The Fort on Fischer's Pan
In 2007, the Fort at Fisher’s Pan opened on the southern edge of Etosha National Park. This exotic structure—tall, thick walls; massive studded doors; multiple patios; secret staircases—sits on the edge of a large watering hole. The Fort is the latest addition to the Onguma Safari Camps, a collection of lodges in the private 50,000-acre slice of Etosha known as the Onguma Game Reserve. The rustic cottages at the Fort exude casbah-cool: North African chandeliers, tadlakt floors, and brass-tray bedside tables. The bathrooms are housed in octagonal towers with high ceilings, Philippe Starck and Oxo fixtures, and tall freestanding mirrors in distressed frames. In addition to game drives in the private reserve, the Fort takes guests to the main Etosha game park. The toll-plaza entrance and numerous vans and private cars are a bit of a disappointment, but the game is another story. On a four-hour excursion, you can expect to see giraffes, elephants, wildebeests, steenbok, leopard tortoises, monitor lizards, and the occasional lion. Evenings back at the Fort are especially magical, with the deck lit by Moroccan lanterns and sconces. Out at the floodlit watering hole, you can watch zebra assemble at sunset. Onguma, it turns out, means “the place you don’t want to leave.”
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.