I was going to start this blog post by telling you about how loud the neighbours’ coitus was during our stay at Onkoshi Resort…however, I’d rather focus on how spectacular the views are across the salt pan and retain that as my core memory!
Allow that to be a cautionary intro into how close thin the chalet canvas tents are when your location is dead quiet at night.
Finding Onkoshi Camp
Because there’s no internet reception within Etosha National Park, the road from Okaukuejo to Onkoshi leaves Google maps defunct and the exact distance and arrival times a small mystery.
Passing a lone bull, followed by a large group of elephants; we really felt deep in the wilderness en route. While we had concerns about finding the venue, we also felt relaxed and enjoyed taking in the animals on our way through.
Arriving along the harsh roads (not possible without a high clearance vehicle), we wound our way through uncertain gravel roads and bushy lanes to arrive in the heat of the day at Onkoshi.
Respite in Paradise
Warmly welcomed by their reception staff, we moved along the stilted walkways to our room on the far right of the camp.
Canvassed walled and wooden floored chalets, open up with sliding doors to expose the glorious etosha salt pan.
A soft, sage green at this time of year; smoky mirages across the pan, tiny black specks of ostriches in the far distance; Onkoshi is truly unlike any place on earth!
Tented Luxury in Onkoshi
The tiny gaps in the wooden floors makes me wonder if bugs ever enter the room from underneath the stilted cabins.
The wood framed doors and wooden furniture blend seamlessly into the surroundings and the room is immediately cooler once we open a few windows.
Onkoshi was one of the first venues to offer a bath! An absolutely treat for those of us who love to bath at the end of each day.
Both indoor and outdoor showers are available for those who want to cool down and clean up, and the outside deck allows to easy views across the incredible salt pan.
Central Dining Point
Because of the remote location, Onkoshi permanently runs on generators. This means that there is no air-conditioning (but they do have large fans), or refrigeration in the rooms.
An ice bucket is provided – so we opened a few windows and requested some ice before heading down the pool to relax.
The dining hall is an instrumental part of the camp, offering a bar, changing room and lounge area before entering the large deck with vast views across the pan.
Never in my life did I think I would find a pool colder than Cape Town, but boy did I find one! And did it matter? Not today. In the scorching Namibian heat, relief was in cold supply at the Onkoshi reception pool and bar. Paired with an ice cold Savannah, this is what idyllic African holidays are all about!
Being the only guest, we were sad to hear a family arrive, but also pleased as clearly guests care to visit the camp’s restaurant. And it was no bother to us as we were only there to lounge around and enjoy the African sunshine.
After our swim, we moved back to our chalet were we were thrilled to indulge in a lovely bath! Two weeks of showers, a bath never goes amiss for those of us needing to shave our legs and wallow about a bit – one of my favourite things to do.
As the light moved from bright white to golden orange, we lounged the day away with the fan on. Cooling off as we watched the sun pass overhead. The colours, in true Etosha form, were unlike anything we’d ever experiences and truly breathtaking.
Iridescence of Onkoshi at Night
When we left our chalet for dinner, the colours were absolutely incredible. These images are not photoshopped, the sky truly looked this phenomenal!
Dinner at Onkoshi
There’s also quite a lot of online chatter about the quality of the food in Etosha. I personally found it perfectly adequate and, in fact, the cooking staff at Onkoshi (I believe) took pride in their work and wanted to deliver something acceptable.
As a foodie, I think it’s always important to remember context. Onkoshi is in a very hot, remote location which means access to fresh fruits and vegetables will be more of a challenge. What was served was perfectly adequate and I enjoyed my simple, but delicious meal.
One of a Kind Experience
The stillness of Onkoshi was surreal. One of the quietest places on earth, we could hear every rabbit and every buck pass by. No elephants and no lions (they do come past), but the majesty of the setting sun evolving into deep, deep red, was truly spectacular.
Al-John felt we could have stayed at Onkoshi for two nights, and I also understand why (because of the colours), but he’s a fussy eater and also often has severe allergic reactions.
So, for me, I was happy to only stay in a remote location for one night – but if you’re in a prime health you could easily stay for two (or more!). I think visiting with a group of friends could also be really fun as you can hang in the lounge and bar area, swim and relax.
Onkoshi is all about being present, tuning into the sounds, taking in the colours…doing nothing is doing something! We loved our stay and it will definitely go down as one of the most unique experiences of our travels to date.