The mission statement of this lapa-style lodge was to create a truly intimate and cosy retreat in the wildest of settings. The main lodge is a triumph of Afro-ethnic chic, where masks from Burkina Fasso, woven plates from Ghana, Congolese hangings and Ethiopian trays are set beneath high pole and thatch ceilings. Wraparound openings draw your gaze out to Little Ongava's best feature, a huge expanse of deck where alfresco meals are events never to be forgotten. Track lion, leopard, cheetah and rhino in the Ongava Reserve, then hunker down back at the lodge and luxuriate in your private plunge pool; this place is the proof that Small can be synonymous with Beautiful.
- Expect pampering to perfection at one of Namibia's most intimate and spoiling lodges
- Glass-wall bathrooms, roll-top baths; this is probably Namibia's most luxurious safari set-up
- Dine beneath the stars, head off on night game drives, then return to your private plunge pool
- Wave goodbye to the rest of the world and cosy up with a loved one: every day feels like a honeymoon here
- Abandon yourself to the uniquely beautiful setting where Room with a View takes on a whole new meaning
- Be prepared to dine at one table with your fellow guests unless you prefer to eat alone in the intimacy of your suite
- Only 1 suite has a proper kingsized bed, although the other 2 can be made up as doubles
- A stay at Little Ongava is an expensive treat, though you won't regret pushing that Namibian boat out
Best time to go
The busiest season in Etosha coincides with the northern European summer holidays, that's to say July and August, which means an ideal time to be here is any time between September and November.
From December through to mid February be prepared for high (mid 30sºC) temperatures. During the Rainy Season (January to March), the animals can find water without recourse to the holes along the southern routes through the park so the chances of spotting game are considerably reduced.
Bear in mind that even if daytime temperatures are high throughout most of the year they can rapidly descend at night and the lodge's hilltop position means that it catches the breezes. So remember to pack a fleece.
Our top tips
- Safari Lodge
- 3 rooms
- 8+ year olds only
- Open all year
- Plunge Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car not necessary
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
The 3 suites at Little Ongava - 2 have French twin beds, the third a kingsize double - are reached by way of raised wooden walkways which thread their way between dolomite boulders and ancient acacias. They are vast living spaces, each encompassing a high-ceilinged bedroom, open-plan sitting room and a bathroom whose all-glass walls enhance the sense of stylish space: you can luxuriate in your roll-top tub whilst taking in the vast panorama that stretches out towards Etosha.
The earthy brown and ochre of the suites' colour schemes is evocative of the colours of the Ongava bushveld, whilst a seamless mix of pole, thatch, stone, glass and canvas bears the stamp of one of Namibia's leading interior designers. Each one comes with a full quotient of creature comforts like air-con, a tea and coffee station, safety box and bar fridge.
The same luxurious vibe spills over into the fabulous bathrooms where you'll find twin surface-top porcelain sinks set atop rough-hewn surfaces, an outdoor as well as indoor shower, piles of towels and flannels as well as a generous selection of soaps, gels, creams and shampoos.
However, the suites' top feature has to be their big wooden decks and private drop-rim plunge pools. If you find it difficult to drag yourself away from this delectable spot, don't worry: you can choose to have any of your meals served up right here.
- Safe box
All meals at Little Ongava are moveable feasts. The easy, intimate mood of the lodge is conducive to striking up new friendships with fellow guests, so the chances are you'll be happy to share dinner at the main lodge's single table: whenever the weather is right it will be laid up beneath the stars on the main deck. But should you want to dine a deux, just ask: supper can also be served in the intimacy of your private suite, inside or out.
Arriving guests are asked about their dietary predilections and menus can be adopted accordingly. Dinner is served at 8pm and is the focus of your culinary day at Little Ongava: you may choose to make your way across to the main lodge a little earlier for a sundowner in the company of your fellow guests. Expect a 4-course meal: soup, salad, a choice of white or red meat - much of it game - and a dessert, accompanied by a house red or white served à volonté. If you'd prefer a more special wine there's a small selection of reds, whites and rosés from South Africa. After dinner, coffee and tea are served round a boma fire where talk will almost certainly be of animals, stars and the wonders of travelling in Namibia.
If your game drive is going to take you into Etosha Park, lunch will take the form of a picnic (this ensures you get a maximum amount of time at the Park's extraordinary watering holes), whilst back at the lodge you can expect a light, 2-course meal plus tea and cake at 4pm. Expect a combination of continental and English-style breakfasts before you set out on your game drives, which get on the go from 5.30am onwards.
- All meals included
- Dip into your private plunge pool, lie back on a lounger and gaze out to the vast plains beneath you
- Track white and black rhino and prides of lion through the Ongava reserve in the company of the lodge's expert guides
- Birdwatch from Little Ongava's high deck, from where you have an excellent chance of spotting rockrunners, Rüppell's parrots, short-toed rock thrushes, white-tailed shrike and a host of other feathered friends
- Take a day trip into Etosha Park: the activity around its water holes during the dry season is one of Namibia's great wildlife events
- Head out from the lodge on foot in the company of an armed guide; an unforgettable way to experience the raw beauty of the Namibian bush
- Slump into an armchair with a book from the lodge's library
- Hush up in Ongava's hide: it's yards from the watering hole where you're bound to see buck and birds, and may see a whole lot more besides
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Private guided tours
Little Ongava is a family friendly camp and accepts children aged 8 and above, but you will need to pay extra for a private vehicle for excursions. 8-12 year olds are on a discounted rate and 13+ are charged at full rates
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
Extra Beds Available
Little Ongava is in the Ongave Private Reserve of northern Namibia, close to the Etosha Park. It is 430km from Windhoek, a 4.5 hour drive or a 1.5 hour flight in a light aircraft.
Windhoek (Hosea Kutako) Airport (430km) is the closest international airport. From here (or from Windhoek Eros Domestic Airport) you can take a light aircraft flight to Ongava's private airstrip near the camp, but most guests prefer to drive (see below). Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving Windhoek airport. You can of course also fly or self-drive from any other destination in Namibia.
From the Airport
If you fly to Ongava's airstrip, a member of staff will meet you and transfer you to the camp, free of charge.
Most people prefer to self-drive from Windhoek (4.5 hours) as the camp is situated right outside the Anderson (Okaukuejo) Gate in Etosha Park. A 4WD is probably necessary in the rainy season, otherwise a normal vehicle is fine. If you want to hire a vehicle, see our car rental recommendations; or ask our Tailormade Safari Operator who can give you a wider range of options.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Namibia and getting around
- Ongava's private airstrip 10.0 km
- Windhoek (Hosea Kutako) 430.0 km WDH
- Beach 0.0 km
- Shops 114.0 km
- Restaurant 114.0 km