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Onguma Bush Camp, Namibia

Onguma Bush Camp

Onguma Bush Camp is good for visitors who want to stay at a low-key camp close to the eastern side of Etosha National Park, where guests can take part in guided and self-drive trips in both areas. The camp’s 18 varied rooms include family lofts, traditional African rondavels and options overlooking the pool and waterhole. The camp is located on the private Onguma Reserve, a reserve that boasts savannah, bushveld and dry pan. While small, the reserve has 30 different animal species. Plains game roam freely and predators, although not easy to spot, are resident in the area. Three of the Big Five can be spotted with lion, leopard and rhino.

Our rating: Medium

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Rooms

The Bush Camp has 18 basic but comfortable air-conditioned rooms decorated in a classic safari style, set on well-tended grounds. Three of these are family units with two twin bedrooms and a shared bathroom, and there are three family loft rooms ideal for older children. Guests can request rooms with waterhole or pool views, and the camp also boasts three traditional African rondavel rooms. The camp is mostly fenced in, though there are three adults-only deluxe rooms outside of the fences.

Location

Onguma Bush Camp is located just 9 km (5.5 miles) away from the Von Lindequist Gate on the eastern side of the park. The spot is convenient for guests to explore the Onguma Game Reserve and Etosha National Park, both within easy driving distance.

Food and drink

Though not the main lure of the camp, the food is varied and tasty, and guests can opt for three meals a day. Breakfast consists of a cold buffet, with hot cooked options while a lighter lunch of salads and sandwiches will be offered during downtime in the afternoons. On return from the later game drives, dinner is usually a set menu of three courses, changing each evening. The camp’s lounge and dining areas afford views of the waterhole, where guests can enjoy sundowners at the same time as the animals.

Families

Onguma Bush Camp has a well-stocked games area, and much of the camp is fenced for added safety of younger guests. It’s worth noting that children under 10 years are not permitted on game drives, and older children may require private vehicles, but children are welcome to stay at the camp.

Facilities and activities

The thatched communal area provides a relaxing atmosphere in the evenings and the raised bar and dining area has great views of the waterhole. During the day, you can unwind at the pool or take a siesta in the shade. Activities on offer include morning or afternoon game drives into Etosha as well night drives on the reserve. Guests can also self-drive into the Etosha National Park.

In addition to plains game, and the predators that come with them, you can see more than 300 bird species at Onguma — the reserve boasts the biggest breeding colony of white-backed vultures in Namibia. During the summer months, Onguma becomes a bird-watchers paradise with thousands of species migrating to wetlands created by the seasonal rains.

Environmental and social responsibility

Onguma became part of an innovative custodianship project relating to the black rhino. Six black rhinos were darted in Etosha National park and brought to the reserve where they are protected and monitored. The first rhino calf was born at Onguma in October 2002.

Our opinion

A great location for either guided or self-drive trips into the Etosha National Park or the Onguma Reserve. We like Onguma for its relaxed, communal vibe, and the fact that guests are just as likely spot wildlife from their window as they are on a drive.

Etosha National Park tour ideas

Nearby accommodation

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Places & hotels on the map

    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

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    • Etosha Safari Lodge, Etosha National Park

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    • Mushara Bush Camp, Etosha National Park

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    • Mushara Lodge, Etosha National Park

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    • Mushara Outpost, Mushara Reserve, eastern Etosha

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    • Okaukuejo Rest Camp, Etosha National Park

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    • Ongava Lodge, Ongava Reserve, southern Etosha

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    • Onguma Tented Camp, Etosha National Park

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    • Onguma Treetop Camp, Etosha National Park

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