Golden Gate Highlands National Park

by Ilze
(South Africa)

Golden Gate National Park South Africa

Golden Gate National Park South Africa

Golden Gate National Park South Africa Climbing up to Brandwag Buttres View over Golden Gate from the top of Brandwag Buttres Another beautiful view over Golden Gate National Park

I recently visited the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. I have been there before and I will keep on going back. The beautiful golden shade of the sandstone cliffs where the park derived its name from has a serene and relaxing atmosphere surrounding it. The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is situated in the Freestate on the foothills of the Maluti Mountains and it is not something you will easily forget.

We stayed in the Glen Reenen Rest Camp. This is a beautiful rest camp with all the facilities you need. It is located near a river which had a hypnotizing effect on us. There are stands for caravans and tents and you have a choice of a stand with electricity or without it. This rest camp has superb services and ablution facilities. There are also barbeque facilities and the atmosphere to go with it. The shop has all the necessities wih friendly service.

When you visit the Golden Gate Nature Reserve there is no reason to ever be bored. There is a wide variety of activities you can participate in. The activity I love the most is the horse riding. There is an option of one or two hour rides which takes you into the mountains. On the back of the horse it feels like you’re on top of the world with beautiful scenes to enrich your mind and soul.

If you like hiking there are quite a few trails that takes anything between an hour and five hours to complete. I suggest you take your cameras with you as there are views you would want to last forever. Bird enthusiasts would also like the many different species you can observe in this environment.

On one of the days we decided to go game viewing so we packed a picnic basket and hit the road. We did not see many animals but the view, as we went along, compensated for this. We even encountered a pass along the way. It was a winding, steep route but nothing to be afraid off. There are a few picnic sites on this route and each has its own bit of magic. You can also visit the Basotho Cultural Village if you want to see a bit of Africa in its primary state.

One of the places you can visit that is not too far from the Golden Gate Highlands National Park is Clarens. This is a small town with a lot of art and restaurants. Make a day of it and see all the local talent in the galleries, eat something at one of the homey restaurants and buy interesting gifts from the many shops. This is not something you want to miss.

This part of the Country is truly magical and every time you go there is something new you can experience. I believe that if you lose your love for the mountains and the nature scenes surrounding it, you have lost your love for life. If you do not like camping there is a few hotels and lodges nearby. It is an ideal spot for a family vacation since there is something to do for everyone.

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