Golden Gate Highlands National Park - Immense Beauty
As the breathtaking Brandwag rock silently watches over the main rest camp, the sun playfully cascades and reflects shades of gold on the sandstone cliffs. This is how the Golden Gate Highlands National Park was named. The Golden Gate National Park is true highland habitat, and provides 11,600 hectares of unique, protected living environment to it‚Äôs many inhabitants. The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is located near the Maluti Mountains, in the north eastern Free State. Golden Gate was bought by the Government in 1962 and handed over to the National Parks Board, which was declared Golden Gate Highlands National Park, a National Park in 1963. At the start, Golden Gate National Park was only 4,792 hectares, and was only increased to its present size in 1983.
The avid birdwatchers will be truly excited as the Golden Gate National Park not only offers a variety of unique birds, but also a few feathered friends that are seen very rarely. Amongst the birds to be on the look out for are Cape Vultures, Bald Ibis, Martial Eagle, Lanner Falcons and Rock Kestrals, to name but a few.
If your interest is on the ground instead of the skies, you will find Black Wildebeest feeding on grass and succulents, Grey Rhebok on the flat-topped grassy mountains, and Springbok roaming the plains. Though very shy and mostly nocturnal, the Duikers do get brave at times allowing eager wildlife enthusiasts to catch a glimpse of them in the daylight. Not to forget the Steenbok, Oribis and Mountain Reedbuck, or the Red Haartebeest, Eland and Blesbok.
The Golden Gate Highlands National Park has accommodation to cater for all outdoor lovers. At the Glen Reenen Rest Camp there are either rondawels available or the Noord-Braband Farmhouse, which is an old rustic farmhouse that has been converted to comfortable sleeping accommodation. The Glen Reenen Rest Camp also has a rondawel that is wheelchair accessible. There are also shaded, relaxing camping grounds for either your tent or caravan. Ablution blocks and barbecue facilities are available, with power points in the ablutions and some camp sites. So make your way to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park and get close to nature.