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Kulala Desert Lodge, Namibia

Situated within the dry Namib Desert on the 37,000 hectare private Kulala Wilderness Reserve lays the wonderful Kulala Desert Lodge. Made up of 23 thatched and canvas ‘kulala’ with en-suite bathrooms and decks, each unit is constructed on a wooden rise to catch the cool breezes, and has a veranda on the flat rooftop if you choose to spend your night beneath the stars. The main camp area has a lounge, bar, dining space, plunge pool, and wraparound deck that overlooks the riverbed – a superb point from which to observe and photograph the desert views. The camp has also been designed and equipped so that it is great for the whole family.

In the Kulala Wilderness Reserve you will spot various animals that have adapted to survive in this harsh desert climate, including ostrich, springbok, gemsbok, spotted hyena, and the occasional brown hyena. Smaller creatures, like bat-eared fox, black-backed jackal, porcupine, Cape fox, and aardwolf can also be sighted around the park. One bird named the dune lark has its complete worldwide distribution limited to this region. Just before nightfall, guests will hear the sounds of barking geckoes echoing through the wilderness, and during nature walks you will be able to spot smaller creatures such as the buck-spoor spider with its multi-entrance burrow.

Activities at the Adventurer Camp include early morning guided drives into the iconic dunes of Sossusvlei through the private gate at the Tsauchab River, as well as nature drives and walks through the exclusive Kulala Wilderness Reserve, which offers fantastic wildlife-viewing opportunities. Despite the lack of plant life and rainfall, a remarkably diverse range of insects, reptiles and rodents live around the Kulala Desert Lodge – surviving here mostly due to the coastal fog that rolls off of the ocean every morning, spreading up to 50 kilometres inland.

If you’re seeking a little more adventure, head out on a guided eco-sensitive quad-biking tour through the Reserve, taking in awe-inspiring views and spotting desert inhabitants. Spend time on guided and self-drive visits to Sossusvlei and Sesriem. Sossusvlei is a globally-known massive clay pan that is flanked by the renowned sand dunes that stand out in contrast against the clear blue sky, and turn a vivid shade of red in the morning sun. Balloon safaris are available here, offering a truly unique chance to glide silently above the impressive sand dunes and desert, as well as a delicious champagne breakfast that is served to you upon landing. Horse rides and scenic sundowner tours through the Reserve are also offered here.

In 1996, Wilderness Safaris established a project on land, close to the magnificent Sossusvlei. As this setting had previously been used for subsistence goat farming, there was not much precious indigenous wildlife remaining. Therefore, a removal programme of stock fences and livestock was instigated, allowing natural wildlife to return to the area now known as the Kulala Wilderness Reserve. With the creation of this park came an opportunity to study the rehabilitation of this region after years of subsistence farming. The Small Carnivore Research Project was founded in 2000, when bat-eared foxes were studied as an indicator species for land rehabilitation, followed by several studies on aardwolf, black-backed jackal, Cape fox and African wildcat.


* Nature drives through the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve

* Walking trails

* Guided and self-drive visits to Sossusvlei and Sesriem

* Quad biking (additional cost)

* Balloon safaris (additional cost)

* Horse riding safari (on request and at an additional cost)

* Sundowner tour on Kulala Wilderness Reserve

About Bronwyn Paxton

Article by: Bronwyn Paxton
on March 20, 2014
Filed under  Accommodation • Africa Blog • Namibia 
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