There’s something magic about becoming part of a world-famous scene.
And here in the Namib Desert that scene is a beautifully curved red sand dune, with the sharply defined ridge where sunlight meets shadow.
Now imagine climbing up along the knife-edge of that ridge – whether it’s the popular Dune 45 (so-called because of its 45-degree angle), Big Mama, or the ultimate challenge of Big Daddy where you climb up the steepest part on your hands and knees.
“But what happens if we fall off one side or the other?” Our guide from Little Kulala, Stewart, replied: “You can’t fall down the dune, you would simply sink into the sand as you slowly slide down.”
So we started to climb, placing one foot ahead of the other with a steady rhythm, “with an attitude that you don’t really care whether you reach the top or not,” said Stewart.
And we kept going, with our feet feeling heavier and heavier – not because we were exhausted but because our shoes were filling up with the fine red sand.
After labouring up the ridge for an hour and then sliding down the side of the dune in about 10 minutes, we decided to give Big Daddy a miss.
Back at Little Kulala Camp, where plunge pools provide a cool respite in the summer, the enclosed guest lodges and unlimited hot water offer the winter visitor a respite from the overnight temperatures which often sink close to zero Centigrade.
Yet its glass walls allow clear views of the surrounding desert, with impalas, ostriches and springbok, and an outside upstairs deck for star-gazing.
Indeed, we dined under those stars around a campfire while the kitchen and serving staff entertained us by singing and dancing.
Service was equally special. For example, when I chipped my tooth, arrangements were made for our flight out the next day to leave first thing in the morning instead of after lunch, as scheduled, so I'd be able to see a dentist in Windhoek.
With its fireplaces inside the main lodge and gas heating for winter visitors (the peak season because it gets so hot in summer), Little Kulala could be ideal for people who aren’t quite ready to give up all the creature comforts to see the creatures in Africa. It provides an easier experience for safari beginners – ready to climb sand dunes and explore the desert but perhaps not yet prepared for tenting.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The closest luxury camp to the remarkable Sossusvlei dunes, Little Kulala's exquisite fittings, pastel tones and use of natural light merge into the timeless desert landscape. Aside from excursions to the dunes, the unadorned beauty of the Namib is explored via game drives and walks on Kulala Wilderness Reserve, providing sightings of desertadapted wildlife and plants, from ungainly ostrich to charismatic bat-eared fox. Scenic sundowners take in awe-inspiring views that stretch endlessly to a distant horizon, while a "star-bed" offers slumber under some of Africa's clearest skies. • 11 rooms (1 family) • nature drives and walks • Sossusvlei excursion (via private gate) • Sesriem visit • sleep out deck • quad biking • massage treatments • hot air balloon ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Little Kulala Hotel Sossusvlei
- Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala Namibia/Sossusvlei