Kulala Desert Lodge

Reviews of Kulala Desert Lodge

Good(89%) From 184 travellers
Excellent
105
Good
61
Average
13
Poor
5
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 184 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.
The Keens from Connecticut
Arrived on: 26-Apr-2015 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

The Kuala Lodge was also wonderful. Everyone was helpful and accommodating.

We loved being able to sleep outside on the roof watching the stars.

The excursions were fun and interesting.

The desert scenery there is spectacular.

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Mr & Mrs S from Hungary
Arrived on: 31-Mar-2015 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Kulala Desert Lodge review

Very nice location. Overpriced activities but later I noticed that Wilderness Safaris are using the same price level in all their locations. The Family room was very good. Meals good but not highlight.

Activities were great and our kids fell in love with Suwama - our guide.

We have taken two sundown excursions and one morning to sand dunes. Big advantage of the Resort is the private gate which saves appr. 1 hour drive.

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Mr. B - Welwyn
Arrived on: 8-Dec-2014 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Excellent lodge

This is a well located lodge with friendly/helpful staff and very good guides. Excellent accommodation but insufficient veranda shade on individual lodges which restricted the ability to sit on deck after 3pm.

Was very hot - highest temp of the 2 days was 40.2 degrees. On first night only 2 other guests (one of whom worked for Wilderness and was with her sister) 2nd night - same 2 girls plus one other couple and a girl from Namibia Treks and Trails plus a Wilderness pilot. F

ood was disappointing - meat was tough (management informed and apologetic) fruit salad consisted of c. 90% apple, fresh fruit was unripe. No advice given by staff regarding food preparation eg. loin of lamb (more like very old lamb/sheep!) came with mustard sauce poured over the meat - no option advised. Little food choice - may be associated with so few guests.

No Wi-Fi but guests can use main lodge computer - good connection. Lots of activities including quad biking - a first for us - which was a fantastic experience.

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Ms R & Ms M - New York
Arrived on: 26-Oct-2014 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Unforgettable place!

This is a stunning place. After driving the unexpectedly long (but tremendously scenic!) driveway in, we were greeted by lodge staff offering us refreshing homemade ginger "beer." We were then given a tour of the facilities (gorgeous!) and were seated on the veranda where staff members asked us about any dietary restrictions and described the activities we could partake in during our two-night stay.

At first this place seemed a bit fancy and formal compared to where we had just come from (Bullsport Guest Farm) but that feeling soon dissipated thanks to the friendly and attentive staff.

Our kulala was great. It is really more like a semi-permanent tent - the walls of the main room are canvas, though the bathroom is a type of stucco or adobe. It was furnished tastefully and appropriately for it's stunning surroundings. However you are literally at the edge of the desert, so accept that dust will be a factor here despite all the efforts to keep everything clean. The view from our little deck was amazing - the dunes are right there. We did opt to sleep on the roof one night to enjoy the stars - we highly recommend that! It definitely got chilly overnight, and while we were cozy up there, we did go back in our room at about 4 or 5am to get a few hours of solid sleep.

This lodge is run by Wilderness Safaris so you will be "indoctrinated" (in a good way) with their philosophy, particularly concerning water conservation and energy consumption.

The food is just ok. They seem to be catering to westerners and a western diet, so we didn't eat anything unusual - chicken one night and beef another. The starch and the vegetables were heavy. Same breakfast as everywhere else we went. Other than the food, the only other thing that bothered us about Kulala Desert Lodge (and it happened again at the other Wilderness Safaris place we stayed) was that there was a big group (~14 people) staying there too. Their giant table dominated the dining room and even though they weren't rowdy, being around large groups of tourists is just annoying. We went to Namibia to get away from people! Oh well.

The activities they offered us were two different sundowners (since we were staying two nights) and a morning trip to Sossusvlei. We opted for one sundowner and the Sossusvlei trip. Both were incredible. We had the same guide for both who was excellent (unfortunately we don't remember his name). We were very lucky in that we were the only ones on the sundowner, and only one other couple was with us on the Sossusvlei trip. (Perhaps that's the upside of the big group - they were all out doing group activities!) Yes you can go to Sossusvlei yourself for a lot cheaper, but having to go through the main gate at Sesriem would have meant getting up even earlier, and also you learn a lot with the guide (and you can just sit back and relax in the Land Rover!). The morning at Sossusvlei was definitely one of the highlights of our whole trip. We did drive ourselves to Sesriem Canyon which is definitely something you can do on your own.

We absolutely loved Kulala Desert Lodge. The surroundings are some of the most spectacular scenery you will ever see, and we felt very well taken care of. We wish we could have stayed longer than two nights!

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Mr D & Mrs S - Hampshire
Arrived on: 8-Oct-2014 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Kulala Desert Lodge

Large busy lodge close to the dunes . Had an excellant guide here who made it all fun and interesting. We climbed Big Daddy ,what a sense of achievement. It was easier and even more fun coming down.

Staff very friendly and liked to chat which made you feel vey welcome and relaxed.

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Ms J and Ms C - North Yorkshire
Arrived on: 1-Oct-2014 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Kulala Desert Lodge review

very helpful staff

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Mr M & Mrs S - Edinburgh
Arrived on: 22-Sep-2014 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kulala Desert Lodge review

This is quite a large camp but the rooms are good {it was too cold for us to sleep out on the roof terrace but at another time of year it must be quite an attraction}. The food was good and the ensemble singing and dancing after dinner just added to that atmosphere.

The camp's 'back door' into the National Park really helps you to get quickly to the amazing landscape of Sossusvlei and it also allows easy access to the hot air balloon experience which was one of the highlights of our trip.

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Nick and Kate - London and West Sussex
Arrived on: 21-Sep-2014 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Average
Average
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Average
Average

Sprawling camp which lacks character

Despite its excellent location overlooking the majestic dunes, this camp has grown out of all proportion (now it has 23 rooms), and is a far cry from a tranquil desert experience, nor does it any longer have any sense of a luxury retreat. There was one giant party of 17 Americans during our stay, and it was all a bit too much like a Disney theme park.

The resort’s attempt to emulate Moroccan-style huts doesn’t come off and the camp is rather ugly. The central area is large and airy, with a big deck overlooking the little waterhole. You can take meals out here on warm nights, which is very pleasant (although the food is no more than serviceable). Oddly enough, the resort makes little of the waterhole, which is poorly illuminated at night, and the terrace too hot to sit on by day. This is a shame as we saw many jackal, a kudu and the African wild cat during our stay.

Rooms are simple but mosquito precautions are effective. Sleeping on the roof is a bit of a gimmick – it would be very uncomfortable, really cold and you’d be eaten alive by the insects. The camp was very hot in the daytime (40 degrees), and there is a small and icy-cold swimming pool to help cool you down. Drinks are included, as is laundry. Service is friendly and quite efficient.

Activities are arranged like a military campaign, but are largely unsatisfactory. The early morning trip to the dunes is by far the best thing, and the camp is located perfectly for an easy entry to the park, ensuring that you are up on the dunes by 8.00 am before it gets too hot – and before the hordes arrive. But it is quite crowded nonetheless. The other trip, to Sesriem Canyon, is a bit of a waste of time, and the sundowner game drive quite boring (until you get a drink) as there is so little game here. Our guide was clearly totally jaded and fed up with the tourist routine, and could hardly bring himself to smile. He compounded this by forgetting the milk for our breakfast stop on the dunes, so a cup of horrible black instant coffee was all he had to offer.

Overall, we felt that this lodge has grown too big to offer a genuine luxury desert experience, and there will undoubtedly be better options in the area.

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Expert Africa comments

We passed these comments on to the Kulala team, who were sorry that these travellers did not wholly enjoy their stay. KDL has grown in recent years, and it is now on itineraries for larger groups. The team there are sorry if a group inconvenienced these travellers and are reviewing ways to mitigate such issues in the future.

The water hole is on the opposite side of the river and sometimes it is difficult to see the wildlife there, especially at night. The camp doesn’t publicise this so as not to raise unreasonable expectations; wildlife is scarce in this desert area – despite these travellers having some lucky sightings here. A floodlight does give some illumination, but there is concern over moving this closer lest it disturbs the wildlife.

The dunes at Sossusvlei are the major draw card in this area, but can sometimes get busy. The guides here try hard to avoid the busiest parts … but that can be challenging.

We were very sorry to read about dissatisfaction with the guiding; this is a relatively unusual comment here. The guide in question is meeting with the Guide Trainer and the Regional MD to discuss how to make improvements to his guiding – and the provision of food and drink on activities.

Sleeping on the roof can be a great experience, but this is weather-dependent. These travellers visited when nights were cold – then whilst some brave the roof with a hot water bottle, but most will choose to sleep inside. By contrast, when it’s hot several of our team members have loved sleeping on the roof – the stars are magical here!

Mr & Mrs R - Surrey
Arrived on: 15-Sep-2014 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Stunning location and excellent guide

Luxurious accommodation in a beautiful setting with views of the distant dunes and mountains.

We enjoyed the facilities between a wonderful trip to the dunes and Dead Vlei and a spectacular mountain top sunset and sun downer. The early morning walk was made very special by the sensitive and informative guide. Food was excellent and all the staff were friendly and attentive.

Staying for three nights gave us time to enjoy all the facilities and activities as well as having time to relax.

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Mr & Mrs S from Yorkshire
Arrived on: 11-Sep-2014 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kulala Desert Lodge review

Good accommodation and food. Location was good as close to the entrance of the dunes but there were a lot of people seemingly in the valley before us. Not sure whether there are camps within the Park etc.

The trip to Sousselvlei and Deadvlei was great as early and we were there before many others. Climbed Big Daddy which was hard but great for the views. It was very busy when we came down with many tourists. Good trip. Went to Sesriem canyon in afternoon which was quite interesting.

Had a good evening trip out for sundowners seeing an Aardwolf among other game. Very bleak landscape.

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