Ongava Game Reserve is a sanctuary for rhino.

Little Ongava | Etosha National Park Luxury Namibia Safari Lodge

Little Ongava is a luxury Namibian safari lodge in the private Ongava Game Reserve, which adjoins the iconic Etosha National Park. Ongava is a conservation success story – the spectacular game viewing is testimony to the importance attached to saving the wildlife of northern Namibia. Humans also will feel cherished here.

The place

The delay in reaching our bungalow is our own fault – although we blame it on the mesmerising views. Little Ongava is perched on a hill, meaning we can see for miles. We even spot a journey of giraffe walking in single file, the sun catching the dust kicked up by their hooves. Gnarled trees and large boulders frame this scene, and we anticipate spending many happy hours on the deck overlooking the waterhole watching thirsty animals by day and the stars by night. As we linger, a small herd of impala breaks cover and comes to drink. My partner hands me the binoculars and urges me to look – these are not just any old impala, but the black-faced impala that are endemic to this region. They look as though someone has painted a stripe down the centre of their faces.While I have the binoculars, I sweep across the landscape, gazing towards Etosha Pan and allowing my eyes to rest on the features of the landscape. It’s largely flat, but very far from boring.

The delay in reaching our bungalow is our own fault – although we blame it on the mesmerising views. Little Ongava is perched on a hill, meaning we can see for miles. We even spot a journey of giraffe walking in single file, the sun catching the dust kicked up by their hooves.

Gnarled trees and large boulders frame this scene, and we anticipate spending many happy hours on the deck overlooking the waterhole watching thirsty animals by day and the stars by night. As we linger, a small herd of impala breaks cover and comes to drink. My partner hands me the binoculars and urges me to look – these are not just any old impala, but the black-faced impala that are endemic to this region. They look as though someone has painted a stripe down the centre of their faces.

While I have the binoculars, I sweep across the landscape, gazing towards Etosha Pan and allowing my eyes to rest on the features of the landscape. It’s largely flat, but very far from boring.

The room

A raised walkway leads to our comfy suite, one of just three at the luxury Namibian lodge. It’s wonderful to be sharing this pristine wilderness with so few other people, and we both agree that we could get very used to it! Constructed from stone, wood, glass and thatch, each bungalow blends perfectly into its surroundings and enhances the sense of belonging and connection to the earth. As I run my hands over the rough stone walls inside the bungalow, I can detect the unique energy of Namibia.My partner, being a much smoother person, delights in the extravagance of being able to lie on the king-sized bed and still look out over the plains. Stepping outside onto our private deck, we debate where best to spend the hottest part of the day – in the plunge pool or the covered sala. Given that our suite has both aircon and a fireplace, we’ll be comfortable all day, no matter how the desert temperatures fluctuate.

A raised walkway leads to our comfy suite, one of just three at the luxury Namibian lodge. It’s wonderful to be sharing this pristine wilderness with so few other people, and we both agree that we could get very used to it!

Constructed from stone, wood, glass and thatch, each bungalow blends perfectly into its surroundings and enhances the sense of belonging and connection to the earth. As I run my hands over the rough stone walls inside the bungalow, I can detect the unique energy of Namibia.

My partner, being a much smoother person, delights in the extravagance of being able to lie on the king-sized bed and still look out over the plains. Stepping outside onto our private deck, we debate where best to spend the hottest part of the day – in the plunge pool or the covered sala. Given that our suite has both aircon and a fireplace, we’ll be comfortable all day, no matter how the desert temperatures fluctuate.

What sets it apart

Little Ongava delivers a very high level of safari comfort, without ever losing sight of the fact that the true luxury is being able to spend time in an exclusive corner of Africa, and only having to share it with a handful of other people. The sense of seclusion and of being at one with the land is the ultimate welcome, and it’s echoed in the friendly greetings of everyone we meet. We love being able to contribute to a modern conservation success story, and we’re thrilled to learn about the rhino reintroduction project. Of all the safari activities on offer here, tracking white rhino on foot is top our list, but we also delight in waterhole hopping to find wildlife.Having access to both the private Ongava Game Reserve and Etosha National Park is another feather in the cap of Little Ongava. Which kind of feather, we couldn’t tell you – our guide explains that well over 300 bird species can be seen here.

Little Ongava delivers a very high level of safari comfort, without ever losing sight of the fact that the true luxury is being able to spend time in an exclusive corner of Africa, and only having to share it with a handful of other people.

The sense of seclusion and of being at one with the land is the ultimate welcome, and it’s echoed in the friendly greetings of everyone we meet. We love being able to contribute to a modern conservation success story, and we’re thrilled to learn about the rhino reintroduction project. Of all the safari activities on offer here, tracking white rhino on foot is top our list, but we also delight in waterhole hopping to find wildlife.

Having access to both the private Ongava Game Reserve and Etosha National Park is another feather in the cap of Little Ongava. Which kind of feather, we couldn’t tell you – our guide explains that well over 300 bird species can be seen here.

At a glance

  • Intimate safari lodge with hide and waterhole and just three secluded stone, thatched-roof suites, each with private deck, plunge pool and sala.
  • Private concession, maximum of six adults, private vehicle available (additional cost) and in-room dining available.
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, white rhino tracking (seasonal), use of nearby hide, swimming, birdwatching, stargazing and Etosha National Park excursion.
  • Children over six are welcome. Families with children under 12 must book private activities and/or sole use of the lodge. Minimum ages apply for walking safaris (13) and rhino tracking (16).

  • Intimate safari lodge with hide and waterhole and just three secluded stone, thatched-roof suites, each with private deck, plunge pool and sala.
  • Private concession, maximum of six adults, private vehicle available (additional cost) and in-room dining available.
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, white rhino tracking (seasonal), use of nearby hide, swimming, birdwatching, stargazing and Etosha National Park excursion.
  • Children over six are welcome. Families with children under 12 must book private activities and/or sole use of the lodge. Minimum ages apply for walking safaris (13) and rhino tracking (16).

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

Etosha has similar seasons to the rest of Namibia’s interior, which makes the cooler winter months the ideal time to plan your luxury Etosha safari. Watching wildlife at one of the waterholes dotted around the pan is an even more intense experience during these very dry months, as the animals and birds have no other options when it comes to quenching their thirst. Add in crisp mornings, cool evenings and majestic starlit skies, and it’s easy to see why winter is many people’s preferred time to visit Etosha.

Although less popular, Namibia’s summer can also be a rewarding time for a luxury Etosha safari. While the game disperses when more water is available, any rains that fall can cause magical transformations as water pools and green shoots emerge. Luxury Namibian safari lodges – many of which are quieter, and offer discounts during the summer months – have many tactics for helping you adapt to the heat, and air-conditioning and swimming pools help greatly. Even in the hottest months, mornings and evenings are pleasantly cool, fine for safaris.

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