Ongula Village Homestead Lodge is situated in the heart of the Ovamboland, north of Etosha National Park and 40 km north of Ondangwa. Communal tourism in this area is still in its infancy; however, an increasing number of indigenous people are starting to get actively involved. One such example is Hilya Nghiwete, the owner of Ongula Village Homestead Lodge. Built within the boundaries of an active homestead, Ongula is the first lodge in Namibia to introduce visitors to the authentic, traditional lifestyle of the Ovambo (the largest cultural group in the country), its beauty, simplicity and dignity. Find yourself at the heart of a hospitable, rural community, whose humbleness and welcoming attitude to visitors is part of their traditional culture.
The lodge has a green policy, which includes planting trees and growing herbs and organic vegetables. They are solar powered, use gas for cooking and bottles are recycled and re-used to build shades.
Ongula also has a separate campsite, with five sites.
A perfect introduction to the Ovambo culture, with all its traditions, arrangements and ways of life. Learn about traditional pottery making, basket weaving, pounding and the different uses of mahangu (a kind of millet), trees and shrubs. Get an inside view of an active homestead, its set up, corridors and the purpose of every hut. Participate in various cultural performances and be part of the Ongula Family.
The Ongula Village Walk will take you to different places in the community, provide an insight into local homesteads, teach you how to pound mahangu and show you where the local people collect water and fire wood. Explore the wide range of trees, shrubs and their uses in the community. Enjoy an atmospheric sundowner under a marula tree and listen to the voices in the surroundings.
Donkey Cart Tour
Take a ride on a Namibian donkey cart, explore the Ongula community and learn about the traditional life of the Ovambo people. Donkey carts are a common form of transport in Namibia and provide a lot of fun and a once in a lifetime experience.
Visit Nakambale Museum, 35 km away from Ongula. The museum is situated in the former Finnish Mission Station, built in the 1880s. The museum was named after the first Finnish missionary, Martin Rautanen, whose nickname was ‘Nakambale’. He initiated the building of a church and a missionary house, which both still exist. This is not only a place where you can learn about the mission station, but also the culture of the Ovambo people. The tour proceeds to Ondangwa Open Market to visit the local markets where many people sell different traditional foods, drinks, dresses and much more.
Have you always wanted to know how to cook a traditional African dish? We would love to show you the Ovambo way of cooking. Learn about different food products, ingredients and preparation styles. Participate in food cleaning, cutting, spicing and cooking in a local kitchen. And of course, you will enjoy a traditional meal in the homestead!