Located within the 34,000-hectare private Onguma Nature Reserve on the border of Etosha National Park in northern Namibia, Camp Kala is an exclusive property overlooking one of the area’s busiest waterholes, which makes for an outstanding game-watching spectacle.
Designed by Nick Plewman Architects, Camp Kala is a thatched camp elevated on wooden platforms with an impressive conical, mud-plastered central tower resembling a termite mound. The focal point of camp is the waterhole, with its open-plan dining and bar areas designed to draw guests’ attention to the view. Interiors are characterised by earthy textures and neutral colours offset by darker shades and polished bronze, which combine to create a refined and luxurious space. Guests rave about the camp’s all-day pantry for sneaky treats and the interactive kitchen in the dining area. Undoubtedly the ground-level photographic hide is an absolute winner.
Revelling in its exclusivity, there are only four guest suites at Camp Kala. Designed to be almost self-contained, the open-plan suites are characterised by their expansive glass doors opening onto a deck fronting the waterhole with a wood-fired hot tub, outdoor shower and plunge pool. Outside, the walkway leads to a private, shaded sala with a king-size day bed. Each room has sumptuous twin or king-sized beds, a cooling system overhead, and a living area with a fully stocked personal bar. The bathroom includes double vanities, a bathtub and a generous shower. To top it all off, each suite is appointed its own butler, helping to arrange activities, meals and anything else guests need. The lodge can be booked exclusively for eight to twelve guests, or the suites can be booked individually.
Food & service
Thoughtful and considered, the ritual of dining is taken very seriously at Camp Kala and meals are often a multi-course affair set around the excitement of the open interactive kitchen. Expect an impressive daily spread of sunrise coffee and brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, sundowners, and four-course dinners. Guests can enjoy meals al fresco overlooking the waterhole or in the privacy of their guest suite. Overall, the service is excellent, completely attentive yet unobtrusive.
Central to a stay at Camp Kala are the twice-daily game drives, and time spent out in the bush with a knowledgeable Namibian guide. Saying this, guests often have the wildlife experience of their lives just hanging out by the camp’s busy waterhole. An activity unique to Kala is the option to spend a night out under the stars on the ‘Dream Cruiser’, a custom-converted Land Cruiser outfitted with a bathroom and rooftop bedroom.