User Reviews – Golden Gate Highlands NP
35-50 years of age
Scenes of natural beauty
Easily accessible, natural scenery, in the midst of a much larger environment. Options to camp or staying in the local hotel exist. It is a central point for various activities such as hiking, drive outing to watch game, the scenery and other close-by attractions. There are as much as seven hiking trails that you can do from the camping spot. If you are fit you can do most of it in one day, beautiful scenery, bird life in abundance and small game. Do not forget your camera, binoculars and bird or plant book. A day pack is all you need.
Other short excursions from the park as central point is the cultural village close by, the small town of Clarens and even a quick dab into the neighbouring country of Lesotho. This time of the year the landscape is turning green with the summer rains against the backdrop of the beautiful mountains. There are opportunities for taking some of the most beautiful sun rising or setting pictures.
Staying here for a day or a few days replenishes the energy and strengthens the love for nature. The amenities are clean and suitable to take a breather on a long trip, reorganize.
Fuel is easily available at the local fuel station close to the camping terrain. Roads are well maintained and easily accessible even by normal car or motorcycle. No need to a 4x4, except if you plan to go further into Lesotho and the Drakensburg areas. There are also a few 4x4 routes close by. It is about 350km from Johannesburg.
Email Annon | 35-50 years of age
THERE ARE NO KHOI SAN PAINTINGS IN THE PARK
THERE NO KHOI SAN PAINTINGS IN THE PARK! REPEAT: THERE ARE NO KHOI SAN PAINTINGS IN THE PARK
On the morning of 22 January I stopped at the reception office at the Golden Gate Nat'l Park to inquire about hiking to see Khoi San paintings in the limited time that I had before having to return to Johannesburg that day. I specifically mentioned to the young woman working the front desk that I was there to see Khoi San paintings and not in spending time on other activities in the park since my time had run out. She advised me to go to Echo Ravine to find them and gave me a map to help me get there. Another couple hearing our conversation also took note, and all of us hiked up to Echo Ravine in search of the Bushmen art. Unfortunately, we were quite disappointed when we made it there to find that there were none, and I hiked back to the reception office to make sure that I hadn't misunderstood our instructions. I was then told that there were none, to which I kindly asked for my money back (210 rands) to be returned. I was refused by her manager, Norman Mudau, who took my name and number down in an attempt to quell any further complaints.
The exorbitant entrance fee of 210 rands ($17 USD) assessed on foreigners (4x that for South Africans) would be well worth it if the paintings were there or If one had a full day to spend at the park. But in my case I was misled into believing that I could find them and wasted my last remaining time in South Africa on a fruitless endeavor, when I could have traveled instead to Kiara Lodge to successfully find them.
Norman Mudau and his associate should learn to practice better customer service in the future. Their treatment of me that morning made my trip to South Africa end on unnecessarily sour note, which is regrettable since the remainder of the trip was about as perfect as one could imagine.
Email Bryan | 65+ years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
Email Hans van der Boom | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
Email Lilian Ruzius | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
The scenery is beautiful, hiking in the park is great. Wildlife: Zebras, Blesboks, Wildebeest and lots of beautiful Hanestaart Wildavink birds. If you just come for the red colored mountains I advise you to go to Blyde River Canyon as this area is more spectacular.
Email Alan Crawford | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
Golden Gate National Park is based in the northern reaches of the Drakensberg mountain range and the Maluti mountains and is a great destination for hiking amongst high sandstone rock formations. The park contains wildlife found in the mountains of South Africa. A visit from here to the Drakensberg mountain resorts is also possible.
Email Raffaella | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
Email tapaculo99 | under20 years of age | Experience level: first safari
The scenery here was stunning - amazing geology and hiking.
Wildlife was not terribly plentiful, but we did see a few wildebeest, jackal, and zebra.
Bush vibe - not such a nice park in this regard, since a major road passes through the park.
Birding was nice but not particularly exceptional.
Email zapiture | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris