Golden Gate Cultural and Scenic Tours
Half Day Golden Gate Cultural & Scenic Tour:
The Golden Gate National Park is one of the only National Parks that has a major feeder road running through it. This means that there are no fences & it is more open for the animals to move freely over the local farms and mountains of the eastern Free State. It does not have the big 5 unfortunately, but there are certainly leopard high in the mountains. The Park lives harmoniously with the farmers who live around the Park. The half day trip lasts about 4 hours and includes gives you a very good overview of the stunning beauty of this local gem. Apart from the scenic drives and view points , we suggest a tour around the Basotho Village, a visit to the vulture hide, a short 1 hour hike or longer if you wish. The fee to buy a hiking permit must be paid at the Glen Reenen Tourist centre and this is for the Client’s cost. At the Centre you can buy refreshments at the shop & take a comfort break.
Full Day Golden Gate Cultural & Scenic Tour:
The Park lies nestled in the rolling foothills of the Maluti Mountains of the north-eastern Free State. This is true highlands habitat, home to a variety of mammals – amongst others, black wildebeest, eland, blesbok, oribi, springbok and Burchell’s zebra – and birds, including the rare bearded vulture (lammergeier) and the equally rare bald ibis, which breed in the ledges of the sandstone cliff. Golden Gate Highlands National Park derives its name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the park’s sandstone cliffs, especially the imposing Brandwag rock. Generaalskop, the highest point in the park, reveals a breath-taking tapestry of red, yellow and purple hues as its warm shades merge with the cool mountain shadows towards evening. Look out for great photo opportunities.
We will travel in “Pugsey” the comfortable air conditioned bus and the SUV if needed. The first views you will have on entering the Park are the amazing rock features that are close to the road. They are truly beautiful.
Keep your eyes open for herds of wild game in the area, you may find baboons playing by the roadside as you begin to climb up higher. Drive along the Blesbok & Oribi Loops to the Langtoon Dam and the higher points accessible by road for stunning views that are only beaten by the views from Woodhouse Peak, where we can take a short walk to the viewpoint. We drive slowly through the mountains down to the grass covered lowlands to reach the Basotho Village. Enjoy visiting this replica of a Basotho village and learn how the Basotho people have evolved from way back in the 1600’s up until present time and how their homes differ and learn about some of their culture. We visit the vulture hide and hopefully find a vulture or two feeding on a carcass.
For lunch we recommend we stop for a picnic basket lunch supplied by “Di Bus Stop” and enjoy a 15 minute walk to a cave overhang where we will eat lunch. There are other options such as bringing a packed lunch for eating at one of the view sights, of stopping at the Golden Gate Hotel for a casual lunch in the bar lounge. There is time to hike the well-known Holkrantz cave walk from the Golden Gate Hotel. Note: the hikes are optional and some of them may be in the Conservancy in which case a fee of R53 for locals and R210 for Foreigners is payable by the Client. Other activities such as Mega Zipline, Quad Biking, Horse Riding are also options that could be added into your tour, time permitting.
You also have the option of a Game Farm drive that will take you late into the afternoon. We offer champagne or a packed supper or a braai in the boma. The champagne, meat, side salads, charcoal and cutlery, plates and glasses are provided and included in the cost. Guests are welcome to request the driver to make a quick stop by the local bottle store if anyone wishes to purchase their own drinks etc. then we make our way to the game farm for the braai and a relaxing time. We return to Clarens just after sunset after enjoying a wonderful day out.