Situated on over 21 000 hectares of private property bordering the Namib Naukluft Park, Kulala Desert Lodge offers magnificent views of the famous iron red dunes of Sossusvlei, superb mountainous scenery and immense open plains, together with some of the best night skies in the world. The spectacular Namib-Naukluft dunes are just a few hundred meters from the lodge.
Its great value for money makes this charming camp a fantastic place to unwind in the presence of some of Africa’s most awe inspiring scenery, and to uncover some of the secrets of a remote part of the world that very few people have had the privilege to explore.
Sossusvlei is a salt and clay pan in the Namib-Naukluft National Park in the southern part of the Namib Desert. It is the drainage basin of the Tsauchab River and is surrounded by towering red dunes. The name Sossusvlei is of mixed origin, and roughly translated means "dead-end marsh". The highest and more stable dunes are partially covered with vegetation, and watered by a number of ephemeral rivers that seasonally flood the pans.
When dry, these pans look almost chalk white in colour, due to the high salt concentration in the ground. Petrified trees dot the landscape in areas that used to have underground rivers, lending a surreal feeling to the area.
Fauna in the Sossusvlei area is surprisingly rich. It consists mostly of small animals that can survive on little water, like insects, reptiles and rodents, but larger animals like jackal, ostrich, springbok and oryx are also found here. During the flood season, migrant birds appear along the marshes and rivers.
Much of the Namib fauna is endemic and highly adapted to the specific features of the unforgiving desert. Most notably, fog beetles such as the Namib Desert Beetle have developed a fascinating technique for collecting water from early morning fogs through tiny bumps in their back!
Kulala Desert Lodge is made up of 23 thatched and canvas "kulalas" each with en-suite bathrooms and verandas. Each unit is raised on a wooden platform to catch the refreshing breeze on hot summer days. Each suite also has a deck on the flat rooftop for sleep-outs under the stars. The main area of Kulala Desert Lodge includes a shady lounge, bar, plunge pool and indoor dining area, with a well-designed wrap-around veranda overlooking the riverbed – a perfect location from which to photograph the desert landscape.
The day’s activities usually revolve around early morning guided drives to the dunes near Sossusvlei through the private gate on the Tsauchab River, where guests can explore the red sand sea of the Namib Desert, the enormous clay pan of Sossusvlei and ‘Big Daddy’ - one the largest dunes in the area, rising over 380 meters above the valley floor. ‘Dune 45’ is probably one of the most photographed sand dunes in the world.
Nature drives and walks on the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve offer an exclusive way for guests to enjoy the wonders of the desert. Despite the lack of vegetation and low rainfall, a surprisingly diverse assortment of animals make their home around Kulala Desert Lodge - surviving in part due to the coastal fog that steals up off the sea each morning and reaches up to 50km inland.
There are also a wide variety of more adventurous activities on offer, such as a hot air balloon ride – a truly breath taking experience – or quad biking through the reserve. Horseback safaris can be arranged, and it is a great way to see the area, with the breeze in your face, and the overwhelming silence of the desert in your ears.
Kulala is just as magnificent by night as it is by day. The star gazing here is truly incredible!
Kulala is designed as a family friendly adventure camp, and there is plenty to do and see for the whole family.