If you want a safari packed with sensational close-up game viewing, Okaukuejo Rest Camp delivers every time. The first rest camp to open in Etosha National Park, Okaukuejo is built around a well-established waterhole which attracts an incredible density and diversity of big game – it’s not uncommon to have black rhino, elephant and lion all gathered at the water at the same time!
One of three rest camps in the national park, Okaukejo is set near the western end of Etosha Pan. The camp has the feel of a small village with close on 100 thatched chalets and plenty of camping too.
And while this is not the place to come for an intimate luxury lodge experience – for that you need to look outside the park borders – the recently refurbished chalets at Okaukejo are clean and cosy with modern furnishings and a welcoming feel.
For front-row seats choose one of the five Premiere Waterhole Chalets which are double-story and have a balcony overlooking the waterhole and its never-ending procession of wildlife.
Other accommodation options include the 30 Waterhole Chalets, double rooms that are close to – but not in view of – the waterhole, and the 25 Bush Chalets which while set a bit further back are slightly bigger with an outside braai and comfortable lounge area.
The central feature at Okaukuejo Camp is a circular water tower where you can get up high and take in the views across the vast plains stretching to shimmering Etosha Pan. There are two large swimming pools for cooling down in the heat of the day, a buffet-style restaurant, a shop selling basic food items and even a petrol station too.
Explore Etosha under your own steam, the park has a good network of well-marked roads, or settle in at camp and wait for the wildlife to come to you. The waterhole is spotlit at night so you can even wander down in the evening with a couple of drinks, take a seat on one of the wooden benches, and watch the drama unfold when the nocturnal predators emerge.