Onguma The Fort, Etosha National Park (Namibia)


Wednesday newsletters at all times characteristic a lodge or flight evaluate.

Final November, I loved a superb vacation in Namibia. You may learn my journey reviews right here:


Right now: Assessment of Onguma The Fort, Etosha Nationwide Park

With a Moroccan structure and Indian design touches, Onguma The Fort breaks the normal safari camp mould, though it nonetheless retains a traditional African really feel. The safari lodge is located on a non-public sport reserve on the japanese facet of Etosha Nationwide Park, close to the doorway from the Von Lindquist gate, making it a really perfect base to go to Etosha. The fort-styled lodge options huge partitions, stone clad options, and water channels in the principle visitor space, offering pure air con. An enormous central tower boasts beautiful views towards Etosha and Fishers Pan and company on the Fort can expertise a number of the greatest sundown views in Namibia. Lodging at Onguma The Fort consists of 11 bush suites, 1 sultan suite, and 1 honeymoon suite, constructed within the type of mini forts and providing magical views throughout the plains from non-public wood decks. 

Onguma The Fort options in my high 10 record of the very best lodges in Namibia.

Have you ever ever stayed at Onguma The Fort? In that case, what was your expertise? Depart a remark.

On this evaluate (extra data and images under my Youtube clip & slideshow):


PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • Onguma The Fort is without doubt one of the most upscale lodges close to Etosha Nationwide Park, Namibia’s most well-known wildlife reserve and one in every of Africa’s premier sport viewing vacation spot. With plentiful wildlife congregating round waterholes, sport sightings at Etosha are nearly assured. This contains 4 of the Massive 5 (solely buffalo don’t reside right here): elephants, leopards and lions are frequent within the parks, and Etosha’s waterholes rank among the many greatest locations on this planet to see the extremely endangered black rhinoceros. Etosha can also be some of the accessible sport reserves in Africa: the park is malaria free within the dry season and accessible for normal automobiles (which implies you’ll need to share the wildlife viewing with many different vacationers).
  • Situated simply outdoors the Nationwide Park, the doorway to Onguma The Fort is correct subsequent to the Von Lindquist gate, which gives entry to the japanese, extra vegetated a part of the reserve (435 km or 270 mi north of the capital of Windhoek). That is probably the most attribute space of Etosha Nationwide Park as a result of it’s house to a salt pan so massive it may be seen from area. The massive pan stretches out over a few quarter of the reserve in an limitless dry expanse the place mirages rise within the warmth. When the rains come, the barren desert transforms into shimmering, shallow lakes, changing into a hotspot for migrant waterbirds – blushing pink flamingos! Onguma The Fort gives every day guided sport drives inside the japanese a part of the nationwide park (for a charge).
  • Onguma The Fort is ready within the coronary heart of the 34 000 hectares non-public Onguma Reserve, an infinite conservation space which borders Etosha Nationwide Park with animals roaming freely between the reserve and the park. Sport drives inside the reserve will be booked as effectively and are sometimes as rewarding as these inside the nationwide park, particularly for the reason that drives inside the reserve really feel extra non-public as no vacationer autos are allowed on the reserve’s grime tracks. The Fort shares the reserve with 4 different lodges and two campsites, all managed by the Onguma group. Fully separate, it’s the most luxurious possibility inside the Onguma Reserve and feels completely non-public. The lodge overlooks its personal waterhole, which is frequented primarily by warthog, springbok, zebra and impala, with lions coming by way of often.
  • Onguma The Fort’s most important visitor space includes a exceptional design, with Moroccan structure and Indian design touches. The 2 story construction resembles a north African fortress, full with heavy carved vintage doorways and ochre plaster partitions. Entrance to the lodge is by way of an open air patio, which is centered round a water pond divided by stepping stones. Behind the courtyard is a big lounge space with eating room, each opening to an intensive terrace with views of the boundless savannah. On the facet of the constructing is a pool deck, with some shaded sunloungers organized alongside a shallow pool with chairs and tables in it, that flows by way of a small waterfall right into a deeper plunge pool. The primary lodge is fantastically lit at night time by dozens of lanterns and candles, lending the property an Arabian fairy-tale ambiance .
  • Onguma The Fort’s spacious lodging are scattered both facet of the principle constructing and look out west in the direction of Etosha Nationwide Park (with stunning views of the sundown). All suites are spaced about 50 m (160 ft) other than one another, permitting full privateness. The property makes use of a golf buggy to ferry company from their suites to the principle space and again, particularly after darkish when it isn’t secure to stroll by yourself. Throughout my go to, I stayed in a Bush Suite proper subsequent to the principle pavilion. Adorned within the type of a standard Moroccan Riad, the elegant room featured a big kingside mattress, hearth, writing desk, and sitting space. The ensuite lavatory was geared up along with his & her basins, rest room and rain bathe. Giant glass home windows opened to an elevated terrace with a few sunbeds, an outside bathe, and terrific views of the bush.
  • Apart from the 11 bush suites described above, Onguma The Fort additionally options two different varieties of suites. Situated on the fringe of the road with lodging is the lodge’s most fantastic room kind: the honeymoon suite. The latter is kind of related in structure to a bush suite, aside from the addition of a comfortable sitting nook contained in the villa as effectively the presence of a deep soaking bathtub tub and sizzling tub on the out of doors deck. Contained in the tower of the principle lodge is one other room known as the ‘Sultan Suite’, which can also be an ideal alternative for honeymooners. Right here, the massive bed room has its personal lounge space with satellite tv for pc TV, which opens to a non-public balcony overlooking the lodge’s personal waterhole and Fishers’ Pan. Behind the bed room is a big open-plan lavatory that includes a bath and an open-air bathe.
  • Onguma The Fort serves scrumptious delicacies and the meals are reasonably priced for these company that aren’t booked on the all-inclusive package deal. Mornings begin with an energizing breakfast, comprised of small continental buffet and an à la carte menu with sizzling meals cooked to order by the chef (like “Onguma type” eggs royal or apple cinnamon pancakes). Lunch is served within the eating room and consists of sunshine meals and wholesome salads. Climate allowing, dinner is served al fresco on the out of doors deck with a view of the lit waterhole. The night menu gives a alternative between two choices throughout three programs – altering every day. Throughout my keep, dinners included flame grilled oryx steak with crimson wine sauce, pan fried rooster breast with honey and mustard sauce, or eland steak with Madagascan peppercorn sauce.
  • The primary focus of the lodge’s actions (that are charged until you’re on the all-inclusive package deal) is recognizing wildlife, both within the Etosha Nationwide Park or within the lodge’s non-public Onguma Reserve. Onguma The Fort gives each morning and afternoon safari drives within the Nationwide Park in open autos that accommodate a most of 6 company. Though Etosha is effectively located for self-drive safaris, I nonetheless suggest to go on a guided tour (since Onguma’s effectively educated rangers will spot rather more animals than you’ll do by yourself). Inside the Onguma Reserve itself, the place self-driving is just not permitted, the lodge gives sundowner drives. It’s additionally attainable to do morning bush walks, which final about 90 minutes, or to remain for just a few hours at a cover close to a waterhole for an ‘eye-level’ encounter with large animals.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
  • The general design of Onguma The Fort is eye catching because it seems like a Moroccan citadel. Nevertheless not everybody will essentially respect its distinctive North African type and structure, particularly these vacationers on the lookout for a safari lodge that feels authentically Namibian.
  • There are just a few areas the place the lodge is displaying some put on and tear (e.g. the swimming pool and the suites’ non-public terraces). Though nothing too dangerous, these areas may use some (yearly) upkeep nonetheless, particularly given Namibia’s harsh and unforgiving local weather.
  • Sport drives inside Etosha Nationwide Park are at all times a shocking journey, however the expertise will rely on the information that’s escorting you. For instance, throughout one of many my drives, the information appeared considerably demotivated and rushed (and handed a number of attention-grabbing sightings with out stopping). The guides on the opposite drives had been wonderful although. Additionally understand that a safari inside Etosha is just not an intimate expertise, and also you’ll share the animal sightings with many different automobiles (particularly when lions, elephants, and rhinos are noticed)
  • Opposite to all the opposite safari lodges that I visited in Africa, a keep at Onguma The Fort doesn’t routinely contains all meals and sport drives. The property gives two varieties of charges: halfboard (which incorporates breakfast and dinner however excludes lunch and any actions comparable to sport drives or walks), and all-inclusive (which incorporates all meals, drinks and two actions per day). So, when you e-book the halfboard package deal, you’ll need to pay extras for sport drives and bush walks. I extremely suggest to e-book the all-inclusive package deal for the reason that safari expertise is what most vacationers are on the lookout for on this a part of the world.

MY VERDICT
  • Location: 9/10
  • Design: 8/10
  • Pool: 8/10
  • Rooms: 9/10
  • Meals: 8/10
  • Breakfast: 9/10
  • Spa: 8/10
  • Service: 9/10
  • Worth for cash: 9/10
  • General expertise: superb 8.6/10

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
  • Lower your expenses: learn right here my suggestions for getting the very best deal at a luxurious lodge like Onguma The Fort (and/or obtain many free perks).
  • Journey tip: as defined above, I extremely suggest to e-book the all-inclusive package deal (because the halfboard possibility excludes the safari experiences).
  • Learn my suggestions for making ready your journey in time.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The very best time to go to Namibia is from July to October, when the temperatures are comfortably heat in the course of the day and the possibility of rain is low. That is additionally the very best time for out of doors actions and wildlife viewing, making it peak journey season. Between December and March, some days can be humid and rain could comply with, typically in localized, afternoon thunderstorms.


HOW TO GET THERE

Onguma The Fort will be reached by automotive. The lodge is 435 km or 270 mi north of the capital of Windhoek (a simple 5 hour drive on tarred roads)


PHOTOS

Beneath is a collection of my images of Onguma The Fort. To view extra lodge images (together with meals and a safari drive inside Etosha Nationwide Park), click on right here.

ONGUMA THE FORT
MAIN LODGE: ENTRANCE
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MAIN LODGE: ATRIUM
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MAIN LODGE: ATRIUM
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MAIN LODGE: LOUNGE
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MAIN LODGE: LOUNGE
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MAIN LODGE: LOUNGE
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MAIN LODGE: DINING ROOM
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MAIN LODGE: TERRACE
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MAIN LODGE: POOL DECK
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MAIN LODGE: POOL DECK
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MAIN LODGE: POOL DECK
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MAIN LODGE: POOL DECK
MAIN LODGE: BOUTIQUE
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MAIN LODGE: ART GALLERY
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MAIN LODGE: SPA ROOM (FIRST FLOOR)
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MAIN LODGE: OBSERVATION DECK (FIRST FLOOR)
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BUSH SUITE
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SULTAN SUITE
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SULTAN SUITE
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HONEYMOON SUITE
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HONEYMOON SUITE
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HONEYMOON SUITE
ONGUMA THE FORT AT NIGHT

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