Kulala Desert Lodge lies in the heart of the Namib with magnificent views of the famous red dunes of Sossusvlei, and the vast open plains between them. (Kulala in the Namibian language “oshiwambo” means “to sleep”) Fourteen thatched and canvas chalets with en-suite bathrooms and showers are set on wooden platforms to provide maximum airflow. For outdoor enthusiasts, mattresses can be moved to the rooftop to sleep under the stars from a private star gazing platform. The main lodge, with décor inspired from Northern Africa, has a lounge, pub, dining area and plunge pool, with a wrap-around verandah overlooking the waterhole. This is a perfect location to view and photograph the desert wildlife and sunsets. Early morning guided game drives to the spectacular dunes are through a private gate on the Tsauchab River. Game drives and walks are also offered on the private reserve with incredible views, desert game and smaller desert fauna and flora. Another option, at an extra cost, is early morning ballooning. Beginning at first light, the 60-90 minute balloon safari offers a truly unique experience to soar silently above the magnificent sand dunes and desert – with a champagne breakfast served at your landing site.