Wednesday newsletters all the time function a lodge or flight evaluation.
Final November, I loved a superb vacation in Namibia. You may learn my journey stories right here:
Immediately: Overview of Little Kulala Lodge by Wilderness Safaris (Namibia)
Managed by Wilderness Safaris, Little Kulala is ready throughout the 27 000-hectare Kulala Wilderness Reserve, a pristine wilderness sited in Namibia’s Namib, nicknamed ‘The Residing Desert’. A welcome oasis, the camp lies alongside the dry Auab riverbed. You may’t get a lot nearer to the famend dunes of Sossusvlei and the haunting panoramas of Lifeless Vlei, accessible by way of an exclusive-use gate. Lately refurbished, Little Kulala entices with its adventures, its landscapes, its peace. Completely solar-powered, the brand new camp has cleaner, extra fashionable strains than its predecessor, opening out extra to the desert. Its 11 climate-controlled suites – every with its personal plunge pool – honour the native geology, reflecting the encompassing gray and pink limestone in color and texture.
Little Kulala options in my prime 10 lists of the perfect resorts in Namibia and the perfect Wilderness Safaris lodges in Africa.
Have you ever ever stayed at Little Kulala? If that’s the case, what was your expertise? Depart a remark.
On this evaluation (extra data and photographs beneath my Youtube clip & slideshow):
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- Little Kulala enjoys a chic location within the unique 27 000-hectare Kulala Wilderness Reserve, a pristine wilderness website inside Namibia’s Namib, nicknamed ‘The Residing Desert’. Stretching for nearly 2000 km (1,200 mi) and courting again a minimum of 55 million years, the Namib is believed to be the world’s oldest desert (the Sahara is regarded as simply two to seven million years previous). Whereas sand dunes are an omnipresent function all through the Namib, the dunes within the space of Littkle Kulala rank among the many most spectacular and the very best on the planet. And you may’t get a lot nearer to the well-known dunes of Sossusvlei and the haunting panoramas of Lifeless Vlei, since Little Kualala is the one lodge in a non-public reserve with direct entry to Sossusvlei’s magnificent crimson dunes by way of an exclusive-use gate (guaranteeing a head begin on the vacationer buses for morning excursions to the dunes).
- Cool, serene and sheltering, Little Kulala is an oasis within the midst of the stark desert magnificence. Set alongside the dry Auab riverbed with its useless camelthorn bushes, the lodge’s primary constructing is a semi open-air pavilion which homes a welcome space, library, wine cellar, craft boutique, and sitting & eating areas. There’s additionally an upstairs lounge, full with a photograph hub and different fascinating objects, providing a calming space for visitors to be taught extra about Namibia’s fascinating geology, fauna and flora. Providing limitless desert vistas, the pavilion is surrounded by round decking which overlooks a close-by watering gap fashionable with wildlife, particularly at evening (e.g. springboks, oryx, and jackals). One facet of the pavilion additionally encompasses a shaded deck with solar loungers and a swimming pool. A walkway – floating over the sand like a snake – connects the principle pavilion with the stand-alone lodging.
- Merging impeccably into the desert panorama, Little Kulala options 11 thatched “kulalas” (the phrase means “to sleep” in native Oshiwambo language). Every suite comes with a spacious deck, shaded sala and personal plunge pool. On the within, the suites function a kingsize mattress (alternatively, a twin mattress arrange is feasible) and a sitting space with floor-to-ceiling home windows that provide an important view of the desert panorama and passing wildlife. Ensuite loos are outfitted with each indoor & outside bathe. On prime of every suite is a rooftop space that may be utilized for sundowners, “African tapas” and different rooftop dinners. A singular function of the suite is a roll-out mattress beneath the sala for both siestas through the day or for sleep-outs beneath the celebs (an expertise to not be missed because the Namib Desert gives a few of the darkest skies on earth).
- In November 2020, Little Kulala re-opened following an intensive refurbishment. Sustaining the identical much-loved feel and look of the previous lodge, the rejuvenated design celebrates the luxurious of area, splendor and solitude of the Namib. The lodge’s bleached picket decks, conical formed thatched roofs and earthy inexperienced coloured partitions seamlessly mix in with the sun-scorched desert environment, whereas massive home windows and bushes integrated into the lodge’s structure deliver the surface in. Interiors make the most of mirrors, concrete flooring, curving partitions, and designer furnishings create an easy sense of area and light-weight, which is additional enhanced by a impartial shade palette of desert pastels. Pebbled wall, picket flooring, white linens, pure cottons and mohair dyed with pure vegetable dyes all make for a really natural camp look which takes its inspiration from its environment.
- Meals on the Little Kulala is superb and all meals are included within the room charge. The gastronomic expertise is designed to replicate the camp’s conservation story by way of the usage of immersive eating and a conscious menu that celebrates Namibia’s sustainable and indigenous substances. Breakfast – served prior to every morning exercise – consists of a small continental buffet arrange within the eating room and a selection of a number of cooked choices. Wholesome snacks and a selection of drinks are supplied on excursions. Lunch is served on the outside deck and includes three programs, together with wholesome and lighter choices. At evening, visitors can dine on the wrap-around veranda, within the laid-back restaurant, contained in the traditional sunken wine cellar, or across the cosy outside fireplace pit in entrance of camp (which is the right storytelling platform).
- Little Kulala options an intimate spa – with only one remedy room – subsequent to the principle lodge. The spa companions with Therapeutic Earth, an award-winning premium model that makes a speciality of pure physique care merchandise. The signature Sossusvlei Desert Escape remedy begins with a full again exfoliation adopted by a skin-quenching Namib Melon full physique therapeutic massage, rounded out by a jade crystal facial therapeutic massage. Different therapies embody the Miracle Restore, an expensive anti-ageing process utilizing African potato balm to restore the pores and skin on a deep mobile stage. The Physique Rebalance is a blissful aromatherapy therapeutic massage utilizing highly effective indigenous phyto oils tailor-made to the visitor’s particular person wants, with the intention to go away them glowing, relaxed and hydrated.
- Little Kulala gives revolutionary in- and out-of-camp activities that amplify the splendor and solitude of the Namib Desert. From e-bikes to night-time scorpion monitoring and scorching air ballooning, visitors staying at Little Kulala are spoilt for selection with quite a lot of actions tailor-made for an optimum exploration of the wondrous panorama. Listed below are a few of the actions on supply:
- To not be missed is the half day tour to the Namib’s world-famous, towering. Sossuvlei is the identify of an infinite clay pan, flanked by the well-known sand dunes that flush crimson within the early morning solar (in addition to the identify of the world on the whole). Near the Sossusvlei pan is Lifeless Vlei, one other pan the place water as soon as flowed. All that is still now are the skeletons of bushes that attain up out of the cracked earth.
- Sesriem Canyon is an interesting geographical formation nicely value a go to. The results of thousands and thousands of years the place water carved its method into the earth, Sesriem Canyon is at the moment 3 km (1.8 mi) lengthy. Views from the highest are breathtaking whereas walks by way of the canyon reveal distinct geographical layers which had been laid down over aeons.
- The 37 000-hectare non-public Kulala Wilderness Reserve gives guests unique wildlife-viewing alternatives which embody the likes of gemsbok (oryx), bat-eared fox, brown hyaena and birdlife. The reserve could be explored on foot, by bike or by automotive, all the time beneath the steering of the lodg’s skilled rangers. Spectacularly scenic viewpoints supply an opportunity to cease and take all of it in. Sundowner stops in scenic components of the reserve are a spotlight.
- Discover additional into the non-public Kulala Wilderness Reserve, whereas having fun with the fun of driving a quad bike. A information leads these eco-sensitive excursions, permitting you to soak up the unimaginable views and to catch a glimpse of the denizens of the desert.
- After darkish, one other realm of the Namib awakes. Walks reveal a few of the desert’s charming critters reminiscent of dancing white woman spiders and scorpions which fluoresce beneath UV lights.
- An absolute spotlight of any keep at Little Kulala is a balloon safari (not included within the room charge). This exercise is organized by a separate firm – Namib Sky Ballooning – and could be booked by way of the lodge at no further price. Little Kulala is the perfect lodge within the Sesriem space from the place to take a balloon safari because the balloon takes of from inside Kulala Wilderness Reserve: it’s solely a ten min drive from the lodge to the launch website, whereas visitors from different lodges usually need to drive half-hour or extra. The balloon safari lasts one hour and gives a very distinctive expertise as you soar silently above the magnificent ocean of sand and mountains, with limitless vistas of shadows and lights. . A champagne breakfast is being served on the touchdown website. At touchdown, you come again to earth with an “Out Of Africa” type Champagne breakfast arrange in the midst of nowhere, and your pilot will current you with a flight certificates
- Little Kulala is managed by Wilderness Safaris, my favourite safari firm in Africa. Wilderness Safaris was based in 1983 in Botswana by two younger guides, who wished to make sure each conservation of wildlife areas and that the monetary advantages of their safaris movement to Botswana and its individuals. Immediately, Wilderness Safaris is broadly acclaimed because the continent’s foremost ecotourism operator, devoted to conserving and restoring Africa’s wilderness and wildlife. They do that by creating life-changing journeys for visitors in a few of the most distant and pristine areas in Africa, hereby serving to to preserve Africa’s spectacular biodiversity and share ecotourism’s advantages with the communities that reside alongside these areas. Wilderness Safaris operates greater than 40 camps in seven nations, together with a number of iconic and ultraluxe properties reminiscent of Mombo & Little Mombo in Botswana and Bisate Lodge in Rwanda.
- Little Kulala is deeply dedicated to Wilderness Safaris’ 4Cs sustainability ethos of Commerce, Group, Tradition and Conservation. Again in 1996, when Wilderness Safaris first began working within the space, the locale had beforehand been used for subsistence goat farming, and valuable little indigenous wildlife remained. The corporate undertook a complete and cautious rehabilitation program to revive the degraded land to its unique habitat. Immediately, the Kulala Wilderness Reserve is vital for episodic motion of wildlife as they observe meals and water for survival. The reserve types the hyperlink between the extraordinarily essential main drainage strains of the central Namib Desert and the encompassing pro-Namib, and the key drainage strains of the Namib Sand Sea. The employees are additionally proud to share their wealthy cultural heritage with visitors.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
- Attending to and from the lodge would possibly require an extended drive on gravel roads, relying on the place you come from: Swakopmund is 400 km (248 miles) from the lodge, whereas Namibia’s capital Windhoek is 380 km (236 miles) away. Due to the lengthy drive concerned, I like to recommend to remain a minimum of 3 nights, so that you’ve got a minimal of two full days on the lodge itself. In case you don’t need to fly, you can too attain the property by scheduled every day constitution flight to its non-public airstrip (which is simply 5 minutes from the lodge).
- Just like most lodges in Namibia, Little Kulala is not fenced off, so visitors are required to be vigilant always. Leopards, snakes and scorpions are current within the Namib Desert, and there’s no bodily obstacle to them coming into the world across the lodge. It is suggested that visitors use a torch when strolling across the lodge at evening.
- The WiFi sign at Little Kulala is just not very sturdy, simply sufficient to ship texts and atone for emails (however that’s the case in all remotely situated resorts in Namibia). Additionally, there’s no TV contained in the room, however then, who wants all this on this spectacular setting which focuses on reconnecting visitors with nature.
- The non-public plunge swimming pools are Little Kulala are quite small, situated within the shade, and crammed with chilly water. However they’re ample to chill down through the warmth of the day.
- Little Kulala is not low cost, however the charge is obtainable on all-inclusive foundation (together with all meals and all actions).
- Location: 10/10
- Design: 9/10
- Pool: 9/10
- Rooms: 9/10
- Meals: 9/10
- Breakfast: 9/10
- Spa: 8/10
- Service: 10/10
- Worth for cash: 10/10
- Total expertise: distinctive 9/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Lower your expenses: learn right here my ideas for getting the perfect deal at a luxurious lodge like Little Kulala (and/or obtain many free perks).
- Learn my ideas for getting ready your journey in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The very best time to go to Namibia is from July to October, when the temperatures are comfortably heat through the day and the possibility of rain is low. That is additionally the perfect time for outside actions and wildlife viewing, making it peak journey season. Between December and March, some days will probably be humid and rain could observe, usually in localized, afternoon thunderstorms.
HOW TO GET THERE
Little Kulala is situated on the NamibRand Nature Reserve, and could be accessed alongside the C27, roughly 20 minutes south of Sesriem, both coming from Swakopmund (400 km or 248 miles) or from Windhoek, (380ckm or 236 mi). Please word that the street floor right here could be fairly poor, and 4WD automotive is advisable, particularly within the wet season (November to Might). You can even fly in, and it’s a 90 min flight from Hosea Kutako Worldwide Airport in Windhoek to the lodge’s non-public airstrip.
Under is a collection of my photographs of Little Kulala. To view extra lodge photographs (together with meals), click on right here.
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