A clay pan in Namib Naukluft national park
, formed long ago after heavy rainfall flooded the Tsauchab river, turning the area between dunes into a marsh.
Subsequent dry years made the ground harder and drier, robbing the area of all its vegetation. All except a few thorny bushes.
A few dry some of which have fallen over, tell a story of camel thorn trees that once bloomed.
Its name means 'Hidden marsh', with the 'vlei' being Afrikaans and the 'hidden' referring to its secluded position. You won't know it is there until you get there.
The area offers some amazing scenery during dusk and dawn, when the light hits the trunks and dunes from the side.What to do there
Hiking, quad biking, sight seeing, picnics, game viewing, camping nearby, air safaris, balloon safaris.Best time to visit
During the mornings of any day of the year, when it is still cool enough to walk around.
Location of Hidden Vlei
At the heart of Namib Naukluft national park
, surrounded by sand dunes on all but one side that is used as the entrance.How to get there
By vehicle, with the last bit from the parking area requiring walking.
It is a 5 hour drive from using tarmac roads.
Any vehicle could get you there, but a 4x4 offers a better experience as well as the opportunity to explore more of the park.
Vehicle options include rentals, private vehicles, bus tours and is part of the tour offered by the Rovos train.References
1. By Daniel Kraft - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=86360185