Kulala desert lodge

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.

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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.

Walks: 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.

Ballooning over Sossusvlei: Drift over the dune fields at Sossusvlei and enjoy a champagne breakfast wherever the wind takes you.

Scenic Flights: Light aircraft regularly depart on scenic flights over Sossusvlei and its surroundings.

Agama River Camp

Agama River Camp

Lovely rooms with rooftop terraces or a choice of campsites around 45km north of Sesriem.

Desert Camp - Taleni Africa

Desert Camp - Taleni Africa

Desert Camp is situated only 5 km from the entrance gate to Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon in the Namib Naukluft Park.

Desert Hills Glamping Camp

Desert Hills Glamping Camp

Set on a ridge, Desert Hills Glamping Camp offers amazing views over the valley beneath.

Desert Homestead Lodge

Desert Homestead Lodge

Mid-range accommodation offering some of the best value for money in the area. Horse riding an added activity.

Desert Quiver Camp - Taleni Africa

Desert Quiver Camp - Taleni Africa

Desert Quiver Camp uniquely combines modern self-catering accommodation with comfort and style.

Desert Whisper

Desert Whisper

Have you ever seen the vast horizons of the Namib Desert from a point of pure solitude? A place where the whisper of the wind is the only sound that stirs the desert silence? The Desert Whisper is the ideal opportunity to embrace silence and solitude, to break away from the rush. Located on a small outcrop within the Gondwana Namib Park, this is an intimate experience where guests can enjoy solitude without compromising on luxury. Guests park their car at the base of the outcrop and are transported to the Desert Whisper by their Host. The kitchen is fully stocked with thought-through culinary delights, and access to a selection of wines, gins, whiskeys and rums to tickly any fancy. The afternoon can be spent lounging by the private plunge pool, with its own stocked pool-bar; are swinging in the floating chairs on the Desert Whisper’s terrace. A moment here offers serenity unparalleled, as the sun sinks into the western horizon.

Elegant Desert Lodge

Elegant Desert Lodge

A budget choice, catering for both larger groups and individual travellers.

Greenfire Desert Lodge

Greenfire Desert Lodge

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.

Hoodia Desert Lodge

Hoodia Desert Lodge

Mid-range lodge located only 22km from the Sesriem gate to the Namib-Naukluft Park.

Le Mirage Desert Lodge

Le Mirage Desert Lodge

Moroccan inspired architecture seems strangely out of place in Namibia. The location, spa and general amenities are good.

Little Kulala

Little Kulala

Luxury lodge with guided tour to the dunes using the lodges own private entrance, excellent choice for those looking for a little extra luxury.

Little Sossus Lodge

Little Sossus Lodge

Reasonable value for money - on the main route to Sossusvlei.

Namib Desert Camping2Go

Namib Desert Camping2Go

Take on the great outdoors, without the hassle of setting up a campsite. This is our version of glamorous camping. Show up and relax in style with this new self-catering experience. Tents are fully equipped with kitchen and en suite bathroom, and there is no need to bring any sleeping bags. Spend your evening looking out into the Namib Desert landscape, with the crackling fire to keep you company. For guests who wish to enjoy the best of camping and lodging – full lodge facilities are also available at this camping experience. Enjoy the activities on offer in the oldest Desert in the world.

Namib Desert Lodge

Namib Desert Lodge

The Namib Desert is an immense chronicle of time, offering a direct link to the ancient past, yet very much a living entity. Housed at the foot of 20-million-year-old petrified dunes, Namib Desert Lodge is one of Gondwana’s flagship properties. This property is a true oasis in the desert, with lush gardens offering shade over the lodge. Two glorious pools coax guests to enjoy the warm desert afternoon lounging and sipping icy cocktails. But fret not, adventure is close, with Sossusvlei just a short drive from the lodge. Join a Sossusvlei Excursion or travel at your own pace. Evenings are celebrated with Dune Drives to appreciate the sunset and view from atop the petrified dunes. Namib Desert Lodge provides a clear and uncluttered insight into the region’s past and present.

Namib Dune Star Camp

Namib Dune Star Camp

Face the horizon head on, from the crest of a dune where the stars are so clear they seem just beyond reach. A place where imagination becomes tangible. The Namib Dune Star Camp. A short drive from Namib Desert Lodge, guests are chauffeured to the camp. Dinner is served on a beautiful wooden deck with the horizon stretches into forever and delicious aromas float through the evening air. Each of the freestanding cabins are positioned along the crest of a dune to offer undisturbed views. What takes this experience into a class of its own, is that the bed in each chalet is on wheels. This offers guests the opportunity to wheel their bed onto the cabin’s private terrace where incomparable night-sky views await. Fall asleep to the silent sound of shooting starts and the whisper of the desert air.

Soft Adventure Camp

Soft Adventure Camp

A combination of permanent structures and canvas make this an interesting choice for the budget conscious traveller.

Sossus Dune Lodge

Sossus Dune Lodge

The only lodge inside the borders of the national park. Allows for extra early visits to the Sossusvlei dunes.

Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

Most luxurious lodge in the area, air-conditioned rooms and top of the range guiding.

Sossusvlei Lodge - Taleni Africa

Sossusvlei Lodge - Taleni Africa

Situated adjacent to the oldest Desert in the world, Sossusvlei Lodge is a luxurious retreat in this premier tourist attraction area in Namibia.

The Desert Grace

The Desert Grace

Unique in every way, this property offers a new insight into the rhythms of the mighty Namib. The Desert Grace is the result of a daring architectural feat, with each building constructed entirely from sandbags instead of bricks. Facing the west, this lodge offers unparallel views of the sunset from the comfort of a private plunge pool. Pink Gin and Tonic’s and indulgence is the language in this iconic location. A place where the pulse of the desert comes alive as the setting sun dips into the western horizon. Guests have the opportunity to join a Sossusvlei Excursion, guided and inclusive of a champagne brunch. Or hop on board a Dune Drive in the Gondwana Namib Park, where sunset are celebrated on true Namibian fashion.

The Elegant Desert Eco Camp

The Elegant Desert Eco Camp

Situated a mere 45km from Sesriem, the sky melts into endless plains in a vista so vast it will take your breath away.

Traveller Reviews

These are honest reviews, both good and bad, from our travellers who visited this property.

Hugentobler,michael

9 May 2014

Wonderful the Chalets! You have to sleep at the roof: ask at the desk and they will prepare everything!

Draper, Beverly

22 May 2017

Wonderful stay there. This was last minute, but generally not affordable for the average South African tourist.

Zimmermann, Silke

8 Nov 2017

Great lodge, very warm welcome, great location and food; good solution for drinking water with personalized bottles

Stanberry, Lawrence

4 May 2016

The Lodge is beautiful, marvelous setting, outstanding warm and professional staff, and very comfortable facilities.

Hallam, David

31 Aug 2015

Very good and extremely courteous and friendly staff who knew exactly what the word hospitality means. Food was good.

Meredith, David.c

11 Sep 2010

Very good, perhaps the standard of food could be slightly improved, all other services were friendly and very helpful

Dalle Case, Daniela

22 Dec 2012

a great location with very friendly staff. We enjoyed our stay very much. It was great to be welcome with a tea and fresh towel.

Houston, John

5 May 2014

Wonderful place to stay. The staff where incredible especially their ability to handle `strange` dietry requirements. Will go back.

Skead, Kathy

12 Apr 2013

Enjoyed our stay. The staff were very professional and friendly. The food was excellent and the tented accommodation was very good.

Micklewood, Leanne

10 Apr 2015

Thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Great location and access to Sousouvlei. Accommodation was perfect. Food was delicious. Very relaxing stay.

Falvey, Angela

12 Apr 2018

A great experience, loved this place. Very clean, tidy, friendly and welcoming. Unique place to stay, great guides on the tours. Good food.

Fehrsen, Rod

9 May 2013

An exceptional place. Staff too helpful and need to watch repsect for visitors privacy. Too in your face. Poolside service needs attention. Ranger skilled and knowledgeable

Korte, Eva & Ulrich

14 Jun 2013

Perfect located, very motivated Guide, very friendly staff, Good Food, very nice decoration, very nice Pool, possibility to sleep on the roof-Top, Pool barbecue was nice surprise

Muller, Frederick

31 Aug 2010

Beautiful venue. The accommodation was excellent. Staff was friendly and professional. Food could have been less spicy and more child friendly (maybe consider a separate child menu).

Tessa Van Der Willigen

19 Jul 2017

A beautiful lodge in a spectacular setting, with unfailingly helpful staff. The two-hour e-bike ride in the desert--during which we saw a total of two vehicles--was a highlight of our trip.

Cromarty, Niel

7 Nov 2016

The prcoess and staff were the best we encountered - excellent. Cheerful, friendly, efficient and knowledgable - what moe could we ask. And the early start into the dunes was very worthwhile

Riley, Vicki

13 Sep 2011

Found the desert area fascinating so enjoyed stay. Considering the cost of the lodge we were surprised that on last morning they had run out of food at breakfast they only had eggs left and no alternative was offered.

Marcucci, Carlalberto

20 Sep 2012

45 km away from the Soussvlei entrance. Only go there if you want to do the activities with the lodge beacuse the private entrance is allowed only to guest going with the guide of the lodge. Anyway the lodge is really wonderful, good food and peaceful

Garcia Lorenzana, Camino

15 Oct 2009

The place is incredible, the best sunset and best stars view I've seen in my life. The rooms are very nice, the food great but the best, the treatment of staff. It's like being at home. We are very grateful. The only problem is that we could stay longer

Maree, Leanne

17 May 2017

Absolutely superb. From the warm welcome, the clean rooms, well appointed. Fantastic food. The service staff were friendly, helpful and professional. Our drive to the dunes with Gabe was superb. The staff were obliging with every request and made us feel special and welcome

Pokora, David

24 Nov 2016

Excellent lodge with superb accommodation. Staff were brilliant and meals were very good. Location could not be bettered for easy access to the dunes although it ought to be made clear that the easy access is only if you travel with the lodge and is not available if you want to drive yourself.

Directions

Kulala Desert Lodge is 350 km south of Windhoek and can easily by reached by sedan car. The entrance is situated 17 km south of Sesriem on the road 826 (follow the signpost with arrows on the C19).

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