Kulala Desert Lodge

Sossusvlei, Namibia

On Request

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Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge is located within the arid Namib Desert and is closest to the iconic dunes of the Sossusvlei. The 'vlei' (meaning ‘the gathering place of water') on rare, heavy rainfall fills itself and becomes a spectacular turquoise lake reflecting the surrounding dunes.

UNLEASH IT: WITH A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE THIS MIRACULOUS TRANSFORMATION.
 

We Love
  • When operations were first set up in 1996 close to the spectacular Sossusvlei, the area was used for subsistence goat farming. Removal programme of stock fences and exotic species resulted in wildlife returning to the area. The area was extended to what is now the Kulala Wilderness Reserve.
  • A waterhole in front of the main building gives the opportunity to see the wildlife.
  • The Camp now supports the Small Carnivore Research Project to study and assess the rehabilitation of this area.
Need to Know
  • Children of all ages are accommodated and partake in activities with all other guests.
  • The minimum age for walking activities is 13 years and for quad biking is 16 years.
  • The Camp has 220v power available in each kulala 24 hours a day.

The Review

Hidden at the foot of the majestic Sossusvlei dunes, a private entrance to Namib Naukluft Park makes Kulala Desert Lodge the closest location to Sossusvlei, while magnificent views of its famous red dunes, mountainous scenery and vast open plains make it the most spectacular.

Your Stay
The camp comprises 23 thatched and canvas “kulalas” with en-suite bathrooms and verandas. Each unit is built on a wooden platform to catch the cooling breezes and has a deck on the flat rooftop where bedrolls are placed for guests to sleep under the stars.

The main area, with northern African-inspired décor, has a lounge, dining area, plunge pool, and wrap-around veranda overlooking a waterhole - a perfect location to view and photograph the desert vista. The overall setting is a true delight to the senses, bringing together the rhythm of Namibia, wholesome meals and intimacy. A waterhole in front of camp attracts a number of local wildlife (such as gemsbok, springbok, ostrich and jackal) and provides a perfect location to view and photograph the desert scenery.

Wildlife
Sossusvlei is situated within the Namib Desert, the oldest desert in the world. Its huge red dunes and flat valley floors make up the archetypical view of the Namib that is world famous. From Kulala Desert Lodge guests can witness the wonders of this desert-adapted wildlife such as ostrich, springbok and gemsbok as the eke out an existence. Larger predators include spotted hyaena and the occasional brown hyaena, a mystical shaggy-coated scavenger.

Smaller creatures such as bat-eared fox, black-backed jackal, porcupine, Cape fox and aardwolf can be seen at night in the cool desert air. One bird, the aptly named Dune Lark, has its entire global distribution limited to the area, so dependent is it on the area's characteristic sands.

Experience
Varied activities aim at acquainting guests with the splendour, solitude and stark beauty of the Namib Desert, with excursions to Sossusvlei, and nature drives and walks providing awe-inspiring views of desert-adapted wildlife and plants. A balloon safari at extra cost offers a unique experience soaring silently above the desert, while quad biking takes place at one of the nearby camps.

Getting There

Kulala Desert Lodge is located 350 km south of Windhoek in the Kulala Wilderness Reserve; easily reached by sedan car, although 4x4 preferable. Entrance is situated 19km south of Sesriem on road D826 (follow the signpost with arrows on C19). It can be reached by air from Swakopmund in 1 hour 30 minutes and from Windhoek in 1 hour 15 minutes. Self drive from Windhoek (350km) is possible in approx. 5 hours and from Swakopmund (380km) in about 6 hours.

 
Kulala Desert Lodge Sossusvlei, Namibia

Kulala Desert Camp

Rating                     Adventure Camp
Type                       Safari Lodge
Friendly                   Children
No of rooms              23
Max Occupants          52
Interests                   Nature, Hiking, Star Gazing
Location                   Kulala Wilderness Reserve


Standard Tents
There are 20 standard kulalas which are made up of 17 twin bedded kulalas and three double bedded kulalas. There are four guide units which are much smaller than the standard units.

Family Tents
There are three family kulalas – two family units being two separate rooms with separate entrances and en-suite bathrooms and a connecting deck. The remaining family kulala is a standard room with an extra bed and shared bathroom.

Leader/Guide Tents
There are four guide units (not the same standard as a guest room)

Accommodation details
Each kulala is specially adapted to the unique desert conditions, built on a platform to ensure maximum airflow; an extended thatch roof provides a cool respite from the sun. Each unit have en-suite bathroom with shower, flush toilet and hand basin. Soaps, shampoos, body lotion, torch and insect repellents are supplied. Rooms have ceiling fan and a veranda with view of the dunes. A private rooftop area on top of the bathroom gives guests the opportunity of spending a night under the magnificent night sky, for which bedrolls are available any time.

Lodge Description
The thatch-roofed main area comprising of reception, lounge, bar, dining room and veranda are built entirely of clay bricks. There is a central swimming pool with shaded area and a stargazing deck.

Electricity & Water
Electricity is provided by 220v power available in each kulala 24 hours a day. Video battery recharging facilities available; please bring spare battery and adaptors. Drinking water is supplied


Activities

Additional Cost  - if not booked on the fully Inclusive rate
Nature drives into the desert in 2 x 8-seater and 3 x 10-seater closed vehicles (of which both types of vehicles have 7 “window” seats)
Walking trails, including the Tsauchab River Trail.
Visit to Sossusvlei and Sesriem – only guided visits take advantage of the private gate entrance.
The scenic sundowner excursion is one of the best scenic safaris in the Namib.

Extra Cost – even if booked on fully inclusive rate
Balloon safaris (closed 15 January to 15 February).
Horse riding safari, Quad biking and Winery visit.

Suggested Activity Schedule
Day 1 – Arrival
Arrival and settle down. Depart on afternoon activity to include Sesriem / guided walking trail followed by a sundowner. Dinner at the lodge

Day 2
Morning wakeup call at 0530h. Light breakfast and then depart on Sossusvlei excursion. Full buffet brunch is served at one of the picnic sites in the National Park on guided trips. Self-drive guests can purchase lunch packs at the camp at additional cost. Return to lodge.

Depart on afternoon activity to include Sesriem / guided walking trail followed by a sundowner.
Dinner at the lodge

Day 3 – Departure
Morning wakeup call at 0500h (if ballooning). Light breakfast before departure for ballooning or alternative wake up and hot breakfast.

Seasons
    Low Season: 11 January 2013 to 14 June 2013
    Shoulder Season: 01 November 2013 to 19 December 2013 & 20 December 2013 to
    10 January 2014
    High Season: 15 June 2013 to 31 October 2013


Policies

Child Policy
    Children of all ages are accommodated and partake in activities with all other guests.
    Children up to 16 years must share with an adult/s in the same room.
    The minimum age for walking activities is 13 years and for quad biking it is 16 years.

Other Policies
    Local drinks and house-wines are included if guests are booked on the fully inclusive rate. Guests
    booked on a dinner, bed and breakfast pay for all drinks directly.
    Daily laundry service is included in the nightly tariff if on a Fully Inclusive basis; otherwise an extra cost applies.
    Payment can be affected by: Cash or Visa / MasterCard

Taxes and fees
    All taxes and fees imposed by the property, unless otherwise noted, will be added at the time of purchase on AwimAway.
    Guests are responsible for all incidental charges during their stay (e.g., room service, minibar, in-room movies, etc).
    A 10 percent per night service charge will be collected at the AwimAway checkout.

Additional Services
    Rates quoted for additional fees and services are subject to change due to currency conversion.
    Please indicate any requests for additional services to include, airport transfers or city tours in the ‘Tell us more’ field on the contact us page or call AwimAway.com on 0208 350 6199.

Check in & Check out
    Check in:          2:00 PM
    Check out:      12:00 PM
    Minimum stay:     1 night

 

Kulala Wilderness Reserve

Kulala Wilderness Reserve, a 40,000-hectare tract of land near the spectacular sights of Sossusvlei, borders the expansive Namib Naukluft Park. Today, after ten years of habitat rehabilitation, Kulala is once again home to of all forms of desert wildlife and provides convenient access to the splendour of the towering red dunes of the Namib. The Sossusvlei dunes rise dramatically more than 30o metres above the surrounding plains, and are surrounded by rugged, ancient volcanic mountains and open plains. Larger desert-adapted wildlife such as ostrich, springbok and gemsbok flourish here with carnivores such as bat-eared fox, Cape fox, brown hyaena and black-backed jackal often seen. Emphasis is placed on desert fauna, spectacular scenery and the incredible night sky. Unique birds include Dune Lark, Burchell's Courser, Ludwig's Bustard and Stark's Lark.

Sossusvlei
World-famous Sossusvlei is an enormous clay pan, flanked by the famous sand dunes that stand out starkly against the blue sky and flush red in the early morning sun. These dunes have developed over millions of years, the wind continuously transforming the contours of this red sand sea.

Sossusvlei translates into 'the gathering place of water' in the local Nama language, and, odd as it may seem, in good years seasonal rains in the foothills of the Naukluft and Tsaris Mountains succeed in reaching the vleis. This creates temporary lakes that mirror the sand dunes surrounding them and Kulala Desert Lodge offers guests the unique opportunity to experience this miraculous transformation.

Gratuity Schedule
The following is the suggested gratuity schedule only and is subject to service standards:
Guides – £6.00 per person per day
General Camp Staff – £3.00 per person per day
Specialist Guides (if applicable) – £6.00 per person per day


When to go

The summer months between November and April bring rain and turn the country green, occasionally bringing floods to the desert. But December can be rewarding for game viewing in Etosha and bird watching in Caprivi Strip (Zambezi Region) though danger from Malaria persists. The region is best avoided in the peak wet months of January and February.

The winter months between May to October are the best for seeing the dramatic sand dunes at Sossusvlei and game viewing - especially in Etosha National Park. The skies are clear, the risk of malaria is at its lowest, and animals are increasingly concentrated around water the waterholes as the dry season wears on. The months of June and July can have freezing night time temperatures while September and October can be extremely hot.

Visa
All visitors require a passport for entry into Namibia, which must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended stay in the county, and have sufficient pages for entry and exit stamps. All visitors must also have a valid return ticket. You require a passport valid for the next 6 months with two completed visa application forms, two passport photographs and a copy of airline tickets/itinerary.

Health
You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while travelling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel. Check with your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need.


Getting There

Kulala Desert Lodge is located 350 km south of Windhoek in the Kulala Wilderness Reserve; easily reached by sedan car, although 4x4 preferable. Entrance is situated 19km south of Sesriem on road D826 (follow the signpost with arrows on C19). It can be reached by air from Swakopmund in 1 hour 30 minutes and from Windhoek in 1 hour 15 minutes. Self drive from Windhoek (350km) is possible in approx. 5 hours and from Swakopmund (380km) in about 6 hours.

The Geluk Airstrip has a gravel surface and is about 30 minutes from camp.
GPS co-ordinates are:  S 24.40.6, E 015.47.3