Unrivalled access to the red dunes of Sossusvlei
Family-friendly Kulala Desert Lodge is located within the arid Namib Desert on the 27 000-hectare (67 000-acre) private Kulala Wilderness Reserve. Comprising 23 thatched and canvas “kulalas” with en-suite bathrooms and verandas, each unit is built on a wooden platform to catch the cooling breezes and has a deck on the flat rooftop for sleep-outs under the stars. There are also three tents which can accommodate a family of four each.
The convivial main area includes a lounge, bar, dining area, plunge pool, and wrap-around veranda overlooking the riverbed – a perfect location to view and photograph the desert vista and to contemplate the day’s exciting activities.
Wildlife at Kulala Desert Lodge
Desert-adapted wildlife to be seen on the Kulala Wilderness Reserve includes ostrich, springbok, gemsbok, spotted hyaena and the occasional brown hyaena. Smaller creatures such as bat-eared fox, black-backed jackal, porcupine, Cape fox and aardwolf can also be seen. One bird, the aptly named dune lark, has its entire global distribution limited to the area. A surprisingly diverse array of insects, reptiles and rodents make their home around Kulala Desert Lodge. At dusk the call of barking geckoes can be heard, and walks reveal the smaller creatures – the buck-spoor spider with its multi-entrance burrow or the ambush specialist antlion, to name but a few.
This is the closest point of access to the iconic dunes of Sossusvlei
Explore the dramatic Kulala Wilderness Reserve by quad bike, hot air balloon, nature drive or on foot
The perfect location to view and photograph Namib Desert scenery
Children and extra beds
Cancellation / Prepayment
- Outdoor pool
- Private bathroom
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Situated in the largest conservation area in Africa (the Namib-Naukluft National Park), Sossusvlei is possibly Namibia’s most spectacular and best-known attraction. Characterised by the large red dunes that surround it, Sossusvlei is a large, white, salt and clay pan and is a great destination all year round. The dunes in this area are some of the highest in the world, reaching almost 400 meters, and provide photographic enthusiasts with wonderful images in the beautiful morning and evening light.
Sossusvlei literally translates to “dead-end marsh”, as it is the place where the dunes come together preventing the Tsauchab River to flow any further, some 60km east of the Atlantic Ocean. However, due to the dry conditions in the Namib Desert the River seldom flows this far and the pan remains bone-dry most years. During an exceptional rainy season the Tsauchab fills the pan, drawing visitors from all over the world to witness this spectacular site. Photographic enthusiasts are spoilt with a glassy “lake” holding reflections of the surrounding dunes. When the pan fills it can hold water for as long as a year. Despite the harsh desert conditions in the area, one can find a wide variety of plants and animals that have adapted to survive. All of the attractions surrounding Sossusvlei are easily accessible as all but the last 5 kilometers of the 65 kilometer drive to the vlei is tarred. Shuttles provide access to the last 5 kilometers, should you not have a 4×4 vehicle.
Sesriem is a small settlement located in the Namib Desert, in Namibia, close to the southern end of the Naukluft Mountains. It is especially known because the “Sesriem gate” is the main access point to the Namib-Naukluft National Park for visitors entering the park to visit the nearby tourist attraction of Sossusvlei. As many “settlements” in the Namib, Sesriem is essentially a filling station with basic services such as public telephones and a couple of small kiosks where travellers can get general supplies such as food and water. In the surroundings of Sesriem there are several accommodations, such as a few lodges (e.g., “Le Mirage Desert” and the “Sossusvlei Lodge”) and at least 24 campsites for backpackers.
By the Sesriem gate, hot air balloons depart in the early morning, providing scenic flights over the Sossusvlei dunes.
Culture and history infoThe Sossusvlei area belongs to a wider region of southern Namib with homogeneous features (about 32.000 km²) extending between rivers Koichab and Kuiseb. This area is characterized by high sand dunes of vivid pink-to-orange color, a consequence of a high percentage of iron in the sand and consequent oxidation processes. The oldest dunes are those of a more intense reddish color. These dunes are among the highest in the world; many of them are above 200 metres, the highest being the one nicknamed Big Daddy, about 380 metres high. Traces in the sand, left by insects and other small animals The highest and more stable dunes are partially covered with a relatively rich vegetation, which is mainly watered by a number of underground and ephemeral rivers that seasonally flood the pans, creating marshes that are locally known as vlei; when dry, these pans look almost white in color, due to the high concentration of salt. Another relevant source of water for Sossusvlei is the humidity brought by the daily morning fogs that enter the desert from the Atlantic Ocean. Fauna in the Sossusvlei area is relatively rich. It mostly comprises small animals that can survive with little water, including a number of arthropods, small reptiles and small mammalians such as rodents or jackals); bigger animals include antelopes (mainly oryxes and springboks) and ostriches. During the flood season, several migrant bird species appear along the marshes and rivers. Much of the Sossusvlei and Namib fauna is endemic and highly adapted to the specific features of the Namib. Most notably, fog beetles such as the Namib Desert Beetle have developed a technique for collecting water from early morning fogs through the bumps in their back.