- Free State
- Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Golden Gate Highlands National Park can be found in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains close to Clarens and the Lesotho border, on the scenic Highlands Route.
The park was established in 1963 to preserve the sandstone rocks that were once shelters for the Bushmen tribe and which contain finely preserved examples of their rock paintings.
Environmental education centre
The park houses one of the best equipped Environmental Educaton Centres and is the only grassland National Park in South Africa. The luminous shades of gold cast upon the sandstone cliffs by the sun and especially the imposing Brandwag Rock gave rise to its name. Beautiful wooded ravines, gullies and grasslands with an assortment of rare and indigenous flowers which include Watsonias, Fire Lilies, Red-hot Pokers and the Arum Lily form the vegetation of the area.
The park is one of the last refuges of the rare Bald Ibis and the rare Bearded Vulture which breeds annually in Cathedral Cave. A number of mammals such as Black Wildebeest, Blesbok, Zebra, Eland, Springbok and the threatened Oribi have all made the park their home. There are approximately 140 bird species most of which can be viewed up close from the hide at Vulture Restaurant.
Cultural village and museum
The Basotho Cultural Village and Living Museum is situated on the Eastern side of the Park with guided tours into the culture of the Basotho people.
Accommodation available in the park consists of rondavels, self-catering chalets and hotel rooms.
There is a General Dealer and filling station and all the roads within the park are tarred.
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