Hidden Vlei is located in Sossusvlei which can be found at Sesriem. Sesriem is on the C 19 and
can be reached via a gravel road via Solitaire or Maltahöhe.
From Sesriem an asphalted road of about 60 km runs towards Sossusvlei.
At the end of this road you come to a place with trees and bushes where 2WD must park. From here
walk towards Hidden Vlei. The Hidden Vlei salt pan is located 2 kilometers south of the 2WD
parking lot. Just like the other vleis Hidden Vlei is a dried up pond with dead acacia trees,
parched ground, - surrounded by red dunes. A little photographer's paradise.
Video driving to Sessriem
All images of hidden vlei
From the parking lot, signs point to Hidden Vlei. At least you have to go due
south. Marking posts have been placed to show you the way, but I discovered the first one when I was quite a few minutes
on my way. The first part you are surrounded by trees and shrubs, but after that you arrive at the
dunes. It is not a very difficult trip, but the dunes do gradually rise and the
sand is loose. At some point you come over the edge of a dune and you will see
hidden Vlei in the
depth. Now you have to descend this dune. When you are returning you will have to climb this dune again and
that is not an easy climb.
It is wise to be in Hidden Vlei very early, as close to sunrise as possible.
That means you will have to spend the night inside the gates of Sosusvlei,
which is rather
expensive. The lodges available are very expensive, but I believe they offer
good value for money.
I spent the night at the campsite. This is expensive as well and unfortunately
you will not get value for money here.
The sanitary is outdated, no pool towels, a mediocre restaurant (situation
Fortunately, the staff is friendly and helpful. Do not spend more nights here
than strictly necessary.
I was in hidden vlei just before sunrise and photographed there until about 11am.
I saw no other person for the four hours that I was there. On my way back to the
I met two persons on their way to the Vlei. If you're a photographer then going
to the vlei that late is not a good choice as
you you will miss all the magic that occurs when the sun is still low.
In the middle of the day, the light is too hard for this location.
In the early morning you often have some clouds in the sky and if you are lucky you can include them
in your composition. The sun slowly rises over the top of the dunes, making a
nice combination of shadows and lighter parts
that you can make good use of. Take a good look around you and make a plan
otherwise you will keep running back and forth.
In terms of equipment, I brought a tripod, wide-angle lens 14-24 2.8 and 24-70 2.8 and my Nikon D810 full
frame camera. On the 24-70 i fitted a polarization filter. You cannot mount
filters on the 14-24. I use a cable release or I apply a 3-second shutter release delay to prevent
caused by vibration. I mostly use live view.
Make sure to bring plenty of water, especially when walking back to the 2WD parking in the middle of
the day you will need it. You will need something to eat also. I always take
candy bars from Nature valley, which you can buy in the larger supermarkets.
All images hidden vlei