Only 20k from Clarens, The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is well known for its scenic beauty and interesting geology as well as its wildlife and birds.
(Maps available at the Information Centre opposite Glen Reenen Rest Camp).
The R712 connecting Harrismith to Clarens passes through the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The route winds its way through Lichens Pass (2041m) past interesting sandstone rock formations. The Golden Gate is aptly named, and makes for a scenic drive, especially in the late afternoon when the setting sun shows off the sandstone colours at their most vibrant.
There are two loop roads off the R712 which are worth exploring: The Blesbok Loop (6.7km) features the Zuluhoek lookout point and Generaalskop view point. The Oribi Loop (4.2km) offers views of the Drakensberg, and a stopping point at the Vulture Feeding hide. For more information See Self Drive route Clarens to Vulture Feeding Site.
The following companies offer tours in The Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Tour of Golden Gate (half day) which takes in parts of The Golden Gate Highlands National Park which are not open to the general public. Lots of opportunity to photograph game and birds. A visit to the Basotho Cultural Village included. Contact details
Tours of the Golden Gate Hilghlands National Park and the Basotho Cultural Village. Contact details
Game drive (4×4 game viewing vehicle) through what used to be the Qua Qua National Park (which now forms part of the Golden Gate Highlands National Park.) A chance to explore one of the last untamed wilderness areas in the Free State. Lots of plains game to be seen. Contact details
Golden Gate National Park (Article by Mary Walker)
Golden Gate National Park Geology: (Sanparks website)Life Lines: Layers of the Past in Stone (Article Supplied by: Nikki Tilley – email@example.com)
Exploring the Golden Gate with Maluti Tours (Clarens News)