The Hidden Valley is a depression and water catchment region in the Serengeti grasslands, about 20 northwest of Ndutu, and can only be reached by going off the beaten track. During the green season, a waterhole forms in the depression’s center, attracting fauna. It’s also a wonderful place for predator action, with big groups of spotted hyenas frequently observed wallowing in the muddy margins of the water hole.
This is an extremely sensitive environment, and entry to it is frequently prohibited.
Lions, zebras, wildebeests, gazelles, cheetahs, ostriches, honey badgers, jackals, and warthogs are the most likely sightings.
The Hidden Valley is a hollow in the ground that, during the rainy season, fills up with water and becomes an animal-attracting waterhole. In this article, we will take a closer look at the Hidden Valley, exploring its features, wildlife, and why it is such a special and sensitive location.
The Hidden Valley: A Secret Spot in the African Wilderness
The Hidden Valley is aptly named, as it is a secret spot that is away from any road or tourist trail. It is necessary to go off track to reach it, making the journey to this location even more exciting and adventurous. The valley is located about 20 km North-West of Ndutu, in the heart of the African wilderness. This depression and water catchment area in the plains spans over 5 square miles, and during the rainy season, a waterhole forms at the center of the depression, attracting wildlife from far and wide.
Features of the Hidden Valley
The Hidden Valley is a unique location in many ways. Its most defining feature is the waterhole that forms during the green season. This waterhole is a magnet for wildlife, drawing in herbivores who come here to drink. The valley is also a great area for predatory action, as predators stalk their prey, waiting for the right moment to strike. Large clans of spotted hyenas are commonly seen wallowing in the muddy shores of the waterhole, making for a truly spectacular sight.
The topography of the Hidden Valley is another unique feature. It is a deep drainage area with standing water, surrounded by short grass plains with shrubs and bushes. This terrain provides a perfect habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including the main species found here.
Main Species at the Hidden Valley
The Hidden Valley is home to a diverse range of wildlife, with some of the most likely sightings being of lions, zebras, wildebeests, gazelles, cheetahs, ostriches, honey badgers, jackals, and warthogs. The valley is particularly known for its large clans of spotted hyenas, who can be seen splashing around in the mud around the waterhole. This is a truly unique experience that is sure to stay with you forever.
The Hidden Valley is home to an array of wildlife, making it an exciting spot for nature enthusiasts. Some of the main species you can expect to see include:
Spotted Hyena – These fascinating creatures are among the top predators in Tanzania and are commonly seen in large clans in the Hidden Valley. They are known for their unique vocalizations and their exceptional hunting skills.
Lion – The king of the jungle is also a regular visitor to the Hidden Valley, and you may be lucky enough to see them on the prowl.
Zebra – Zebras are easy to spot with their black and white stripes and are frequently seen in large groups around the waterhole.
Gazelle – These graceful antelopes are a common sight in the Hidden Valley, and their speed and agility make them a favorite target for predators.
Cheetah – Known for their incredible speed and agility, cheetahs are among the most fascinating animals in Tanzania. The Hidden Valley is an excellent spot to catch a glimpse of these elusive predators.
Ostrich – The world’s largest bird is also a resident of the Hidden Valley. With their long legs and necks, they are a sight to behold.
Honey Badger – These small yet feisty creatures are known for their tenacity and are a common sight in the Hidden Valley.
Fox – These beautiful creatures are often seen darting around the grasslands, searching for prey.
Jackal – Jackals are opportunistic scavengers and predators, and they are often seen in the Hidden Valley.
Why the Hidden Valley is an Ecologically Sensitive Area
The Hidden Valley is a very delicate place from an environmental point of view, and access to it is often forbidden. This is because the valley is an ecologically sensitive area that needs to be protected from human interference. Any disturbance to the delicate balance of nature here could have serious consequences for the wildlife that calls this area home. It is essential to treat this area with the utmost respect and follow any guidelines that are put in place to protect it.
The Best Time to Visit the Hidden Valley
The best time to visit the Hidden Valley is during the green season when the waterhole forms. This season usually runs from December to May, although the exact timing can vary depending on the year’s rainfall patterns. During this time, the valley comes alive with a vast array of wildlife, making it an excellent time for wildlife viewing and photography.
How to Reach the Hidden Valley
Reaching the Hidden Valley is not an easy feat, but it is well worth the effort. As mentioned earlier, it is necessary to go off the beaten track to reach this location. You will need to hire a knowledgeable guide with a reliable 4×4 vehicle to visit the Hidden Valley in Southern Serengeti.
Topography and Size
The Hidden Valley spans across five square miles and is located in a deep drainage area with standing water. The short grass plains with shrubs and bushes offer a beautiful view of the surroundings. The valley’s unique topography makes it an ideal spot for predators to stalk their prey, while herbivores can quench their thirst in the waterhole.