Sossusvlei is a magical place. Don't get the idea there's anything like a town, village,shops or amenities. It is in fact just about as far as you can drive along a dried up river bed but along the way you pass through a valley of the most enormous sand dunes and they're breathtaking. The entrance to the Namib Naukluft Park at Sesriem is some 30Km away along a mostly tarred road and only at the very last couple of Kms are you on the river bed and you cannot drive this section unless you're in a 4x4.
Kulala Desert Lodge is in. Private reserve, not in the park but it's own gate which cuts 20Km off the journey from the public gate at Sesriem. The lodge provide the vehicle and guide who will be invaluable, to drive you to the dunes. The guides are so knowledgeable about the desert environment and you'll learn that some much life inhabits what at first sight appears to be barren. Our guide Richelle (correct spelling) climbed the dune named Big Daddy with us and showed us the eerie Dead Vlei which is a photographer's paradise. A delightful surprise awaits during every drive.
The main lodge contains a reception area, restaurant, bar, reading room and pool area. The staff are kind, helpful and welcoming. The lodge provides 3 meals a day including breakfast which is served after your very early morning trip to the dunes. There are a selection of decent wines, beer and soft drinks included in the cost but you can opt for a slightly better range of wine by paying extra. I would describe the breakfasts as outstanding, lunch and dinner good. Some evenings the staff entertain with Namibian songs beautifully sung.
You stay in the Kulalas which are nice sized huts for 2 people that have toilet and showers as well as a double bed. You have a small veranda which affords views to distant mountains and dunes. A great advantage, I would say a necessity, is that you can ask for a bed to be made up on the roof and its comfortable as well as an experience sleeping under the stars. Although there is a large ceiling fan in the bedroom, this tends to just move hot air around and as Namibia is hot during the summer the Kulala never cools down even at night. I understand that part of the reason to stay in the lodge is to experience Namibian rural lifestyle. But as there are other 'creature comforts' at the lodge I think guests would be more comfortable if AirCon was installed in the Kulalas.
We were so delighted to have stayed and experienced the magnificent dunes that I can't recommend a visit highly enough.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With vistas directly onto majestic red dunes, Kulala Desert Lodge is the closest location to Sossusvlei, and perhaps the lodge with the most spectacular views. The lodge's accessibility, and its large, friendly lounge and dining area with wrap-around veranda make this oasis in the desert perfect for families and friends. Visits to the dunes and vleis of Sossusvlei are highlights, along with fascinating desert wildlife and the overwhelming magnitude, and sense of adventure on the Kulala Wilderness Reserve. • 23 kulalas (3 family) • nature drives and walks • Sossusvlei excursion (via private gate) • Sesriem visit • sleep out deck • horse riding • hot air balloon ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Kulala Desert Hotel Namib-Naukluft Park