Golden Gate National Park
Eastern Free State

The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is the highlight of the Eastern Free State. The main attractions in Golden Gate National Park are the massive, colourful sandstone formations, which shine golden-yellow in the evening sun, and from which the area takes its name.  Golden Gate Highlands National Park is situated foothills of the Maluti Mountains of the north eastern Free State. 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.The vegetation in the Golden Gate nature reserve consists mainly of indigenous grassland. Long hiking paths lead through the quiet mountain world.

Golden Gate National Park offers 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 Golden Gate, reveals a breathtaking tapestry of red, yellow and purple hues as its warm shades merge with the cool mountain shadows towards evening.

The numerous caves in the Golden Gate  amongst the sandstone rocks were once shelters for the Bushmen. Many of their cave paintings are well preserved. 

Areas Of Special Interest in Golden Gate

  • The Van Reenen family graveyard
  • The Impressive Brandwag buttress rock formation
  • Vulture Restaurant
  • Cathedral Cave (Guided Walk)
  • Interesting lookout points and viewpoints - Zuluhoek lookout point, Generaalskop viewpoint, the third highest point in the park; Oribi basin and Drakensberg view