The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is one of the real highlights of the Free State. The main attractions of the Golden Gate National Park are the massive, colourful sandstone formations, which shine golden-yellow in the evening sun, and from which the area takes its name. The vegetation in the Golden Gate nature reserve consists mainly of indigenous grassland. Long hiking paths lead through the quiet mountain world.
The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is renowned for its superlative scenery, invigorating climate and excellent accommodation in either hotel rooms or self-catering chalets and rondavels, the Golden Gate Highlands National Park has become a tremendous holiday drawcard.
Goldem Gate derives its name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the region's imposing sandstone cliffs. The landscape also encompasses wooded ravines, gullies and grasslands.
Outdoor options include tennis, bowls, horse riding, swimming in a crisp mountain pool with a natural waterslide and visiting Bushman paintings. A visit to the park should always include at least one leisurely walk along one of its winding nature trails, some of which start at the Glen Reenen camping site.
The more adventurous should follow the 31 km Rhebok Hiking Trail where eland, zebra, red hartebeest and black wildebeest are often seen, as well as the bearded vulture, bald ibis and the black eagle. Some 140 bird species have been identified in the park, and a hide at the vulture restaurant enables bird lovers to observe these scavengers closely without being detected. Situated near Clarens, the park lies on the scenic Highlands Route in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains, approximately 360 km south of Johannesburg.
Accommodation at Golden Gate