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“Great desert experience”

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Wilderness Safaris Kulala Desert Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Katikati, New Zealand
Level Contributor
47 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Great desert experience”
Reviewed 13 July 2014

Our group from New Zealand flew into Windhoek and had a 6 hour drive to Kulala Desert Lodge. The next day we went to see the sand dunes at Sossusvlei, with an early start so we got there soon after sunrise. They were magnificent.
The lodge itself and the units are well designed to blend into the desert scene. The food was very good. Game could be seen at the artifice ial water hole in the valley in front of the lodge.
The only disadvantages are that it is quite a long drive from there to Sossusvlei, and the 14 km entry road to the lodge is very rough, especially with a hard sprung vehicle such as the one we had.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alan G
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 review, 23 July 2014
Thank you Alan G for your wonderful review. We are so happy to hear that you and your travel companions enjoyed all aspects of your stay at Kulala Desert Lodge. Unfortunately the majority of Namibian roads are gravel and can be quite bumpy. The Camp does grade the road network in the Kulala area as thi forms part of our concession, but once you travel in Sossusvlei, these roads are not our roads, so we have no control over the conditions of the roads and their maintenance. We do hope that you still enjoyed the remainder of your journey through Namibia and will look back on the trip with fond memories. Kind regards the Kulala Desert Lodge Team.
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356 reviews from our community

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English first
Gardnerville, Nevada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2014

I loved the location of the lodge and our individual cabanas. It was our first camp of six and we loved their pleasant attitude and our guide Christof was great. It was too chilly to sleep outside and the wind blew like crazy the day we went to the dunes,but it is an incredible place the colors and sites are terrific. It is a "classic" lodge, so food was not superb, but the help made up for it. I highly recommend the kulala Desert Lodge.

Room Tip: All the rooms are individual and only difference is how far you are from lodge
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rbr89460
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 review, 27 August 2014
Thank you for the amazing review, rbr89460. What a pleasure it is to learn how much you enjoyed the stay with us at the camp. Your positive comments are truly inspiring. Thank you so much, the Kulala Desert Lodge Team.
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Reading
Level Contributor
24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2014

We stayed here in June for two nights, and we disagreed on how many stars, I would have given 3 stars, my wife a generous 4.
It's 4 stars then.
Everything was up to normal Wilderness Safari standards; fantastic room, friendly and professional staff, good but not outstanding food for dinner, and good breakfasts. Because we stayed in Namibian winter, no way were we sleeping under the stars (night time temperatures around 2 degrees).
I have two gripes, firstly the morning drive to the dunes was rather expensive and unimaginative. We were simply driven to Dune 45, where everyone else in the park goes to, climbed the dune then drove on to the Dead Vlei for a further walk and a bit of lunch. The lodge has a private entrance to the park, but this only opens at the same time as the main entrance, so doesn't actually gain you very much (probably about 20minutes headstart to to Dune45). No problems with the guide, who was helpful and informative, I guess I was hoping that local knowledge and over N$1000 might have enabled us to avoid the crowds a bit.

The second gripe is that whilst we were on the drive, the stone walls and floor in our bathroom and shower were treated with some sort of sticky, smelly sealer. The result of this was that nothing was usable until late in the evening, and the shower floor remained tacky throughout our stay. To be fair, we did get an apology, but it did rather detract from our stay.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SteveLesley
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 review, 27 August 2014
Thank you so much for your honest review SteveLesley, we really do appreciate your insightful comments and have taken them all on board. We do apologise for the inconvenient timing of the room maintenance which impacted on your stay and relaxation time. In future far better planning will be made for this kind of upkeep. With regards to the activity to see the Sossusvlei dunes, as this is within the confines of a national park, there are certain rules and regulations which need to be adhered to, to preserve the environment and limits the flexibility of the excursion as a result. Viewing the dunes takes place in the cooler early morning and hearing the explanation of their birth, naming et al is extremely interesting. Being able to climb Dune45/Big Daddy a great privilege few are able to participate in. We are pleased you were able to enjoy this and hopefully completed the climb to the top, Deadvlei is soo unique and a sight to behold. We sincerely hope you walked the length of the vlei which in itself is rather spectacular and famous too. Good to know that you had a great time. King regards the Kulala Desert Lodge Team.
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Managua, Nicaragua
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2014

The Kulala Desert Lodge is located on a river facing west for fantastic sunsets. Sleeping on the roof is a must. Ask and they'll prepared a bedroll for you up top. Food was pretty good I thought. I see others didn't like it so much. The staff danced and sang some traditional songs after dinner and on the second night several of our girls joined in. Loved the look and feel of the place.

Room Tip: the family room #23 has a larger roof and will sleep 4 adults or in our case 5 kids.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mike c
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 review, 27 August 2014
mike c, it's evident that you really enjoyed your stay at Kulala Desert Lodge. Your kind words about the great staff, good food and camp ambiance is testament to that. We do concur with you that the sleep-out is an activity not to be missed as it is a mind-blowing experience and visual display of stellar beauty. Take care, the Kulala Desert Lodge Team.
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2014 via mobile

We, a family of 4 were in Kulala Desert Lodge for 3 nights stay! The lodge location is good ! But is tired looking !! Needs to have a better look inside! No mosquito nets !! Bitten and had sleepless and uncomfortable nights!! Breakfast was so ordinary!! Meals were nearly horrible! Our guide Jois was superb in knowledge and friendly!! Would not recommend this particular lodge for the dollars you pay for the safari!!! You pre pay a huge amount and then stress on what you get!! The wilderness safari CEO and others on the Board are hard to reach to lodge complaints!! No email address or phones listed that I could find on the internet!! ???

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rena6323
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 review, 14 July 2014
Dear Rena6323

Thank you for your review received on TripAdvisor and sorry to hear that Kulala Desert Lodge did not live up to your expectations.

After extensive investigation we can inform you that the issue around the mosquito’s unexpectedly hit the camp. In its nearly 20 years of existence they have never before had a mosquito problem such as they experienced this year, hence the fact that there were no mosquito nets. Due to the extensive rains this year, which were desperately needed in Namibia, Kulala Desert Lodge experienced an increase in the mosquito population. We would like to let you know that this has been addressed in two ways; Firstly an exterminator was sent in to fumigate and hopefully rid the area around camp of most of the mosquito’s and secondly each room has now been fitted with a mosquito net which hopefully will assist should the area ever again experience such an influx.

With regards to the food offering, we apologise that this was not to your parties satisfaction and also that your special menu requirements were not met as the camp was fully aware of these. Our Food and Beverage Trainer is heading to camp shortly to assist the Food and Beverage Team in delivering the quality and service that Wilderness Safaris expects from all its camps.

The Lodge design is particular to individual tastes, and even though simple it is relaxed and most guests enjoy the simple yet comfortable touches offered in the camp.

With regards to making contact with Wilderness Safaris staff to be able to discuss issues you may have encountered whilst travelling at any of our properties, our Customer Care Departments e-mail address is at the bottom of each camp evaluation sheet and we are sorry that this was not pointed out to you in camp.

Kind regards,
The Customer Care Team
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Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
295 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 May 2014

What I loved the most was that I could sleep ON TOP of my cottage ... accessible from a ladder - all you do is tell them at dinner you wish to sleep outside and they will set-up a mattress. Didn't want to close my eyes for the incredible sky/stars. I must admit that I gave in to the bugs around 3am and climbed down to my very comfortable bed.

The accommodation is quite nice -- not luxurious but certainly very good. The food was plentiful and I found it quite nice.

Because I was there with a special photographer's tour, all the arrangements were organized with our photography in mind. We set out to the dunes and Dead Vlei at 6am ands had as much time at Dead Vlei as we wanted -- all morning. The guides were knowledgeable and quite friendly. They were very keen to make certain we got the right angles for our photos.

There is total quiet and the stars and being able to sleep under them is a huge plus for this property. I would happily go back!

Room Tip: If you don't want to hike a long distance from the reception area/dining, ask for a Room around...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank papillon2020
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 review, 27 August 2014
Thank you papillon2020 for sharing comments of your stay with us at Kulala Desert Lodge. The sleep-out under the stars, gazing at the night sky is an unforgettable experience and we are so pleased you were able to experience this. It certainly places the earth's position in the galaxy into perspective and tends to make one feel very small in our enormous universe. We are pleased you found your room comfy, the food enjoyable, the guide good and the views of the dunes amazing. Thank you again for the kind words, warm regards the Kulala Desert Lodge Team.
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Level Contributor
28 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2014

What I Liked Most: Cheerful service, good food, decent cottages

What I Liked Least: Coffee was a bit grim, inadequate time allocated for Dead Vlei, no wifi

We spent 3 days here for visiting the dunes. Kulala has a little over 20 cottages, which are not huge but not cramped, each with verandahs. The main area is a pleasant place to hang out, with lovely views of dunes (but not THE dunes), which change colour according to the time of day. There is a computer with a slow internet connection. Coffee is on tap, but not nice.

Food is creative and varied, coming in sensibly-sized portions that do not make you full to bursting. Service was not always fast and reliable but was always cheerful and with a smile.

The main thing to do of course is to visit the dunes. Spectacular in my view. The tour lasts a few hours, with an obligatory coffee/tea at the end. The tour includes the Dead Vlei which is also a must-see. The itinerary is set up so that you only get 5 minutes there. This seemed very odd. Luckily for us, we had the 3rd day and we were able to negotiate a trip the following morning just to see Dead Vlei. Our guide was very knowledgeable but not especially engaged or interested.

Overall, a very good place to stay.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank 984DavidA
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 review, 27 August 2014
Thank you for the great review all round, David A. The glowing comments regarding the good food, service, accommodation, guide and activities have been shared with everyone in camp. as It is inspiring and encouraging to everyone. The dunes are a sight to behold and the excursion to deadvlei a must - guests are certainly allowed to spend as much time as they wish there in the morning when the weather is still cool and are even permitted to walk the length of the vlei. As soon as the temperatures begin to rise, it becomes more challenging to access the dunes and deadvlei in the heat. May fond memories of your stay with us remain for many years to come. Fondest regards the Kulala Desert Lodge Team.
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Additional Information about Wilderness Safaris Kulala Desert Lodge

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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