Your Guide to the Drakensberg and Natal Midlands

Golden Gate Highlands National Park

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

  • Amakhulu Central Reservations
    Merl offers a very friendly and professional service to book accommodation in South Africa. She specializes in the Drakensberg and Golden Gate National Parks.
  • Accommodation in Golden Gate
    This website is the best I have yet come across for accommodation in South Africa. You communicate directly with the accommodation establishment and the entire booking is carried out online.

  • Lake Clarens Guest House
    This is a charming stone house overlooking a trout lake and majestic mountains. The rooms are stylishly decorated, breakfast is served on the verandah or in the dining room. Day trips to the Golden Gate National Park right on your doorstep. 
  • Patcham Place
    Patcham Place is in the delightful little village of Clarens near the Golden Gate National Park. Comfortable bedrooms each with separate entrances and private baloneys and lovely views.





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