Little Kulala Lodge
Sleep beneath a starry canopy surrounded by the Namib's apricot dunes
Little Kulala Lodge
Stylish Little Kulala is an unexpectedly glamorous retreat in the 210-square-kilometre private Kulala Wilderness Reserve, with its own access gate to the Namib-Naukluft National Park and Sossusvlei. Backed by the Naukluft Mountains, the lodge faces gravel plains and low rolling sands, with views across to the the world-renowned soaring dunes of the Namib Desert in the distance. Don't be fooled by the red-clay exterior – inside, all is designed for your comfort, from the reliable wi-fi service to the remarkable wine cellar and 11 spacious kulalas (kulala means 'to sleep') chalets.
At the lodge
Behind the lodge's thatched, red-clay exterior is a spacious central area with curved stone walls leading to an open-plan dining area with fireplace (used mainly in winter – July and August), bar and lounge. Large glass doors open onto a partly thatched deck where meals are taken when it's warm. The food is good (try the chicken and mushroom pie and homemade chocolate ice cream ). Above the dining area is a library with comfy seating and a couple of computers with internet access. There's a small pool with deck and loungers.
Sandy pathways lead from the main area to your chalet, one of 11 (one is a two-bedroomed family unit). Each is privately fenced and raised on a wooden deck, and has a private pool (a real treat on desert afternoons), a large bathroom with double shower, an outdoor shower and choice of sleeping options – indoors or on the rooftop terrace, where you can dream beneath the Milky Way. The palette is pale-earth neutral, there's air conditioning and a desk for when the muse strikes.
Take an early-morning excursion (the best time to see the light on the dunes) to Sossusvlei, accessed via a private gate that is shared only with sister Kulala Desert Lodge. Extend the trip to eight hours and take in dramatic Sesriem Canyon, with a picnic lunch. Take a shorter drive in Kulala Private Reserve, go on a guided walking trail, take a hot-air balloon ride (extra charge), explore on a quad bike or climb 325-metre Big Daddy, Sossusvlei's tallest dune.