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“Good place to start...”

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Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala
Certificate of Excellence
Buckinghamshire
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Good place to start...”
Reviewed 16 August 2014

Little Kulala was our first proper stop in Namibia.
Pros:
Attractive lodge buildings.
Excellent guiding by Willem.
Great day out to Sossusvlei and the Sesriem Canyon. A long day but well worth it.
Comfortable room.
Excellent coffee.
Breakfast pastries very good quality.
Most staff helpful and friendly.

Cons.
Management largely invisible and when present did not relate well to the guests, in sharp contrast to other staff.
Some food choices poor quality. Barbecue dinner poor as were main courses on other night.
Lack of flexibility in activity choices. It was made clear that the 6 of us in the vehicle had to do same thing. Whilst not a problem for us. could have been difficult if some had wanted to quad bike and some do wildlife drive.
A coat of paint needed throughout.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lucyleopard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala, responded to this review, 27 August 2014
Dear Lucyleopard,

Thank you for your informative feedback. We are sorry that the management seemed "invisible" we have passed your comments onto our operations team who will be investigating this matter further.

The Sossusvlei, home of what are thought to be the highest sand dunes in the world, is located in the Namib Naukluft Park in the southern area of the Namib Desert. In the early morning and late afternoon the sun often changes the colour of the sand to a bright red, appearing in spectacular contrast to the surrounding shadows, making Sossusvlei a photographer’s paradise. The name “Sossusvlei” refers to the pan at the end of the Tsauchab River, which once flowed to the ocean before sand dunes gradually blocked its path. Over time, the arid climate and cold Benguela Current off Namibia’s coast have produced this spectacular sea of sand dunes. The highest accessible dune, Big Daddy, stands at 280 metres (980 feet).

Thank you again
The Little Kulala Team
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206 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
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English first
Mexico City, Mexico
Level 6 Contributor
93 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Just have a great atay there with all the family and everything was simply perfect, maybe the food quality needs to improve, but it has been with no doubt the best dessert experience you can have, the balloon trip is a must and the climbing on the dunes, exhausted, but really deserves the effort to get on top, great location, service, facilities, etc

Room Tip: The closest to the lobby the better, and ask for the roof bed to be ready for a great sleep under th...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Issyboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Guest Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala, responded to this review, 27 August 2014
Dear Issyboy,

Thank you for your delightful review of Little Kulala, we are glad to here that you had such an enjoyable time with all the activities on offer.

Little Kulala is one of three camps on the Reserve that have exclusive access to a private gate, which leads to the magnificent Sossusvlei dune corridor and the vlei itself. The camp therefore offers easy access to Sossusvlei as well as privacy and exclusivity, so early morning excursions to the dunes and the vlei are most popular. Experienced guides bring the desert to life during nature drives, while eco-sensitive quad biking provides guests with a different and exciting perspective of the Kulala Reserve. Numerous trails including the Black Mountain Trail can be tackled with a guide or alone. Awe-inspiring ballooning safaris and horse riding are available at an extra cost.

Thank you again
The Little Kulala Team
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Northampton, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2014

I wouldn't know where to start with all of the positive things I have to say about this place! If you are at all anxious or concerned that Namibia won't match up to the rest of your experiences in Africa, don't be, this place is outstanding :)

Just to be clear this is isn't the type of safari style stay you will find elsewhere, you won't find yourself on a jeep searching for animals twice a day. This place is totally different from anywhere else and I would HIGHLY recommend it. We spent 4 amazing nights here and left feeling we could've stayed more.

Most people apparently just come for 1 or 2 nights to see the sand-dunes, but there is so much more to this area than that. We also did quad-biking, a tour of the canyon, slept on our roof and had an amazing day out to a waterfall and visited Namibia's only vineyard on the way back.

I would definitely recommend the waterfall hike as the animals you see and the oasis of water at the end are so incredibly worth it. I took a dip and couldn't believe the peace and serenity of the place - plus we were the only ones there and it was stunningly beautiful :) If you can take an extra day to do this activity.

Yes, this place is a little pricey, and we definitely went out of our price range for these few days, but it was sooooo worth it. Just go, you will love it! :)

Tip: Spend a couple of hours when no-one else is around sitting silently out on deck and watching the watering hole out the front of the hotel, you will be so surprised at the sheer amount and diversity of the animals inhabiting the desert land around you that come for a drink :)

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Britishtraveller2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala, responded to this review, 27 August 2014
Dear Britishtraveller2014,

Thank you for your fabulous review, we are thrilled to see that you had such a great time at our little desert camp. You can really see the desert coming to life when you relax and enjoy the sights of the waterhole.

Made up largely of the linear dune systems of the desert itself, the park boundaries to the east are marked by the rugged Naukluft and Tsaris mountains you see around you at this camp. This transition area” is called the pro-Namib which supports a wide variety of wildlife by being at the interface between potentially good grazing and pure desert. Occasional rain does fall here, turning the desert into bloom with an amazing spectrum of beautiful, although short-lived, flowers and plants. The grasses, while appearing to be delicate and unable to survive for long, are in fact extremely well-adapted to these harsh conditions and can last for several seasons without any rain, waiting for the right moment to grow. Animals such as the oryx, known locally as ‘gemsbok,’ are also highly adapted to life in this hot and unforgiving environment. Some reptiles have amusing adaptations to high temperatures, especially those like the sand-diving lizard which raises one foot at a time above the hot sand in a strange, stationary dance to non-existent music.

Thank you again
The Team at Little Kulala
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Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014

An outstanding experience. 5 Star.
What ever you mentioned what was anything less than exemplary to anyone was quietly taken care of without your knowledge. The only thing they couldn't control was the wind.
The guide might casually ask about the coldness of the beer. That night the bar man would have your beer in an ice-bath of its own. Things like that. Every-one was outstanding, David, Martha. A well organized and run place.

What can you expect? Your point and shoot camera will capture the color in the milky-way, the night sky is so clear. Oryx, Springbok, Massive monochromatic dunes. Magical dinners under the starry skies. Perfect drinks, amazing blood soaked sunsets. Outdoor showers and beds on the roofs.

And, if your lucky an amazing guide, Alpha Israel.

He is a stunning young man, speaks 6 languages, understands the deep geography and biology and fauna of the region. He understands and can clearly explain the history of southern Africa, its numerous peoples and animals.

But what was so amazing was that nearly immediately upon meeting Alpha you knew this guy got up early before you, studied what he thought you would want to learn, to eat, to see, to drink, and how you'd best like it. On his terms, your terms, etc. It was obvious this guy so wanted you to learn and come away with a deep understanding of his country that he'd made his job his hobby.
He's easy going, interested, very bright, funny as hell. A true-natural teacher.

You'd want this guy as your friend at home. He's now our friend in Namibia.

You'll love Little Kulala, and get to know everyone, they are all exceptional.

Room Tip: Any room is exceptional.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Anodynic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala, responded to this review, 27 August 2014
Dear Anodynic,

We greatly appreciate the time you have taken to write this review for us, we will be sure to pass on your glowing comments to Alpha who we are sure will be very humble.

Little Kulala was built using only Namibian products and the workforce, from the labourers to the architect, are all local citizens. The thatch, for example, comes from Rundu in the extreme north of Namibia, and the artisans who laid it are from the Caprivi region where this skill is second nature to its people. The carpenters were previously unemployed Himba people from the Puros district in the Kaokoveld region. The granite and masonry work is of a new design unique to this camp and the material and artisans are drawn from the Karibib area in the central part of Namibia. It is our sincere desire that their efforts have resulted in a fabulous and inspiring experience for you at Little Kulala. With 360˚ panoramic views from your rooftop you can indulge in the surrounding scenery to your heart’s content from dawn until dusk.

Thank you again, and on behalf of Alpha.
The Little Kulala Team
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New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2014

We had a great time at Little Kulala.... we found the staff to be incredibly accommodating and personable. The chef was fabulous, coming from NYC we were unexpectedly surprised how great the food was.

Dave the manager was amazing, he helped get us a DSLR camera from Windhoek when ours unexpectedly died. He actually had the wilderness team fly one in on the next flight we were taking. We were shocked at the level of service and helpfulness from the team.

Our guide Callie was amazing, I can't say enough good things about him. He was friendly- had great sundowner food displays, always asking us what our favorite drinks were. We loved hiking up big daddy with him then running down the dune. He really made an effort to give us the best possible experience every day. He was extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife, plants and history of Namibia- very impressive.

I would highly recommend Little Kulala..... Great time!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nicole H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Guest Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala, responded to this review, 27 August 2014
Dear Nicole H,

Thank you for your fantastic review, we will be sure to pass on your high praises for Callie and Dave who went the extra mile.

In 1996, Wilderness Safaris Namibia set up an operation on a small piece of land near the spectacular sights of Sossusvlei. This locale had previously been used for goat farming and precious little indigenous wildlife remained. But after the removal of fences and exotic species, the animals slowly began to return. The area was then extended towards the Namib Naukluft Park – one of the biggest nature reserves in Africa, at 49 768 square kilometres – and became the 37 000ha privately owned Kulala Wilderness Reserve. In establishing Kulala Wilderness Reserve it has always been our desire to live in harmony with nature and to impact as little as possible on this sensitive environment. We try to keep our tracks to a minimum, so please use only the signposted roads across the Reserve. Stay clear of roads marked as “private” or “no entry”. Alien tracks across the gravel desert plains, especially those made during the rainy season, will remain there for decades.
It is Kulala Wilderness Reserve’s policy to employ people from the surrounding areas as far as possible. The staff are all Namibians and receive training in their various fields which we anticipate will set them on a promising career path in the hospitality industry.

Thank you again
The Little Kulala Team
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Taipei, Taiwan
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2014

Little Kulala was undoubtedly the biggest disappointment that we've had at any lodge in Africa. It is wildly overpriced for the quality of the service provided. The chalets and the main lodge were comfortable enough and had great views, but some areas were clearly in need of maintenance.

Our star bed was never made despite making requests twice to set it up. For the price charged at this lodge, they should be offering this service without having to specially ask for them.

Food and beverage was fine, but nothing memorable.

Our biggest gripe was with our guide, who seemed to take a disliking to us from the moment he saw us. He was virtually impossible to engage during the sundowner drive or the following morning drive to Sossusvlei. We thought that he was perhaps just having a bad day, but he never warmed up. He only offered up a handful of sentences with info about the area independently w/o us having to ask him. After our last activity, he let us off at the lodge and drove off, not even waiting around as would be customary for a gratuity or to say goodbye. We should have spoken to management immediately after arrival when we sensed something was off, but there really was no opportune moment.

No one offered to carry our luggage from our relatively distant chalet to our vehicle on departure, so we ended up lugging our bags to our car, returning our key and driving off.

The only person who really exuded warmth beyond pleasantries during the stay was Ingrid in the restaurant. If it weren't for her, our rating would have been even lower.

On our flight back to Asia, we bumped into a couple who had also stayed at Little Kulala and raved about it. Were we staying at the same place?

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jiaotze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala, responded to this review, 29 August 2014
Dear jiaotze,

We are terribly sorry that this camp did not live up to your expectations. Corrective measures have been taken and the guide in question is currently undergoing counselling to ensure this does not happen again.

We pride ourselves in running quality itineraries and offering the best experience possible for such a remote location. If there is anything you feel that we can do to enhance your experience - this includes a disliking of your guide, please do not hesitate to contact the camp manager or your Wilderness Safaris representative. If you have a problem, please bring it to our attention at the time, giving us a chance to try and correct it immediately.

Thank you for taking the time to write this review for us
The Team at Kulala Desert
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San Diego
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2014

This was our first camp in Namibia for a desert experience and Little Kulala provided. Camp was the only thing man made for as far as the eye could see. And looking out from our deck you wouldn't know there was another person on earth.

This camp ran as smoothly as a well oiled machine. The espresso machine was an unexpected treat.

As I said we wanted a desert experience and we ran the gamut. On our first afternoon the winds picked up and there were the beginnings of a first rate sand storm. Our guide suggested that we out run it. Heading east, we were soon away from the sand and had a delightful drive to the crest of the mountains which loomed over camp. Great sundowner with vistas of the dunes and the flat lands around camp, which still had a sand storm haze blanketing it.

The next day's afternoon drive turned into a mini-adventure as a sandstorm caught up to us and visability dropped to zero. The winds whipped around and pelted the vehicle. Hard the heels of the sand came the rain. It was glorious. The sky was absolutely black which made the lightening that much more dramatic. The road flooded instantly so we found a high point and waited it out. Fifteen minutes later the show was over and we continued our drive. I'd say we got the desert experience we were looking for.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank travelinV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Guest Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala, responded to this review, 27 August 2014
Dear TravelinV,

Thank you for your beautiful review, we are thrilled that Little Kulala and Namibia as a whole gave you the experience that you had anticipated.

While ‘Sossusvlei’ refers specifically to the terminal pan or vlei at the western extremity of the Tsauchab River, the entire Sossusvlei environment is one of immense diversity, aridity gradients and supersize natural phenomena. The Tsauchab River, which once flowed into the Atlantic, was encroached upon and blocked by shifting sediments several million years ago. The ephemeral Tsauchab River today runs from the Pro-Namib, an area of relatively high rainfall, through a spectacular dune corridor that extends well into the main Namib Sand Sea. In so doing, the watercourse defines a linear oasis extending westwards into the desert. The westward extremity of the Sossusvlei environment borders on the hyper-arid Namib system which is largely a fog-driven ecosystem with wildlife of the arid-adapted type. Plants, animals and invertebrates in this area are some of the most specialised life forms on the planet. In contrast, the eastern extremity of the Sossusvlei system is one of transient wildlife movements, rock outcrops and even seasonal
grasslands. Traversing this gradient is made more spectacular by the wind-carved sand dunes defining the rim of the corridor and it is on these huge exposed dune slopes that on a windy day you see the actual lifeblood of the arid system – detritus, composed of windblown organic material that is the absolute base of the entire desert food chain. This swirling mass of detritus defines the beginning of a chain of life like no other and seeing this in the Sossusvlei environment solidifies the importance and beauty of the entire dune corridor.

Thank you again and we hope you are able to return soon,
The Team at Little Kulala
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Additional Information about Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala

Property: Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala
Address: Sossusvlei - Kulala Wilderness Reserve, Sossusvlei, Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia
Region: Namibia > Khomas Region > Namib-Naukluft Park > Sossusvlei
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Sossusvlei
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala 5*
Number of rooms: 11
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

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