Kulala Desert Lodge
Lodges near Sossusvlei - Namibia
Kulala Desert Lodge is situated on the 210 km² private Kulala Wilderness Reserve, south of Sesriem. It is the only lodge in the Sossusvlei area that has such a close and spectacular view over the Namib sand sea. The setting and proximity to the red desert dunes, literally only a few steps away, make this lodge an ideal desert destination.
Kulala Lodge also offers guided tours through it's own private entrance into the Namib Naukluft Park, which leads to the popular dunes of Sossusvlei and the Sesriem Canyon. This makes the sunrise trip less arduous, and gives guests more time to enjoy the solitude and beauty of the occasion.
Sossusvlei means 'the gathering place of water' in the local Nama language. In good years, seasonal rains in the foothills of the Naukluft and Tsaris Mountains, succeed in reaching the vleis, creating temporary lakes that mirror the sand dunes surrounding them. It is a clay pan - set amid huge piles of sand known as star dunes and is fed by the ephemeral Tsauchab River. The high, red sand dunes which surround Sossusvlei form part of the sand sea, which stretches from just north of Luderitz to the Kuiseb River. Some of these dunes reach as high as 220m.
Vegetation, such as the camelthorn tree, is watered by infrequent floods of the Tsauchab River, which slowly soak into the underlying clay. Sossusvlei is one of 4 clay pans in the area, the others being The Dead Vlei, Hidden Vlei and Nara Vlei.
The Kulala Lodge main area, with North African inspired décor, has been built using a combination of clay and thatch. It has a lounge, bar, dining area, plunge pool, and wrap-around veranda overlooking the waterhole. This feature attracts a number of local wildlife, (such as gemsbok, springbok, ostrich and jackal.)
For guests participating in the early morning activities, (Sossusvlei trip or the hot-air ballooning), tea, coffee and rusks are served at the lodge before departing. The remaining guests can tuck into a breakfast buffet, laid out in the lodge's dining area. (Freshly baked scones, hard boiled eggs, cold meats, cheeses,cereals, yogurts, or a cooked breakfast made to order.) When on the morning 4WD excursion to Sossusvlei, brunch is served at a fully laid table, under a camelthorn tree. A buffet selection of cold dishes is offered for travelers requiring lunch at the lodge. Dinner is a 3-course affair served either outside on the verandah by candle light, or indoors, depending on the time of the year.
Accommodation at Kulala Desert Lodge is in one of 15 thatched/canvas chalets or Kulalas. (Kulala in 'Oshiwambo' means 'to sleep'.) They all have en-suite bathrooms and showers. Each unit has been constructed on wooden platforms to provide maximum airflow. They also have a flat rooftop and guests can move upstairs, to 'sleep under the stars.'
Their sunrise excursion into the Sossusvlei dunes, leaves a few minutes before sunrise, breakfast is served afterwards at the dunes. There are also morning, afternoon and night drives, and guided walks on the reserve.
Although the area around Kulala Desert Lodge is not rich in terms of game, springbok, gemsbok (Oryx) and ostrich, all manage to survive in this harsh climate. On spotlit night drives, guests will often encounter small mammals such as aardwolf, bat-eared fox, hares and occasionally spotted-hyenas.
- Sossusvlei excursions
- The guided early morning drive to the dunes of Sossusvlei is the main activity. Access is through a private gate on the Tsauchab River
- Guided nature drives
- A choice of morning or afternoon game drives around the immediate region offer the chance to view some of the desert-dwelling flora and fauna around the Kulula Wilderness Reserve.
- Both guided and unguided walks around the reserve can be organized. The views are stunning with the opportunity to come across some endemic plant species, some restricted to the desert. Mammals, birds and insects manage to survive here as well.
- Quad biking
- Drive slowly around specific routes in the desert. A front and rear guide will ensure you don't get lost, drive too quickly and will assist you in your desert exploration.
- Sundowner trips
- Afternoon nature drives, walk and quad biking activities can be extended to watch the sunset in specific Kulula sundowner vantage points.
Drift over the dune fields at Sossusvlei and enjoy a champagne breakfast wherever the wind takes you
light aircraft regularly depart on scenic flights over Sossusvlei and its surroundings
Lovely rooms with rooftop terraces or a choice of campsites around 45km north of Sesriem
Budget choice, catering for both larger groups and individual travellers
Competitively priced self catering lodge - very close to the entrance to the Namib Naukluft Park
Mid-range accommodation offering some of the best value for money in the area. Horse riding an added activity
A new addition on the same property as the Desert Homestead. Hiking & riding are popular activities here
Well equipped rooms with self catering kitchens only 5 kilometers from the entrance gate to Sossusvlei. Kitchen utensils can be rented on site
These rustic wooden cabins can only be reached as part of a guided walking trail originating at Namib Desert Lodge. perfect for those wanting to explore the desert on foot
A small intimate lodge in an amazing part of the Namib Desert. While the lodge can be used as a base from which to visit the dunes at Sossusvlei, the tranquil and beautiful environment make it a destination in it's own right
Mid range lodge located only 22km from the Sesriem gate to the Namib-Naukluft Park
Up-market lodge with private entrance to the dunes at Sossusvlei
Moroccan inspired architecture seems strangely out of place in Namibia. The location, spa and general amenities are good.
Luxury lodge with guided tour to the dunes using the lodges own private entrance, excellent choice for those looking for a little extra luxury
Reasonable value for money - on the main route to Sossusvlei
A new hotel with raised rooms built on wooden platforms 40km from Sesriem
Budget choice, fairly far from the dunes and next to the fossil dune cliffs
Good solid choice, on a beautiful property some distance from the park entrance
This campsite offer the closest place to stay to the dunes - camping only
A combination of permanent structures and canvas make this an interesting choice for the budget conscious traveller
The only lodge inside the borders of the national park. Allows for extra early visits to the Sossusvlei dunes
Most luxurious lodge in the area, air-conditioned rooms and top of the range guiding
Large establishment right next to the Sesriem Campsite, best for keeping driving to a minimum
A friendly owner run lodge offering excellent value for money. Rooms have private veranda's offering views of sunsets over the Namib Desert dunes & spot-lit waterhole.
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