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“Worthy of being a premier camp”

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Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
60 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Worthy of being a premier camp”
Reviewed January 6, 2013

The accommodation is very comfortable and well designed with each 'villa' having indoor and outdoor showers, a private area for sitting outside which has a plunge pool and steps up to the flat roof where bedding can be put for star gazing. Food was excellent with a choice of indoor or outdoor eating and we were given a special treat one evening by the staff surprising us with a table in the wine cellar. The staff are helpful, especially the drivers/guides. While staying there its worth taking the hot air balloon ride (extra cost).

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank PietreLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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199 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
217 reviews
120 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2012

A pretty, friendly isolated camp but near Sossulvlei for an easy trip to the huge red, imposing dunes. the main lodge building is very pleasant with pool, indoor and outdoor eating areas, as the temp and wind dictate, and a small waterhole that draws the animals accustomed to the nearly uninhabitable desert setting. A small pool and shop are also nice. The food was quite good. And they have a nice wine cellar But the computer never worked while we were there which was a real drawback. And no wifi. The people were very genuinely service oriented and helpful
The rooms were quite modern with full glass walls overlooking the desert. Good bedside lighting and a good bed. The modern decor meant less practical storage, side tables and drawers and made the couch difficult to sit on. Pretty , but practicality should have trumped the design element. Large bathroom though water pressure was low and a pleasant outdoor shower. The major issue however was that there was no way the air conditioner kept up with the heat, it was too hot inside and out so no relief. i think this problem needs to be solved since it was thoroughly unpleasant to even sit still!!! The walk to some of the rooms in the mid- day sun can really be hot given the setting.

Room Tip: Ask for one close to the main building
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Chicago60604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Many thanks for the feedback on our camp, Little Kulala. It is indeed a very special little camp in a stunning environment, and we are delighted that so many of its special qualities were appreciated by you. Our managers do try extremely hard to ensure that each guest’s needs are taken care of. It is important to us to ensure that all details of the operation there always run smoothly- so we appreciate your honest thoughts on where improvements can be made on aspects of the design of the camp.

We have attended to the problem with the computer and apologize for this inconvenience – as Little Kulala is remotely placed, it does take some time to receive spare parts or to have items repaired when they break down. This should not, however, impact on your stay and we regret this was a frustration for you. In the near future we shall be implementing Wi-Fi into the camp as the demand does require it- this will hopefully be done in the course of this year.
The issues with the air conditioning was noted at the time; we experienced some extremely high temperatures these last few months due to very dry conditions and the air conditioning units in the rooms could not, as mentioned, keep up with the heat. These temperatures were unusually high and with our normal range of temperatures the units cope very well. It is important to us that our guests are comfortable regardless of the climate outside, so we are looking at alternatives for cooling the rooms under these severe conditions. We do also have to take into consideration any measure we implement cannot put excessive strain on our power capabilities and thus our footprint on the environment.
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Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
75 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2012

This was our first stop on our safari through Namibia. It was a fabulous introduction to the diversity that is offered within this country, stunning landscapes, endless blue skies, barren deserts, rugged mountains and the desert wildlife. Namibia is a photographer’s dream. The staff are all friendly and made our stay most enjoyable. Thanks to managers Hendrick and Charmaine.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Karibabird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Sussex
Level Contributor
135 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
Thank Leopards_cheetahs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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 a...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Karen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
110 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank GracieG2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank LC-MUC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala, responded to this review, 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.
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Additional Information about Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala

Property: Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala
Address: Sossusvlei - Kulala Wilderness Reserve, Sossusvlei, Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia
Location: Namibia > Khomas Region > Namib-Naukluft Park > Sossusvlei
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Sossusvlei
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala 5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The closest luxury camp to the remarkable Sossusvlei dunes, Little Kulala's exquisite fittings, pastel tones and use of natural light merge into the timeless desert landscape. Aside from excursions to the dunes, the unadorned beauty of the Namib is explored via game drives and walks on Kulala Wilderness Reserve, providing sightings of desertadapted wildlife and plants, from ungainly ostrich to charismatic bat-eared fox. Scenic sundowners take in awe-inspiring views that stretch endlessly to a distant horizon, while a "star-bed" offers slumber under some of Africa's clearest skies. • 11 rooms (1 family) • nature drives and walks • Sossusvlei excursion (via private gate) • Sesriem visit • sleep out deck • quad biking • massage treatments • hot air balloon ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Little Kulala Hotel Sossusvlei
Wilderness Safaris Little Kulala Sossusvlei, Namibia - Namib-Naukluft Park

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