One of the most magical destinations in Namibia is Sossusvlei, where towering sand dunes burn a fiery red, and remarkable desert wildlife has adapted to life in the dry vleis (open plains) of the valley. In fact, Sossuvlei is home to the world’s oldest sand dunes—and the tallest one rises over 1,000 feet from the ground. Needless to say, this otherworldly place is a firm favorite for visitors and the country’s No. 1 tourist attraction. Catering to this crowd are high-end lodges like the newly renovated andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge and Wilderness Safaris’ desert retreats. Of these, Wilderness Safaris recently closed Little Kulala Camp for a renovation, with an expected reopening date of June 2020.
Little Kulala got its start in 1996. The area was once used as farmland for subsistence goat farming, and Wilderness Safaris—which has won accolades for its conservation work—launched a successful rehabilitation program to restore the habitat and bring back the indigenous wildlife. The camp has delighted guests over the years for its immersive activities, architecture and location—situated in the Kulala Wilderness Reserve, the only private reserve with direct access to Sossusvlei's dunes. The goal of the refurbishment is to maintain the same vibe and look, while focusing on the unique desert experience and new activities.
All 11 kulalas—the thatched accommodation units—will get a makeover, creating a better airflow and adding elevated walkways to make it easier to access the main area. What’s more, each kulala will offer a rooftop stargazing experience in an area of the world renowned for its clear night skies. Plus, there will be a new “sleep-out experience” on the bottom deck of each kulala.
Other camp highlights include a new photo hub in the library showcasing the history of the Namib San Sea and facts about the region’s geology and conservation; an outdoor fire pit; and sunken wine cellar for tastings and private dining. New activities include sunrise breakfasts and self-guided walking trails in addition to the regular roster of activities like hot-air ballooning and safaris.