Onguma: The Fort

Intimate, chic, wilderness

Onguma Private Reserve, Namibia

264 67 229 135

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At a Glance

This dramatic lodge on the edge of the Etosha National Park offers some of the best game viewing in the country.

Indagare Loves

  • The Moroccan design details
  • The sunset views over the watering hole
  • The chance to see rhinoceros and 29 other mammal species in Etosha National Park


On the eastern edge of the Etosha National Park, one of the oldest and largest parks in Africa, Onguma, the Fort is a dramatic lodge with a Moroccan design and twelve lovely suites. Namibia is not known for its wildlife viewing in the way that neighboring Botswana is, however the Onguma Reserve (almost 100,000 acres) and Etosha park are home to elephant, leopard, lion, cheetah and quite a large population of rhino as well as many antelope species including oryx and black-faced impala. The main fort, which was sited to frame sunset views, resembles a Moroccan Kasbah and overlooks a waterhole and Fischer’s Pan, so whether you are sitting by the pool area, in the main lounge or dining room, you face a serene landscape with an active animal parade. Moroccan décor details like carved wooden doors, brass lanterns and leather poufs mix with tribal baskets and wooden masks to create a magical atmosphere. Only one guest room, the Sultan Suite is located in the main building; the other twelve suites occupy mini fort buildings scattered across the property. Each features a large viewing deck to continue the outside merging with inside as do design elements like raw stone fireplaces. While the western edge of Etosha is known for a larger concentration of game, Onguma's area has many fewer lodges and less traffic within the park so offers a more exclusive experience. Onguma means “the place you never want to leave”, and its owner worked with a renowned South African architect to fashion a Kasbah that would celebrate its prime spot in this wilderness area but also give guests a sense of African indulgence. “I wanted the building to emerge from the earth,” he has explained, “so the walls are raw and earthy and stone was cut on site during construction.” Some of the local Haikum bushmen who helped build the lodge still work here. Among the guest activities are twice daily game drives into Etosha National Park as well as night drives on the reserve and interpretive bush walks on the 34,000-hectare Onguma reserve. Etosha boasts more than 30 different mammal species, including rhinos, and 300 different bird species. The ideal length of stay is two nights to include morning and evening game drives and an interpretive bush walk.

Who Should Stay

Anyone who is interested in game viewing while in Namibia.

Written by Melissa Biggs Bradley

What's Nearby

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