Star Struck

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If luxury and isolation float your boat the Little Kulala Camp northeast of Lüderitz in Namibia will do nicely. This luxury-rustic desert retreat is perched in a nook of Namibia’s Sand Sea, the Sossusvlei, in the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve within the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the largest conservation area in Africa.

The Sossusvlei is one of the most impressive natural sights on the planet. Massive towering dunes of red sand give the whole terrain an off-world feeling; more like Mars than Earth. This sensation of almost being in another galaxy is further enhanced at night. When you look up at the stars in the clear desert sky entirely unaffected by light pollution, it really doesn’t look like any sky on earth you’ve ever seen. If you do so whilst cooling off from the heat of the day in your villa’s private plunge pool, it probably won’t feel like any other stargazing you’ve done either. Want to extend indulgently contemplating the heavens all night?  No problem. Each villa comes with a ‘skybed’, a proper double bed on the flat roof allowing you to sleep under the stars with all the comforts of a bedroom.

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At Little Kulala you can have the best of many worlds. Isolation and nature as an extreme pursuits combined with the luxurious appointments of the camp. You can spend your days experiencing sights that seem to have wandered out of a Dali painting: hardy desert ostriches wandering through a landscape of lunar dunes or the seemingly dead camel thorn trees twisting up out of parched terrain. In addition to the usual desert safari activities on offer, you can opt for horseback or mountain bike safaris as eco-friendly ways to experience this unique nature reserve. Or you could rise at dawn and drift over the  dunes in a hot air balloon.

With only 11 villas built using traditional local materials, Little Kulula is luxury isolation you don’t have to share with too many people and the layout of the camp is designed in to optimise privacy for each villa. But when the seclusion grows a little dull, there is also an elegant public lounge, a library, restaurant, swimming pool and cellar of excellent wines at the camp for a more social feel.

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