- Breath-taking location close to Sossusvlei
- Exclusive, luxurious facilities
- Hot air balloon rides
- Wilderness Safari Portfolio
The sumptuous desert retreat of Little Kulala is situated in the private 27,000 hectare Kulala Wilderness Reserve, just south of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The lodge sits in the dry Auab riverbed amidst breath-taking scenery; the great Namib dune sea rises on one side, falling away to the stark beauty of the desert on the other. The dramatic and remote location allows guests to experience an abundance of desert wildlife, including springbok, ostrich, and oryx, with nightfall bringing opportunities to see hyena, bat-eared fox, and aardwolf.
The lodge’s architecture is designed to echo the minimalism of the surrounding desert. Inside the thatch-topped adobe buildings, the decor is tasteful and there is plenty of natural light. The lounge and dining areas are spacious and stylish, with plush furnishings. The main lodge also includes a library, craft boutique, bar, and wine cellar, with the communal veranda offering al fresco fine dining looking out across the stunning landscape. Friendly and attentive staff are always on hand.
The bedrooms consist of 11 climate-controlled, thatched “kulalas,” which in the local Oshiwambo language means 'to sleep.' There are 7 well-appointed twin bedded units and three double units. The exposed stonework and attractive wooden features create a simple yet sophisticated feel, and each room opens out onto a private veranda overlooking the expansive wilderness, complete with plunge pool, outdoor shower, and, on the upper deck, a sky-bed where guests can sleep beneath the brilliant stars.
The lodge's proximity and private access to the incredible Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei in part explain the hefty price-tag. Pre-dawn excursions to these white clay and salt pans walled by immense red dunes provide awesome photography opportunities, and are not to be missed. To the north lies the Sesriem canyon, boasting amazing views from the top, and geologically fascinating walks at the bottom. Other activities from the lodge include eco-sensitive quad biking and horse riding safaris, along with early-morning balloon safaris with breath-taking vistas of the area and elevated views of the desert wildlife. Note that balloon rides are subject to additional cost, and are unavailable mid-January to mid-February. Expert guides offer day time and early evening nature drives through the reserve, whilst extensive hiking trails allow guests to explore the surrounding area on foot. The secluded location is perfect for sundowners and impressive stargazing, and scorpion night walks are also available.
Although children over the age of 8 are welcome, the lodge is not specifically geared to the entertainment of youngsters, with the core of activities focussing on exploring stunning landscapes and natural wonders. There is one family kulala which can accommodate four guests in two en-suite bedrooms separated by a deck. A limited number of triple rooms are also available. Note that the lodge and pool are unfenced, and though rarely visited by wildlife, parental supervision is essential at all times.
Little Kulala is upmarket and extremely comfortable, with wonderful staff. The lodge’s location close to key southern-Namibian sights makes for a high price tag, but it’s worth pulling out all the stops to enjoy the splendid scenery and superb opportunities for desert exploration afforded by this delightful property.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019