole.
• Swimming pool.
• Curio shop.
• Steps at the Lodge, so not wheelchair friendly.
Daily laundry service is included in the nightly tariff.
Activities include game drives in open 4x4 vehicles into the Okaukuejo area of Etosha where lion, elephant (seasonal), gemsbok, springbok, black rhino, greater kudu and red hartebeest can be seen at numerous waterholes and fringing habitats. Apex predators like leopard, cheetah and spotted hyaena also occur in this area. In addition, hides and walks with guides are enjoyed on the private reserve. Ongava has resident white and black rhino - one of the few private reserves in southern Africa - allowing guests staying at Ongava the unique opportunity to see both of these charismatic species. For those who enjoy close wildlife encounters, tracking white rhino on foot with a guide is a highlight not to be missed.
• Game drives in Etosha and Ongava Reserve in 5 x Land Rovers.
• Walks with armed guide (White Rhino can be tracked on foot).
• Full day excursions into Etosha National Park (subject to availability of vehicles).
• Private vehicles can be booked at an extra cost, subject to availability).
• Photography at the Hide.
In central-northern Namibia the flat landscape is dotted with a number of large saltpans, slight depressions made by wind action. The most famous of these is Etosha Pan, which resides in the eponymous Etosha National Park, a vast area of over 20 000km2 that protects an incredible wealth of wildlife. Etosha means 'great white place' and indeed its immense salt pan stretches blinding white across 5 000 square kilometres (120km across and 55km from north to south). Today, a few rivers and occasional heavy summer rains can fill the pan (in good years attracting more than a million flamingos to its salty waters), but for the most part it is parched and dry. 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 tall tree canopies of the tamboti and terminalia woodland in the east, to the broad swathe of mopane that envelops the broader area and 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.
Most general game are present on the reserve as well as within Etosha, including springbok, gemsbok, wildebeest, Burchell's zebra, Hartmann's mountain zebra, waterbuck, red hartebeest, giraffe, eland and the endemic black-faced impala. Species that can be seen year round include Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Springbok, Oryx, Kudu and the diminutive Damara Dik-Dik. Elephant and lion move between the Park and the reserve and both black and white rhino can be seen.
Birdlife in Ongava Reserve is prolific with over 340 species to be seen, amongst them 10 of Namibia's 14 endemic bird species. Specials like Bare-cheeked Babbler, Violet Wood-Hoopoe, Carp's Tit and Red-necked Falcon are sought after by birders, while other species such as the Sociable Weaver and its enormous communal nests, the miniature Pygmy Falcon and the brilliantly coloured Crimson-breasted Shrike - justifiably Namibia's national bird. Birding Etosha is also good with Ostrich, Kori Bustard and raptors like Greater Kestrel in abundance. Local specials include Short-toed Rock-Thrush, Namaqua Sandgrouse, Double-banded Courser, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Spike-heeled Lark and Acacia Pied Barbet.
Ongava Game Reserve
The Ongava Game Reserve is situated on the southern boundary of Etosha National Park, enabling large game such as elephant and lion to move between the Park and the private reserve. Day and night wildlife-viewing drives, visiting hides that overlook waterholes and walks with experienced guides can all be enjoyed exclusively on this reserve. Game drives and daytrips 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 Little Ongava share a dedicated guide and Land Rover, ensuring the best possible nature experience at one of Africa's great wildlife destinations. A hide at the camp waterhole provides superb photographic opportunities. At Ongava the characteristic wildlife of the area is present, with both desert-adapted black and white rhino to be seen as well as lion.
A highlight at Ongava is 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.
Etosha National Park
Etosha was first proclaimed
in 1907. The park originally stretched all the way to the Skeleton Coast
and, up to 1967, was the world's largest park. In 1967, the park's size
was slashed from nearly 10 million hectares to its current size of 2.7
million hectares (about the size of Switzerland). In the early 1990's a
group of Namibian, English, American and South African partners joined
together and bought 30,000 hectares of land on Etosha's southern boundary.
The aim of this venture was to create Namibia's finest private game reserve
and to create a buffer for Etosha along its southern boundary. Ongava (meaning
rhinoceros in Herero) was born, and a massive rehabilitation and restocking
program took place. White Rhino were introduced and over time Black Rhino
migrated onto the reserve. Many thousands of animals are now found on Ongava
including Elephant, Giraffe, Gemsbok (Oryx), Springbok, Red Hartebeest,
Eland, Wildebeest, Zebra and the rare Blackfaced Impala. Lion, Leopard
and Cheetah have also moved back onto the Ongava Reserve. Wilderness Safaris
manages Ongava Lodge and Ongava Tented camp for the owners.
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