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“Very convenient and comfortable”

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Wilderness Safaris Kulala Desert Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 April 2014

We spent two nights at the lodge as we could not get into the Sossusvlei Dune Lodge inside the park and Kulala is the closest next choice. We found the accommodation very comfortable, spacious and airy. We had opted for the all inclusive rate and I am not completely convinced that this is really good value. The food was fine, drinks included and excursions as well. We went into the park and the dunes very early one morning - unfortunately unless you stay inside the park you can only enter at sunrise despite the fact that the lodge has its own private gate into the park. It does make access easier though and allows you a slight edge on getting to the dunes.

Our guide for the two days was helpful and knowledgeable.

The lodge is also extremely conveniently situated if you want to go ballooning over the dunes. The take off spot is about 15 minutes away by car and this allows really easy access.

There is limited internet access through a rather slow single PC - but at least it does allow connectivity.

I would recommend staying in a room close to the lodge as it is quite a walk to some of the rooms and you need to leave your car in the parking lot at the lodge.

All in all a good experience with a great view of the dunes from the room and the lodge. It would seem that the dunes closest to the lodge are actually the highest in the park.

Room Tip: Closer to the lodge is better!
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Magriet11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Kulala Desert Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2014

It was truly wonderful to read about your marvellous stay at Kulala Desert Lodge, Magriet11. Thank you for the lovely comments. We do agree with you that the location is pristine and the easy access to the park a plus for this little gem of a camp. We hope that the good food, great guide, comfy spacious accommodation and setting all contributed to your great experience and stay. Kind regards the Kulala Desert Lodge Team.

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174 - 180 of 386 reviews

Reviewed 29 April 2014

Beautiful setting with a magnificent view, excellent food, the nicest staff you can ask for, great room, well planned (and executed) activities but... literally dozens of mosquitoes inside the room and no net. If choose this hotel make sure mosquito nets are available or just go somewhere else.

Room Tip: All rooms seem to be equally great, just make sure they come with a mosquito net.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jclso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Kulala Desert Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2014

jclso, thank you kindly for your review. We are delighted that your stay at Kulala Desert Lodge was a very enjoyable. We are truly sorry that the mosquitoes were troublesome. Due to unusually high rains in Namibia this year, the mosquito numbers seemed to rise proportionately. We would like to advise that subsequent to your visit, in July 2014, mosquito nets were installed in the rooms to keep the insects at bay and allow guests the peace and quiet they need to enjoy a restful night. Warm regards the Kulala Desert Lodge Team.

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Reviewed 26 April 2014

We stayed two nights at the Kulala Desert Lodge. We arrived in a sedan car and the drive in on their private road was long and bumpy! We also missed their turn off because the sign is missing - we were coming from the south. Luckily we realised very quickly that we'd passed a turn off and looked back to see the sign from the other direction. We let them know about the missing sign - hopefully it will be fixed soon!

We were welcomed with a tasty ginger drink. The welcome was lovely and we were impressed with the orientation given by the person who checked us in.

The immediate feel is one of vistas from a comfortable lodge. Plenty of seating areas inside and out. All shared public areas are in a central area. The library has some old books about the country but no novels. There is no TV, no music, it is all about quiet and tranquility. So it is a pity that children are allowed at the lodge. Children generally speak at one volume - loud. It's not their fault; they're kids. But I'm surprised that a desert lodge where no other sounds are to be heard allows kids. That was the only pity, and so it meant that in the early evening when we wanted to relax with a book in the lounge area, we felt driven back to our room to escape the incessant exclamations of a child playing a game with her dad for almost an hour in the lounge.

Our room was wonderful. A "tent" set on a wooden deck with canvas walls and windows that were covered in mesh and exposed when we rolled up the canvas flaps. You could lie in bed with the magnificent views all around. The tents are set far enough apart that it feels private, but you can hear each other talk, but it was not disturbing.

The bed was a foam mattress on a wooden board. It was hot! Foam is hot. And not particularly comfortable. On the first night we discovered that one side of the mattress was completely sunken in as if an elephant had been lying there! It was changed the next night. It didn't affect our sleep and we slept soundly because there is not a sound to hear at night. The generator appears to be switched off at night and all is blissfully still. No animal sounds either, odd for the bush, but I suppose the desert is different.

We requested the rooftop bed for one night, but only managed a short while up there as it was chilly. But definitely worth the experience for gazing up at the Milky Way in comfort.

We are vegetarian and found the food to be fine. The evening meal was delicious on both nights, but the starters were not great. There was very little by way of fresh salad. The pastry chef is excellent - the best croissants I have ever eaten. Bread was excellent, too. Service in the restaurant could be much improved if staff were trained to understand different dietary requirements - getting answers to our questions about the food was rather difficult! Also, attention at breakfast could be improved - trying to alert a waiter just to ask for some Worcestershire sauce took a long time. (Why not set the table with all the condiments?) And it was disappointing that margarine was served instead of butter. The waiter said it was butter, but then all I can imagine is that it was a spreadable butter with margarine added, the taste was not butter.

We paid for one morning drive to Sossusvlei. Definitely worth it because the lodge has its own gate into the park. If we had driven ourselves it would've been a bumpy ride in our car back out to the road and to the park gate and then a drive to Sossusvlei - probably adding an extra hour or two in each direction. The cost was NAD 740 person, leaving the lodge at 6am and getting back at 11.30 am-ish. Our guide was friendly and accommodating but didn't offer much by way of explanations about the sites. This was disappointing. We learned far more when reading our guide book!

It was hot when we got back from our drive and the pool was very welcome. There is no aircon at this lodge and our bedroom was very hot in the heat of the day. There is a ceiling fan but it wasn't very effective at cooling so it wasn't comfortable for a lie down in the middle of day unless you covered yourself in a wet sarong! At night the room was very cool and comfortable.

I have not stayed elsewhere in the area, but from our experience I would come back here, although I would check first if kids were staying!

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 21 which was far for the lounge and dining area. We liked that! It was an easy wal...
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Traveller123CT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Kulala Desert Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2014

Traveller123CT, many thanks for your fantastic feedback and for sharing this with us. Kulala Desert Lodge forms part of the Wilderness Safaris adventure portfolio, which is more geared towards family orientated travel, where a friendly relaxed main area is created for everyone to enjoy themselves and where they can mingle at leisure. This may not be to all guests liking and may we take this opportunity to recommend you stay at Little Kulala for your next adventure out to Sossusvlei. It is a pleasure to note that the accommodation, food and magnificent dunes captured your hearts and made the stay a blissful one. Your insightful comment regarding the guide has been taken under advisement and the Guide Training Manager has provided further training to enhance this side of the experience. Thank you again, the Kulala Desert Lodge Team.

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Reviewed 10 April 2014

The rooms are lovely and very comfortable and clean. However, after spending time in other Wilderness Lodges, we were slightly disappointed with the quality/quantity of the food. All was served at private tables, rather than communal ones; at lunch, no dessert offered, and the early morning breakfast was quite miserable.

Guided tours were good, but it seems that the poor guides have been told to stop for guests every time an animal is spotted. We (and, I assume the majority of the guests) were there to see the dunes at Soussvlei, so weren't very interested in the animals (or lack of). Trip to dunes at sunrise was amazing, but Dead Vrai even better.

This lodge is very good, but after doing the "classic camps", there really is a major difference in quality. There is a computer in the reception area, but internet doesn't work very well. However, the staff are wonderful and will help with any forward bookings/information that you need.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank quijano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Kulala Desert Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2014

Kulala Desert Lodge is very well situated with easy access to the magnificent Sossusvlei Dunes, quijano, and we are overjoyed to hear you found them every inch as spectacular as they are. Your praise of the accommodation, activities and people - certainly does justice to our staff compliment based at the camp. We have noted your disappointment with the food offering at the camp and rest assured our Food Experience Manager is continually visiting the camp to provide additional training on levels, which will ensure a consistently high standard of dining. Thank you again for taking the time to review your stay and share your thoughts with us. Warm regards the Kulala Desert Lodge Team.

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Reviewed 4 April 2014

We stayed one night at Kulala Desert Lodge and this lodge is stunning. The location is amazing and the rooms are very nice. You even have the choice to sleep outside on the roof (we did and it was a very nice experience). The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. The food was excellent. Great place overall.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
2  Thank new_world_travellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Kulala Desert Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2014

new_world_travell, your exceptionally high praise of Kulala Desert Lodge, is greatly appreciated and it provides us with a sense of great pleasure and pride that your memorable stay exceeded all expectations. Thank you again for the inspiring feedback. Kind regards the Kulala Desert Lodge Team.

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Reviewed 15 March 2014

Great place in a fantastic location! Within a short ride you are in the National Park.

Some people (previous comments) complain about the staff. No problems on our side.

This camp is not a traditional safari camp as not much game is around, however you can experience the Namib Desert, which is out of this world.

The only thing which could improve slightly is the food, but that is my personal opinion.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank endaxi0815
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Kulala Desert Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2014

Your appreciation for our camp and staff, is highly appreciated, endaxi0815. It is a joy to read your compliments, thank you so much. Kind regards the Kulala Desert Lodge Team.

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Reviewed 8 March 2014

What a place. Have been there on our honeymoon trip and what an experience. The lodge is amazing and the bungalows have every luxury you need. try and sleep on the roof under the african sky, the sight of all those stars will never leave you. The balloon flight over the desert is a must. There is magic in Africa and this is one of the places you will feel it.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Kulala Desert Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2014

Dear David P,

Thank you for your great review of Kulala Desert Lodge and congratulations again to you and your wife.

We are so glad you got to experience the magic of sleeping on the rooftop under the stars. We pride ourselves in the variety of activities on offer at our camp; namely the Hot Air Ballooning as you mentioned as well as: private tours to Sossusvlei, horse riding, hot air ballooning and eco-sensitive guided quad-biking (at an extra cost), scenic nature walks, and drives to view the desert’s fascinating flora and fauna.

Thank you again, and thank you for choosing Namibia and Kulala Desert Lodge to celebrate your special celebration.
The Kulala Desert Team

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Additional Information about Wilderness Safaris Kulala Desert Lodge

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 #3 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Sossusvlei
Price Range: £134 - £1,151 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Wilderness Safaris Kulala Desert Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With vistas directly onto majestic red dunes, Kulala Desert Lodge is the closest location to Sossusvlei, and perhaps the lodge with the most spectacular views. The lodge's accessibility, and its large, friendly lounge and dining area with wrap-around veranda make this oasis in the desert perfect for families and friends. Visits to the dunes and vleis of Sossusvlei are highlights, along with fascinating desert wildlife and the overwhelming magnitude, and sense of adventure on the Kulala Wilderness Reserve. • 23 kulalas (3 family) • nature drives and walks • Sossusvlei excursion (via private gate) • Sesriem visit • sleep out deck • horse riding • hot air balloon ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kulala Desert Hotel Namib-Naukluft Park
Wilderness Safaris Kulala Desert Lodge Namibia/Sossusvlei

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