Golden Gate Highlands National Park
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Nestled in the rolling foothills of the Maluti Mountains of the north eastern Free State lies the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The park derives its name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the park’s sandstone cliffs, especially the imposing Brandwag rock, keeping vigil over the main rest camp.
This 11 600 hectares of unique environment is true highland habitat, providing home to a variety of mammals – black wildebeest, eland, blesbok, oribi, springbok and Burchell’s zebra – and birds, including the rare bearded vulture (lammergeier) and the equally rare bald ibis, which breed on the ledges in the sandstone cliffs. Ribbokkop, the highest point in the park, reveals a breathtaking tapestry of red, yellow and purple hues as its warm shades merge with the cool mountain shadows towards evening.
Areas Of Special Interest
The Van Reenen family graveyard
The Impressive Brandwag buttress rock formation
Cathedral Cave (Guided Walk)
Interesting lookout points and viewpoints – Zuluhoek lookout point, Generaalskop viewpoint, the third highest point in the park; Oribi basin and Drakensberg view
5 Things To Seek
Glen Reenen Rest Camp:
Rondavels, Longdavels and Guest Cottages with either one double and two single beds or two single and one stack bed, bathroom (shower) and kitchen with basic equipment.
Highlands Mountain Retreat:
Close your eyes and allow your senses to totally relax. Breathe in the crisp, fresh mountain air and slowly allow your eyelids to open. Take in the awesome view of the overlapping mountain range, all the while knowing that you are standing 2200m above sea-level, the only place in South Africa at this height
A great escape for the mind, body and soul… the recently released Highlands Mountain Retreat, is a luxury camp in Golden Gate that has certainly been worth the wait. Home to eight log cabins nestled in the foothills of Golden Gate, that can accommodate 4 families of 4 each (2 bedrooms each en-suite) and 4 that can accommodate 2 persons each (1 bedroom), making this camp, a definite must visit for all.
The Golden Gate Brandwag Hotel is a unique retreat situated in the heart of the Golden Gate Highlands National Park in the scenic North- Eastern Free State.The world renowned and ever impressive Brandwag rock rises up to meet you and keeps vigil over this stately old building in glorious splendor.
The Hotel offers comfortable accommodation with unequalled views in the self catering chalets and as well as the hotel rooms. It offers a restaurant, ladies bar, coffee-shop, curio-shop, conferencing & banqueting venues, as well as a variety of indoor and outdoor games and facilities. This is the “one-stop shop” for holiday makers and business travelers.
The unique Brandwag Hotel awaits all visitors to come and enjoy this peaceful, serene and healing environment for a never-to-be-forgotten visit to this magnificently scenic grassland which is also home to numerous species of wildlife and bird species. This fabulous world of sandstone cliffs, sparkling rivers, age-old culture and heritage and spectacular mountain splendor of the Maluti’s, will add to a life changing experience.
Short nature trails (varying from 1 hour to 5 hours): no bookings required.
Game viewing at leisure in own vehicle.
Holiday programmes are conducted during the April and December holidays. Enquire at reception.
Bowls, tennis, table tennis and snooker (at the hotel).
Horse riding available – please enquire at Utforsk Africa.
Absailing and canoeing available for people using Wilgenhof Environmental Education Centre
Visit the Basotho cultural village:
Go back more than 400 years and experience how the original population of this beatiful area lived. Travel forward in time and see how the Eurpoean settlers influenced life and culture. Consult a real Sangoma (medicine man) or just enjoy the wonderful yourney through time.