• Stargazing from beds on terraces under the Namibian night sky
  • The closest point of access to the spectacular dunes of Sossusvlei
  • Hot air balloon rides over the Kulala Wilderness reserve

If the red dunes and dramatic landscapes of Namibia seem dreamy, this lodge is dreamier still. Surrounded by wilderness – 67,000 hectares to be precise – it comprises 23 ever-so-romantic thatched and canvas romantic rooms. A wrap-around veranda overlooks the riverbed, a perfect place from which to photograph the desert, and the sociable main area includes a lounge, plunge pool and lovely dining area.

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Known locally as kulalas, rooms here are built on a wooden platform to catch the breeze and the views. And such views, with the desert sloping away under blindingly blue African skies. At night that sky is littered and glittered with countless stars, and each kulala has a flat rooftop with a bed so guests have the option of outdoor sleep-outs under the heavens. Indoors, the thatch and canvas rooms capture the safari spirit of Africa in superb, en suite comfort. There are also three tents, which can each accommodate a family of four.

The lodge is sited right by the surreal and spectacular dunes of Sossusvlei, and guests here have the closest access, through a private gate, allowing for the shortest drive in and the earliest possible start. This is the best time to explore the red dunes and the fossil trees that pinprick them so dramatically. Early morning also more or less guarantees an uncluttered landscape and the best light to photograph it. The desert is full of surprising life, from springboks and ostriches to foxes and hyenas. Here, and only here, the dune lark lives and sings.

Back at base after a morning’s exploration, there’s a deliciously cool plunge pool providing escape from the afternoon heat and as the sun moves along, a fabulous vantage point from the veranda. Evenings are enjoyed in candlelit conviviality, in the lounge, the bar and attractive dining area. Nights can be spent right under the stars if so desired.


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