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Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala
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All reviewsplunge poolbig daddysand duneswine cellargreat guidewilderness safarisdesert retreatblue skiestwo nightsunexpected highlightstar bedroof terracebeautiful lodgequad bikingindoor and outdoor showersrefresher towelsharsh environment
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Reviewed October 31, 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights while touring Sossusvlei. The staff were excellent, the rooms very spacious and comfortable and our guide, William very knowledgeable and fun to be with. The management were extremely helpful with special dietary needs - nothing was too much trouble. The lodge is a little further away from the dunes than we had realised - about 40 minutes/1 hour drive.

Take care as the nature drives are 9-seater vehicles although this lodge tends to ensure that only 6 passengers use it, which is a good thing.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Leopards_cheetahs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

Our 2 night stay at Little Kulala was just magnificent. Sensational accomodation, great staff beautiful food and a waterhole to sit and watch the wildlife come and go. Fabulous setting, perfect sunsets- all in the heart of Soussvlei - I enjoyed absolutely every single moment. Quadbiking, balloon rides, walks through canyons, massages - we did it all. Our Nikki looked after us very well!

Thank you Little Kulala/Wilderness and The Africa Safari Co. for a wonderful experience.
p.s love my waterbottle what a great idea!

Room Tip: All rooms are great and look out onto the lanscape - king size bed, best doonas and pillows, rooms are beautiful
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Karen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2012

We spent 3 nights at Little Kulula. We were welcomed by the staff and felt very comfortable. . The cabin was a kind of desert modern. There was an outdoor,shaded sitting area, a plunge pool and outdoor shower. Inside, there also was a sitting area with decor that seemed to mirror the desert terrain. The king size bed was very comfortable with the requisite mosquito netting. There was a large bathroom as well. At night, we were offered the opportunity to sleep under the stars on the roof. We eagerly accepted. While we had dinner, a mattress, blankets and hot water bottles were placed on the roof. It was just a fabulous experience to see the incredible desert sky! We enjoyed the trips out to the dunes. We even climbed one! That was a wonderful experience. Don't miss it. Also, don't miss the sunset over the dunes. The food was good and the staff very attentive.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank GracieG2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2012

The "Little Kulala" Lodge is located within the 37000 hectare Kulala Wilderness Reserve, which is part of the Namib Naukluft national park and very close to the world famous red dunes in the Sossusvlei area. Little Kulala is run by “Wilderness Safaris”, a South African company specializing on ecotourism.

Due to the more or less bad road conditions in Namibia, we decided to travel to the lodge by fly-in safari. We were picked up at Windhoek International airport by a comfortable Cessna 208 Caravan (operated by Wilderness Air) and flown to the Geluk landing strip (ICAO code FYGK), which is located at a distance of roughly 263 km from Windhoek. Our guide Nicky picked us up at Geluk and drove us directly to the lodge (Geluk is about 7km from Little Kulala, however due to the deteriorated roads within the reserve, it will take you about 15-20mins to get to the lodge).

Little Kuala is located right next to the dried out Auab riverbed, surrounded by countless dead camel thorn trees, which give the area a very special appearance and atmosphere. The lodge consists of 11 comfortable thatched so called “Kulalas” and an adjacent main building that features a large lobby area, a huge terrace overlooking an artificial waterhole and a small loungy pool area.

Our Kulala was well equipped and offered the following amenities:

- a small plunge pool, that however turned into an "insect soup" every night due to various beetles, moths and grasshoppers being attracted by the various light sources next to the pool (actually a feast for the 2 birds nesting on our porch).

- a large comfortable double bed

- air condition

- electronic safe

- minibar with a good selection of soft drinks, wine and beer

- bathroom featuring 2 separate sinks, a shower and a toilet that is separated from the rest of the bathroom

- hot water supplied by solar panels on each Kulala

- an additional outdoor shower

Each Kulala also features a terrace on the roof, which offers a stunning 360° view of the surrounding area and can also be used to sleep under the stars. Just speak to the hotel staff and they will prepare everything for you. Sleeping under the Milky Way and the Southern Cross, combined with the sounds of the African night is a spectacular experience, which you shouldn’t miss while you’re staying at the lodge.

Little Kulala also offers a laundry service, but keep in mind, that you will probably have issues getting your underwear cleaned, since in most Namibian locations the laundry service will not accept underwear (due to ethical reasons).

The food at Little Kulala was ok but by far not as good as the food we experienced at other Wilderness Safari locations of the same or lower category (Little Kulala is rated as a Premier Camp, which is the highest category used by Wilderness Safaris ). Compared to the quality that is served at Damaraland Camp and Little Ongava, the food at Little Kulala is quite basic and to some extent disappointing.

Depending on the weather conditions, meals are either being served under the roof of the main building, on the terrace or on the deck of the pool area, nonetheless you will always find yourself seated in stylish but very uncomfortable chairs that give you the impression of sitting in a super sized eggcup.

In general it seems that many details at Little Kulala were implemented mainly under design principles but evidently lack a certain degree of functionality and usability:

One such example are the sinks in the bathroom of the Kulala – they look great but the space left between the bottom of the sink and the water tap is so small, that you can hardly even wash your hands without scraping off your skin on the rough surface of the sink.

Another example are the polished oval stone imitations used in the living room area of the Kulala as a small table – they look stylish but aren’t very useful if you want to place something on them.

Last but not least the patched rugs in the rooms look nice from a distance but are actually hard to keep clean and offer ideal living conditions for all kinds of bugs.

Despite some obvious shortcomings, we still had a great time at Little Kulala and experienced some very special moments:

We loved for instance sitting on the terrace of the main building in the morning, enjoying a late breakfast and watching the hundreds of Namaqua Sandgrouses arriving and departing from the waterhole nearby or simply watching the countless Springboks doing their morning exercise.

An unforgettable experience was also the sunrise over the dunes near Sossusvlei and the beautiful sundowners we experienced in the area.

In addition to that, we also had the opportunity to enjoy a lovely surprise bush dinner on the first eve of our stay. Not only was the atmosphere very special but we also had the pleasure of seeing the staff of Little Kulala perform Namibian songs and dances.

I would also like to point out that our guide “Nicky” did a great a job in showing us the surrounding area and explaining everything in a very detailed and enthusiastic way. In addition to that, Nicky is a very humorous person and we had some really good laughs throughout the 2 days we stayed at Little Kulala.

Summary:
Our stay at Little Kulala was a nice and relaxed intro to our three week long trip through Namibia and South Africa. Nonetheless some of the details at Little Kulala need to be improved, especially when compared to other Wilderness Safari Lodges. Also the staff could be a little more attentive at times. We also found the quality of some of the 4x4 vehicles substandard. Our Land Rover basically was a dusty and rattling piece of junk which made it more or less impossible to communicate, while the vehicle was in motion.

So all in all – it’s a great place but it offers a lot of room for improvement!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank LC-MUC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 5, 2012

Thank you so much for your valuable feedback and we are very pleased that you found Little Kulala to be a lovely place.

The small plunge pool allows guests to cool down in the privacy of their own Kulala, during the heat of the day. At night the bugs are naturally drawn to the lights that are on. However, every morning the plunge pools get thoroughly cleaned and during the day, if insects are noticed in the water or grass seeds have blown in, then they are cleaned up.

We have a dedicated Food Experience Manager in place, who is actively focussing on every aspect of our food offering in the camp. We have also embarked on a revolutionary media based training program called Lobster Ink, training our staff in all aspects of hospitality. This additional specialist training for the staff enhances their skills further and the improvements so far have been remarkable.

The design of the camp and interior décor of the room contribute to the uniqueness and ambiance of Little Kulala. The patched rugs in the rooms do look lovely. Rest assured that the rugs are thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis and are kept as insect free as possible.

The vehicles rattle, this is true. Unfortunately the network of dirt roads are rough, uneven and so the cars rattle. We try to keep it quiet as far as possible and have had some cars refitted with windows.

We have taken note of your insightful feedback and will endeavour to work hard on those areas where improvement is needed.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2012

Good food and proportions with lots of vegetables.Really nice welcome with an explanation of the facilities. Guide is the most important aspect of the hotel. We were also fortunate in that the other couple who were with the same guide had similar interests to us. This meant that we were able to take the time to climb Big Daddy, a tall dune that allowed a great view of the area. However, because of the heat and the challenge, many visitors do not do this climb.
The staff are incredibly attentive. We were very fortunate in that on the 2nd night, the dinner was held outside the hotel on the reserve. The staff played drums, sang and danced as we ate under the stars. Again the food was delicious and the atmosphere was great.
Ascending and descending from the dunes is incredible. It is an experience unlike any other and the hotel due to its proximity to the national park and the staff allowed us to experience it the way we wanted to.

Room Tip: The rooms are individual bungalows. All air conditioned. Very comfortable.
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank elaine3Southport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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