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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 April 18, 2009

My wife stayed and I in little Kulala for three nights for our honeymoon and it was simply spectacular and top notch. The views are breathtaking and that within a stylish high end interior that fits because it perfectly blends in with the environment. The food and wines are great and, contrary to other lodges they are very flexible in where and more important, when! you want to have lunch, dinner etc. We were suprised (to say the least) on the reviews on the slow internet, it's like going to the beach and complaining about the sand...you in the desert!!! (and hé, our point of view is the opposite, finally no e-mails!!!) If you can, you might want to try to make a transfer by small plane, the costs are reasonable and you will see views that make you feel you are another planet. Don't forget to get some extra info from the hosts on the stars at night during the sleepout on your roofterrace. Tip: if you are going to Africa for big game, I would also go to for example Etosha or Botswana, besides the desert elephants the game viewing is limited. Furthermore, in terms of pricing, there appears to be some room for specials as the standard rates are quite high. But having said that, this place will definitely enter your top 10!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank VelazquezAdam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2008

Little Kulala is a superb lodge, that has all the conforts of a modern hotel of design!
Of course you don't have internet. Of course you don't have satellite tv or any tv at all.
This is a lodge in Africa! We are supposed to relax and enjoy the great excursions to the dunes. The heat in December can be pretty intense, so try to come between April and October.
Staff are very nice and delicate.
I was alone with my husband and the first night we came to the dinning area and they had set a private table near the pool with candles all around to create an intimate ambiance.
I totally recommend to stay here.

Stayed: December 2008
Thank Filipa_Campilho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2008

Was here for 2 nights over New Year.

Overall, this property is the best located and Wilderness Safari's flagship Namibian property, i.e. it is the top property in the Namib.

The atmosphere is truly magical, the rooms are all private bungalows with two whole sides made of glass and stunning views over the desert. You have your own deck with loungers, covered eating/sitting area and a plunge pool (welcome respite from the heat!). There is also a roof terrace, where they can arrange a bed for you to sleep in the open (would recommend spending only an hour or two up there, then going back inside...).

The decor is modern/design. I go on safari often and so I found this interesting and refreshing. However, if you are looking for dark wood, spears hanging from the walls and masks everywhere then this is not the place for you.

The guides are professional, as well as most of the staff (like in every good place you'll always find one or two unhelpful ones). The manager in particular was accommodating and went the extra mile to make our stay enjoyable.

The real drawback of this beautiful place is the price: they want a pound of flesh. It's really expensive compared to other luxury lodges in Namibia or South Africa.

I think that all the other complaints I read in the reviews are a little unfair, because we cannot forget that this place is in the middle of the desert!
Staff has to fight daily just to keep the sand from eating the hotel up. If you internalise the fact that you are in a barren rock plain in one of the hottest and most remote parts of the planet, then it's amazing you have fresh food, abundant water, clean and huge rooms, a/c and a pool!

Looking at the complaints one by one:
- food variety is limited: Windhoek the nearest large city, 10 hour drive away (gravel roads for a lot of the way), they can't go shopping every day
- there are ants and bugs: yes there are, but amazingly few considering where the hotel is
- you can't see the dunes very well: true, but the dunes are within the national park bounds, a hotel can't really get much closer than that to the dunes
- internet and fax don't work so well: I never had a problem while there, but I can see why the services may not be as reliable as in London...

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank eskew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2008

I choose Little Kulala based on its incredible views of the sand dunes – which are the highest in the world at nearly 500 metres. Well, we arrived late afternoon and couldn’t see the dunes so we were a bit disappointed. Oh well, I thought, the lunar-type landscape is stunning. And, we were there at a very privileged time with the wildflowers in full bloom across what is normally desolate rocky and sandy earth. I was expecting barren earth and it was anything but.

Settled into our room – well, a small house really. Certainly most Parisians live in smaller apartments. Huge open glass walled room with views across the plains to the mountains in the distance, an obligatory bathroom the size of small town, outside shower and the best bit – a private plunge pool on a private deck. Bliss.

After enjoying a drive through the countryside to a mountaintop for sundowners then back to the lodge for dinner, we slept very well in our beautiful room. Woken up by our guide at 5am the next morning. It was pitch black as we left the lodge for an hour long drive to the base of the sand dunes. We arrived just before sunrise and were able to see the sun rise over the horizon as it magically lit up the dunes to an incredibly intense red. We climbed up Dune 45 - an incredible experience and the views were stunning.

We then went on through the national park to another amazing area, which was basically a salt pan surrounded by more dunes. By this stage, it was around 10am and already over 30 degrees. Being the desert, it is very cold at night, but heats up very quickly. Decided to head back to our lodge – our plunge pool was calling!!

Made it back to the lodge and the view was a revelation – in front and basically for about 180 degrees was the blood red sand dunes. It was incredible. We arrived the day before to the sun shining directly from behind the dunes so they looked just like mountains rather than dunes. With the sun directly on them, they were lit up like a massive bushfire advancing across the plain.

The colours and contrasts were mesmerizing – incredibly blue skies (apparently the silica of the sand makes the sky a particular deep hue of blue), the red of the dunes, the iridescent yellow of the wildflowers and the dark, almost black expanse of rocky ground.

All of this to be enjoyed from our villa and from the communal part of the lodge (which was incredibly funky, with a minimalist yet down-to-earth African feel – everything was in blond woods, painted white and made from recycled materials including the tortured-looking timber supports rescued from ancient dead camel thorn trees).

There were many highlights from this part of our three day trip, but one of them was definitely sleeping out for the night. Our room had a “star deck” on the roof. Perfect spot for sundowners, but also for sleeping outside at night. The staff set up proper beds on the roof (mattresses, white linen and doonas and you sleep under the most incredible canopy of stars. We loved it so much we slept out two nights in a row, leading my husband to ask: “we paid how much for our room only to sleep outside?” I felt like one of those Mastercard adds - it really was a priceless experience. But, if you don't like bugs and creepy crawlies, don't sleep outside!

Highly recommend Little Kulala for a modernist interpretation of the African savannah in an incredible landscape.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jmlparis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2006

Little Kulala is hailed as the flagship property of Wilderness Safaris accommodation in the Sossusvlei area, more exclusive than its sister properties Kulala Wilderness Camp and Kulala Desert Lodge. Indeed Little Kulala is very 'design'. The decor is all white and beige, uncluttered and somewhat minimalist. The wooden floors are painted white. There are 8 'kulalas' or private villas. These are quite spacious, containing an inside and outside bathroom, where you can take your 'rainshower' whilst enjoying a magnificent view of the desert . The huge towels are almost too fluffy. The villa also contains a large private terrace with seating area, and a plunge pool. Unfortunately, the one time I decided to go for a dip in the nice cool water my enjoyment was ruined by a swarm of wasps which suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Indeed insects seem to be a bit of a problem at this luxury property. I understand pests are difficult to control but our room was overrun by millions of minuscule ants, which crawled everywhere, even in the beds, and we were completely devoured by mosquitoes at night.
Should you wish to, you can also sleep under the dazzling African sky on the roof of your kulala where the staff will make up your bed upon request. But beware, nights in the desert are extremely cold and you're unlikely to get much sleep.
On the positive side, the service was good, the staff touchingly kind, and the food OK. At tea-time, it was nice to get something savoury as well as sweet to choose from. They made an effort to come up with something new every day. The only excursions are to the dunes, but if you want to organise horseriding or quad-biking they will arrange it for you and take you there. We went horseriding in the desert at Homestead - highly recommended. Good horses and reliable guides.
We enjoyed Little Kulala, but would have been equally happy in a less elegant lodge with a more traditional African decor.

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Lady from Luxembourg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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