Kulala Desert Lodge

Reviews of Kulala Desert Lodge

Good(88%) From 172 travellers
Excellent
95
Good
60
Average
12
Poor
5
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 172 of our travellers who have visited Kulala Desert Lodge, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr & Mrs Pel's fishing owl - Oxfordshire
Arrived on: 7-Sep-2008 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Poor
Poor
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Terrible
Terrible
Food:
Terrible
Terrible
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Great location - awful service

This lodge was our first experience of Wilderness Safaris and the experience could not have been worse. On arrival, we checked that the lodge had received an advance copy of my wife's dietary requirements and they said they had. However, when my wife tried to run through this in more detail she was told quite abruptly that there was no need for this - "we know what she wants" - and the reception staff were more interested in getting our signatures on the disclaimer forms. It was quite obvious from the start that this was a badly managed lodge - in fact the (sole?) manager was away.

Our room was also not very clean with quite a lot of sand about and large balls of fluff and dirt in the wardrobe.

However, this was only the beginning. At dinner my wife was served the only 2 vegetables she does not eat as her main course. We then had to wait a long time while the restaurant staff then went through my wife's dietary requirements in detail! Eventually we were served an acceptable meal but by then it was getting quite late.

Because of the problems the previous evening, my wife and I did not get "brunch" at Sossusvlei at the end of our dune excusion and instead were taken back early to the lodge for lunch there which consisted of a greek salad (less feta cheese and cucumber!!!) - ie an olive and lettuce salad with a few tomatoes. As a final insult the lodge tried to charge us for 2 beers with the lunch which were freely available at no cost on our dune excursion, not to mention the complimentary glass of wine which they gave us the night before while we waited 2 hours for our dinner!!

It is also worth noting that having been on holiday in Southern Africa for 23 days, this was the ONLY lodge/B&B which served tinned fruit salad at all mealtimes when fresh fruit was freely available.

At lunch on our final day, we sat down with the staff and wrote out again a list of my wife's dietary requirements which we asked them to pass on to Doro Nawas and Wilderness Zambia.We also discovered that the list Kulala had received from Wilderness was considerably shortened and while this would normally excuse them a little, the fact that they refused to run through the detail on our arrival was Kulala's fault alone.

Overall this stay was very disappointing and very poor value for the money we paid.

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Expert Africa comments

Kulala Desert Lodge has apologised to the clients for not taking the time to chat through their dietary requirements with them on arrival. They have said that changes will be made to their systems to ensure that a similar instance doesn’t occur in the future. Expert Africa has also noted ways of ensuring details of any special requests are fully noted by the lodges.

By way of apology the lodge has refunded the cost of the morning excursion to the dunes at Sossusvlei.

Mr M & Mrs S - Cambridge
Arrived on: 6-Sep-2008 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Welcomed by pale chanting goshawk

Very welcoming reception, staff very charming, dinner fairly good but packed lunches were great, we were eating the contents for days.

Great location overlooking dry river bed and convenient for driving yourself to Sesrium Canyon and the dunes. Accommodation very good, safe bolted to wall.

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The Red Bishops from Pevensey
Arrived on: 19-Aug-2008 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Lovely setting, stunning dunes

Being greeted with a welcome drink and a smile set the scene for this beautiful place.

We enjoyed the morning dune drive, JJ our guide was a wealth of knowledge & great fun, unfortunately one of our party was ill and missed the morning drive, but JJ went out of his way to make up for this with our afternoon nature drive when we were all fit and healthy again, this was a real highlight, to see the dunes in different lights was quite spectacular.

The accommodation was excellent, unfortunately too cold at night to want to sleep under the stars (next time) and northing was too much bother, we felt quite pampered. The chocolate tart was the best pud of the trip.

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Damara Dik Dik Family - Kent
Arrived on: 5-Aug-2008 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

stunning desert lodge

Kulala seemed more slick than Zebra River Lodge. We had more formal greetings and it is a bigger lodge in the Wilderness Safari company and so we signed forms on arrival and it felt more impersonal. However, we soon realised it had its own beauty and a location which was amazing and we had the most informative of Namibian guides Christoff who took us on an early morning excursion to the dunes and we climbed (crawled!) Big Daddy with him. He gave us an unforgettable picnic under an acacia tree with everything as a safari lunch should be - please can Christoff see my words and know how much we appreciated his conversation and his kindess. HOpe the owner can let Christoff read this.

We asked to sleep outside on our roof and in a twinkling bedding was set up - all noiselessly and with great politeness. Shooting stars and clear skies and I woke at dawn to see the balloons floating off in the distance. The catering staff did an impromptu dance and songs one evening which we loved. This broke the formality. Great idea to have the tea station from 3pm onwards as children can get hungry at that time. Really appreciated the welcome drinks on arrival all done in great style and on arriving back from the dunes too.

We felt the balloon trips were very expensive so didnot do one. Would have loved to have more dancing/singing from local staff as this is one of the few chances to see local Namibians do their own thing. Staff were so polite and attentive to us. LIked the rooms too. Perhaps they should emphasise more the chance of sleeping outside on roof as it really is special!

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The Suricate family from Hale in Cheshire
Arrived on: 7-Jul-2008 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Kulala Desert Lodge review

Kulala was a very comfortable and imaginatively designed lodge with well trained and very friendly staff who made us feel very welcome. Our over all rating would probably have been higher had we not subsequently experienced Dora !Nawas !! The public spaces,in particular, are improved at the newer lodge. Hot water bottles a great joy!

The guide on the early morning drive to Sossusvlei was excellent - as was brunch - and the same was true for the afternoon walk

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Elephant Man & Lion Lady - Newcastle
Arrived on: 13-Jun-2008 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Fantastic desert experience

After a long drive from Windhoek, we were greeted with a refreshing iced tea from friendly and welcoming staff. Although the lodge looks a little like the French Foreign Legion, rooms were comfortable and public areas were attractive and stylish.

Our chalet style room looked out onto a fantastic view and gave a real feeling of being in the wilderness. We also took an organised trip to the Dunes at sunrise with a guide called David who was entertaining and informative. A great place to stay!

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Dune-larks from Northallerton
Arrived on: 3-Jun-2008 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Kulala Desert Lodge review

Service really welcoming, friendly and attentive, a few minor blips. Location perfect for early-morning dunes trip with J-J our excellent guide.

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Dune-hoppers from London
Arrived on: 24-May-2008 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kulala Desert Lodge review

Excellent in all respects.

Balloon ride was fantastic.

We were not given key to our chalet but having a key was not necessary. Wonderful relaxation area with comfortable chairs and fire.

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Mr U & Mr G Germany
Arrived on: 24-May-2008 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Kulala Desert Lodge review

The lodges location with private access to the National Park makes sightseeing really enjoyable

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Mr and Mrs L - Oxfordshire
Arrived on: 20-May-2008 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kulala Desert Lodge review

Another beautiful place and we met the man who originally built it when we did a balloon ride.

The ladies singing in the kitchen was wonderful and encapsulated this place - it had a family community atmosphere where all the staff looked after us and each other. It is remote, and there is still a drive to the dunes which if you have the legs you must climb, do as the locals do and go barefoot.

The food was excellent and you can't but admire the staff who make sure you have breakfsted before dawn as you go out to see the sun rise.

Climb a dune - hard work especially for the heavier guys but the views from the top are stunning and the run down just the biggest laugh. This is a beautiful place and one of the reasons we went to Namibia in the first place and it didn't disappoint. Brunch in Soussevlei was a perfect end to the trip.

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Expert Africa comments

Only one comment here - barefoot in the dunes can be magical when the sand is cool; but don't try it in the heat of a hot summer day!