Ongava, meaning 'rhinoceros' in Herero, is a 30,000-hectare private game reserve on the southern boundary of Etosha National Park. The entrance is just metres from the Okaukuejo/Anderson Gate. Ongava Reserve has been restored by Wilderness Safaris and has a high concentration of animals including giraffe, gemsbok (oryx), red hartebeest, eland, wildebeest, zebra and the rare blackfaced impala. Lion, leopard and cheetah seek their prey on Ongava. White rhino were introduced and black rhino migrated onto the reserve. Local 'specials' include the short-toed rockthrush, Hartlaub's francolin, rockrunner, Rüppell's parrot, white-tailed shrike and chesnut weaver. Three small, luxurious lodges offer the full Etosha experience with the addition of night drives and the chance to track game on foot in the reserve, activities that are not allowed or offered within the national park.
Ongava Lodge is an intimate, luxury camp in the reserve, near the top of the foothills of the Ondundozonanandana Range.
There are twelve luxurious chalets built of brick and thatch. Each has an en suite bathroom with bath and shower. The air-conditioned chalets have glass-fronted doors leading onto a private verandah overlooking the bush.
The lounge, bar and dining area is also under thatch. Perched near the top of a hill, it overlooks a floodlit waterhole and provides superb views across the plains. Dining under the stars while watching wildlife at the waterhole is a memorable experience. There is also a swimming pool.
Guests normally spend the morning in Etosha National Park and return to Ongava for lunch. After tea, guests head out onto the private reserve for an evening game drive and return to dine under the clear night skies. For people who seek close encounters with wildlife, Ongava Lodge offers the opportunity to track white rhino on foot (accompanied by an armed guide). Other options include full-day trips into Etosha, walks, and visiting one of the hides on the reserve.