Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Published by on

Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Golden Gate Highlands National Park South Africa

Golden Gate Highlands National Park, which means Golden Gate Park, is a state nature reserve in South Africa. It is located in the northeastern part of the country and gets its name from the amazing brilliant shades of gold on the sandy cliffs, especially from the play of light on Brandvag Rock. This area is famous for its landscapes, pleasant climate, hospitable and cozy hotels.

Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Golden Gate Highlands National Park South Africa

Golden Gate Highlands National Park was created in 1963 to protect sandstones from destruction that were once a haven for the Bushmen. Travelers can see a large number of well-preserved rock paintings. The Golden Gate Park also boasts a wide variety of rare endemic flowers that include several species of rare lilies.

Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Golden Gate Highlands National Park South Africa

This nature reserve is one of the last refuge of rare species of animals and birds, such as the bearded vulture and the bald ibis, which nest only in the territory of the Cathedral Cave. The park is also home to a variety of mammals, including Burchell’s zebra, black wildebeest, gazelle and the endangered Oribi antelope. Bird watchers can observe 140 bird species from close range, from specially equipped sites.

Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Golden Gate Highlands National Park South Africa

Golden Gate Highlands Park is a real highlight for travelers. The vegetation of the reserve consists mainly of wooded ravines, gullies and flowering meadows.

Golden Gate Highlands National Park, South Africa

Guests can visit a variety of attractions such as the Van Reene family cemetery, the impressive Brandwag buttress rock formation and the Cathedral Cave, which is one of the finest examples of natural sand arch formation by water, wind and temperature fluctuations over millennia. Many fossil bones of dinosaurs, roots, ferns were also found in the territory of the National Park. In 1973, for the first time in history, fossilized dinosaur eggs were found here. Archaeological excavations are ongoing on the territory of the reserve.

Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Golden Gate Highlands National Park South Africa

Places of interest to visit the park include the Generalskop viewpoint, the Basotho Museum located in the park. Museum visitors can taste traditional Basotho cuisine, visit exhibition halls that tell about their culture, weapons and way of life. A very interesting exhibition about plants used by African folk healers.

The park has various nature trails for walks lasting from 1 to 5 hours. Visitors can also explore the caves, swim in the clear Glen Reenen mountain pool with a natural slide, or go horse riding and tennis.

Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Golden Gate Highlands National Park South Africa

Located in the picturesque foothills of the Maluti Mountains in the northeast of the Free State province, Golden Gate Highlands National Park is one of the most interesting in terms of landscape and is famous for its geological monuments. Ancient massive rocks and cliffs of yellow sandstone sparkle brightly with golden tints in the rays of the setting sun. Here earlier, in 1878, was the farm of the Boer farmer Fan Rinen, who, inspired by the majestic panorama of the area, called his land the Golden Gate.

History of Golden Gate Highlands National Park

In 1963. the territory of the reserve has become the only one in South Africa for the conservation of meadow biomes: more than 60 species of grasses, bulbs and evergreens. The area of ​​the Park is not large – 11 600 hectares and is not so rich in wild animals, only 10 species of antelope, 140 species of birds, reptiles.

Butarchaeological sites are essential! The aborigines of this area were the Bushmen, whose surviving rock paintings are abundant in cave formations, and their household tools, fossilized bones and plants were also found. In 1973, ancient fossilized dinosaur embryos dating from 190-220 million years ago were found here. A must-see is the Gladstone and Vuurland Caves, which were home to Boer women and children who hid during the Boer War in 1880-1902.

Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Golden Gate Highlands National Park South Africa

In the Golden Gate Highlands National Park there is an open-air museum – the Basotho Cultural Village, where you can get acquainted with the traditions and way of life of the indigenous peoples of South Africa of the 16th century. One of the main attractions is Cathedral Cave – a unique geological formation that has been formed over millions of years under the influence of winds, water and sudden changes in temperature. This reserve will be of particular interest to lovers of stone formations and aboriginal rock paintings.

For those wishing to enjoy an active holiday, the Rhebok Hiking Trail is a 2-day or shorter route.

Airports: Bloemfontein airport.

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *