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Golden Gate Highlands Mountain Retreat
Highlands Mountain Retreat
Highlands Mountain Retreat Close your eyes and allow your senses to totally relax. Breathe in the crisp, fresh mountain air and slowly allow your eyelids to open. Take in the awesome view of the overlapping mountain range, all the while knowing that you are standing 2200m above sea-level, the only place in South Africa at this height A great escape for the mind, body and soul... the recently released Highlands Mountain Retreat, is a luxury camp in Golden Gate that has certainly been worth the wait. Home to eight log cabins nestled in the foothills of Golden Gate, that can accommodate 4 families of 4 each (2 bedrooms each en-suite) and 4 that can accommodate 2 persons each (1 bedroom), making this camp, a definite must visit for all. Log Cottage (FT2/4) - Check-in at Glen Reenen Reception - Double Sleeper Couch, not suitable for adults - Fireplace - Kitchen - One bedroom with double bed - One en-suite bathroom (wc and shower) - Television - Verandah with Weber braai Family Loge cottage: Family Log Cottage (FT4) - Check-in at Glen Reenen Reception - Fireplace - Kitchen - One bedroom with 2 single beds - One bedroom with double bed - Television - Two bathrooms (en-suite, with wc and shower) - Verandah with Weber braai
Nestled in the rolling foothills of the Maluti Mountains of the north eastern Free State lies the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The 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, keeping vigil over the main rest camp.
This 11 600 hectares of unique environment is true highland habitat, providing home to a variety of mammals – 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 on the ledges in the sandstone cliffs. Ribbokkop, the highest point in the park, reveals a breathtaking tapestry of red, yellow and purple hues as its warm shades merge with the cool mountain shadows towards evening.
Highlands Mountain Retreat
Close your eyes and allow your senses to totally relax. Breathe in the crisp, fresh mountain air and slowly allow your eyelids to open. Take in the awesome view of the overlapping mountain range, all the while knowing that you are standing 2200m above sea-level, the only place in South Africa at this height
A great escape for the mind, body and soul... the recently released Highlands Mountain Retreat, is a luxury camp in Golden Gate that has certainly been worth the wait. Home to eight log cabins nestled in the foothills of Golden Gate, that can accommodate 4 families of 4 each (2 bedrooms each en-suite) and 4 that can accommodate 2 persons each (1 bedroom), making this camp, a definite must visit for all.
Golden Gate Hotel
A spectacular sight awaits those who seek out Golden Gate Highlands National Park which was proclaimed in 1963. This paradise of sandstone cliffs is definitely a jewel of the Northern Free State, with its delightfully crafted landscapes and interesting range of roaming wildlife. Guests can experience anything from mild or hot summers to freezing winters sometimes snowy.
When it comes to accommodation, visitors can indeed have their pick of the finest choices not the least of which is this hotel. From the moment that you are welcomed at the hotel, you will know that you are about to experience unique scenery on vicinity.
This hotel is surrounded by the majestic beauty of the northern and eastern Free State landscape. The scenic grassland also home to numerous wildlife and bird species.
The experience of being accommodated at this luxurious hotel which doesn’t only provide ideal services and facilities to its guests, but also situated at the perfect location where you can experience wildlife first-hand.
The hotel offers conferencing and a banqueting venue, as well as a variety of indoor games and facilities for those who choose not to "rough it out" in nature. It does not get any better than relaxing at the cosy atmosphere pub with log fire during the freezing Free State winter.
Mild highveld summers with the possibility of thunderstorms in the afternoon and cold winters with occasional snow transforming the park into a white wonderland.
The winter temperatures in Golden Gate can plummet to a mere -9 to -15 degrees C and that snow is a regular occurrence in the park.
Golden Gate primarily falls in a summer rainfall area (Sept to April) and the annual rainfall is approximately 760 mm per year. In very wet years this figure can rise to 1250 mm.
With a public bypass road running through the park day visitors are welcome to drive through the park.
Fuel Stations: Petrol/ Diesel
Vehicle fuel is available in all parks (or is available on the park periphery):
- South African legislation stipulates that fuel stations will accept legitimate petrol/fuel/garage/credit/debit cards or cash as a form of payment for any fuel purchase.
Monday to Sunday 07:00 - 17:30.
Tips and Hints
- Pets are not allowed.
- Firearms must be declared and sealed on arrival. Seal will be broken at the reception office upon departure.
- Vehicle repair, medical, post office and police services at Clarens (17 km) or Bethlehem (± 60 km).
- Remember to bring a hat, walking shoes, sun block, camera, binoculars and wildlife reference books.
- Hikers on day and overnight trails must always carry sufficient water.
- Take cool and light clothing for summer and warm clothing for winter.
- Area prone to sudden weather changes.
**Visitors with reserved accommodation who arrive after 17:30 may collect the keys to their accommodation at the Security Office, Glen Reenen Filling Station.**
Areas Of Special Interest
- Rhebok Hiking Trail (2 days and 1 night): maximum of 18 persons per group. Advance booking essential. Hikers provide all own necessities. Enquire at the reservations office. Tariffs and Map
- Short nature trails (varying from 1 hour to 5 hours): no bookings required.
- Game viewing at leisure in own vehicle.
- Holiday programmes are conducted during the April and December holidays. Enquire at reception.
- Environmental education courses (varying from 1 to 5 days).
- Bowls, tennis, table tennis and snooker (at the hotel).
- Horse riding available - please book at (058) 225 0951.
- Absailing and canoeing available for people using Wilgenhof Environmental Education Centre
Basotho Cultural Village Rest Camp
- Game viewing drives (self driven) – it is not only the game that one get to enjoy in this part of the world, one gets to enjoy rock formation, birds, grassland and the beautiful scenery that forms part of the Drakensberg and Maluti mountains.
- Museum tours – visitors get to feel the Basotho experience by tasting traditional cuisine, getting to know equipments and weapons that were used then.
- Cultural route, one gets afforded an opportunity to be taken through the Basotho culture and the way of living dating back from the sixteen century to date.
- Herbal trail, visitors are lead through this trail in order to be educated about the medicines that were used and are still by the African Traditional Healers.
- Cosy atmospheric pub with log fire (at the hotel).
- Picnic site for day visitors has ablution and barbecue facilities.
- Glen Reenen general dealer and filling station, Brandwag curio shop, licensed restaurant, coffee shop and ladies' bar. Enquire at reception.
- Catering for conferences, weddings and other functions at Brandwag should be made direct to the hotel on +27 (0)58 255 0012 for all reservations and inquiries)
- Swimming in natural pool at Glen Reenen.
Directions * Equidistant from Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein.
* Easily accessible via excellent tarred road.
* Public road runs through the park.
* Roads in the park are tarred.
* Basotho Cultural Village Rest Camp:
o It is only 55km from Harrismith and the N3. It is sited along the Maluti Drankensburg Route only 350km from Pietermaritzburg, 330km from Bloemfontein and 320km from Johannesburg.
o The village is only 42km away from the renowned Clarens, a tourist Mecca of the Free State Province through the scenic Golden Gate Highlands National Park.