19 august 2016
Kulala Desert Resort
Up at eight, shock horror it was heavily cloudy! Wheres the African sunshine? It wasnt cold and the sun did peer through the clouds from time to time but still, it wasnt what we expected. We re-packed to make things more manageable then off for a light breakfast - good coffee, muesli, cold meats, cheeses, fruit and pastries. The tour company called to say the car was ready, they came to the hotel and took us back to the car. It was all sorted and we were soon on our way. Ultimate Safaris presented Ruth with a bottle of bubbly! They have been really good to us.
Out from Windhoek on the main road south, a good well surfaced road took us through the Khomas Hochland highlands, a dry semi desert until a turn right at Rehoboth took us on to a gravel road. It was well graded and we trailed a plume of dust as we drove along. Navigating was easy, there aren't too many roads and they were well signposted.
Spotted a small herd of zebra, trapped between the road and the fence, they galloped along for a bit so we drove a bit quicker to pass them and giv e them a break. Beautiful markings. Shortly we arrived at the edge of the plateau where there was a lookout and we stopped for our lunch. Fantastic views along the Great EscarpmentAA. A beautiful day now, but a steady cool wind blowing from the west was very welcome.
Down a steep road off the plateau and into the Namib desert, arid with a low growing scrub and very little apparent wildlife. We did spot some oryx, springbok, ostrich and a few raptors along the way. Some areas were devoid of any vegetation or wildlife. Eventually we came across small group of oryx, some magnificent males with huge horms and beatifully marked faces. Wonderful.
On and on across the desert, varying from low scrub to occasional trees to nothing but sand and rock, through or past some small settlements, through Solitaire at the junction of many desert roads before finally arriving at the gate to Kulala, still another 10k to go to get to the lodge! This was really desert but a few patches of vegetation here and there and here we saw more springbok in smalll groups. Quite shy but some stood still long enough for a photograph.
We topped another rise and there was the Lodge, strung put along a low ridge. We were met by two very welcoming people, they had seen us coming from a way off, with a refreshing drink and hot flannels. After the arrival briefing we were shown to our cabin, quite well appointed though perhaps not quite the luxury standard we had anticipated, and it was not too far from the central buildings.
Dinner was ok, nice wine, average desert and then a couple of South African brandies and we headed to bed. We had booked the dune drive for tomorrow which meant a 5.30 start. The bed had been remade and included.....hot water bottles! Didnt think it was that cold.