Onguma The Fort, Etosha National Park (Namibia)

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

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


At the moment: Evaluation of Onguma The Fort, Etosha Nationwide Park

With a Moroccan structure and Indian design touches, Onguma The Fort breaks the standard safari camp mould, though it nonetheless retains a basic African really feel. The safari lodge is located on a non-public recreation reserve on the jap facet of Etosha Nationwide Park, close to the doorway from the Von Lindquist gate, making it a super base to go to Etosha. The fort-styled lodge options large partitions, stone clad options, and water channels in the primary visitor space, offering pure air con. An enormous central tower boasts beautiful views towards Etosha and Fishers Pan and friends on the Fort can expertise a few of the finest 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 personal picket decks. 

Onguma The Fort options in my high 10 checklist of the most effective lodges in Namibia.

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

On this overview (extra information and pictures beneath my Youtube clip & slideshow):


PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • Onguma The Fort is among the most upscale lodges close to Etosha Nationwide Park, Namibia’s most well-known wildlife reserve and one among Africa’s premier recreation viewing vacation spot. With ample wildlife congregating round waterholes, recreation sightings at Etosha are virtually assured. This contains 4 of the Massive 5 (solely buffalo don’t reside right here): elephants, leopards and lions are widespread within the parks, and Etosha’s waterholes rank among the many finest locations on the planet to see the extremely endangered black rhinoceros. Etosha can also be one of the crucial accessible recreation 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).
  • Positioned simply outdoors the Nationwide Park, the doorway to Onguma The Fort is true subsequent to the Von Lindquist gate, which gives entry to the jap, 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 giant it may be seen from area. The large pan stretches out over a couple of quarter of the reserve in an countless 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 recreation drives inside the jap a part of the nationwide park (for a price).
  • Onguma The Fort is ready within the coronary heart of the 34 000 hectares personal Onguma Reserve, an unlimited conservation space which borders Etosha Nationwide Park with animals roaming freely between the reserve and the park. Sport drives inside the reserve may be booked as nicely and are sometimes as rewarding as these inside the nationwide park, particularly for the reason that drives inside the reserve really feel extra personal as no vacationer automobiles are allowed on the reserve’s filth tracks. The Fort shares the reserve with 4 different lodges and two campsites, all managed by the Onguma group. Completely separate, it’s the most luxurious possibility inside the Onguma Reserve and feels completely personal. 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 essential visitor space incorporates 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 superbly 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 primary constructing and look out west in the direction of Etosha Nationwide Park (with lovely views of the sundown). All suites are spaced about 50 m (160 ft) aside from one another, permitting full privateness. The property makes use of a golf buggy to ferry friends from their suites to the primary space and again, particularly after darkish when it isn’t protected to stroll by yourself. Throughout my go to, I stayed in a Bush Suite proper subsequent to the primary 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 toilet was geared up along with his & her basins, rest room and rain bathe. Massive glass home windows opened to an elevated terrace with a few sunbeds, an outside bathe, and terrific views of the bush.
  • Moreover the 11 bush suites described above, Onguma The Fort additionally options two different sorts of suites. Positioned on the fringe of the road with lodging is the lodge’s most lovely room sort: the honeymoon suite. The latter is kind of related in format to a bush suite, aside from the addition of a comfortable sitting nook contained in the villa as nicely the presence of a deep soaking tub tub and scorching tub on the outside deck. Contained in the tower of the primary lodge is one other room known as the ‘Sultan Suite’, which can also be an ideal selection 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 toilet that includes a tub and an open-air bathe.
  • Onguma The Fort serves scrumptious delicacies and the meals are reasonably priced for these friends that aren’t booked on the all-inclusive bundle. Mornings begin with an energizing breakfast, comprised of small continental buffet and an à la carte menu with scorching 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 outside deck with a view of the lit waterhole. The night menu supplies a selection between two choices throughout three programs – altering every day. Throughout my keep, dinners included flame grilled oryx steak with pink wine sauce, pan fried hen breast with honey and mustard sauce, or eland steak with Madagascan peppercorn sauce.
  • The primary focus of the lodge’s actions (that are charged except you’re on the all-inclusive bundle) is recognizing wildlife, both within the Etosha Nationwide Park or within the lodge’s personal Onguma Reserve. Onguma The Fort gives each morning and afternoon safari drives within the Nationwide Park in open automobiles that accommodate a most of 6 friends. Though Etosha is nicely located for self-drive safaris, I nonetheless advocate to go on a guided tour (since Onguma’s nicely skilled rangers will spot rather more animals than you’ll do by yourself). Throughout the Onguma Reserve itself, the place self-driving shouldn’t be permitted, the lodge gives sundowner drives. It’s additionally doable to do morning bush walks, which final about 90 minutes, or to remain for a number of hours at a conceal close to a waterhole for an ‘eye-level’ encounter with huge animals.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
  • The general design of Onguma The Fort is eye catching because it seems to be like a Moroccan fort. Nonetheless not everybody will essentially admire its distinctive North African type and structure, particularly these vacationers on the lookout for a safari lodge that feels authentically Namibian.
  • There are a number of areas the place the lodge is displaying some put on and tear (e.g. the swimming pool and the suites’ personal terraces). Though nothing too unhealthy, these areas might 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 surprising 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 lots of fascinating sightings with out stopping). The guides on the opposite drives had been glorious although. Additionally take into account that a safari inside Etosha shouldn’t be 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 mechanically contains all meals and recreation drives. The property gives two sorts of charges: halfboard (which incorporates breakfast and dinner however excludes lunch and any actions comparable to recreation drives or walks), and all-inclusive (which incorporates all meals, drinks and two actions per day). So, for those who guide the halfboard bundle, you’ll need to pay extras for recreation drives and bush walks. I extremely advocate to guide the all-inclusive bundle 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
  • Total expertise: excellent 8.6/10

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
  • Get monetary savings: learn right here my ideas for getting the most effective deal at a luxurious lodge like Onguma The Fort (and/or obtain many free perks).
  • Journey tip: as defined above, I extremely advocate to guide the all-inclusive bundle (because the halfboard possibility excludes the safari experiences).
  • Learn my ideas for getting ready your journey in time.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

One of the best time to go to Namibia is from July to October, when the temperatures are comfortably heat throughout the day and the possibility of rain is low. That is additionally the most effective time for outside actions and wildlife viewing, making it peak journey season. Between December and March, some days will likely be humid and rain could comply with, typically in localized, afternoon thunderstorms.


HOW TO GET THERE

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


PHOTOS

Under is a number of my pictures of Onguma The Fort. To view extra lodge pictures (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)
ONGUMA THE FORT
BUSH SUITE
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BUSH SUITE
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BUSH SUITE
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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
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HONEYMOON SUITE
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HONEYMOON SUITE
ONGUMA THE FORT AT NIGHT

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