Golden Gate Highlands National Park, July 2013

Golden Gate Highlands National Park is one of our favourite destinations, as many of you will already know (because we tell you that so regularly ;-)). Our last visit there was in December and we were starting to really miss the spectacular mountain scenery, so we decided on the spur of the moment to pay Golden Gate a quick weekend visit last week.

Mountain stream

Mountain stream

Lichens Pass snaking its way up into the mountains

Lichens Pass snaking its way up into the mountains

Golden Gate Dam

Golden Gate Dam

Resting in peace at the foot of the Golden Gate

Resting in peace at the foot of the Golden Gate

Mushroom Rocks

Mushroom Rocks

One of the self-catering chalets at the Golden Gate Hotel, operated by SANParks, would be our accommodations for the night. Our well-appointed unit had a unobstructed view of the iconic Brandwag buttress, which is illuminated at night.

Golden Gate Chalet

Golden Gate Chalet

A room with a view

A room with a view

Brandwag illuminated at night

Brandwag illuminated at night

Another view of Brandwag

Another view of Brandwag

The Golden Gate Hotel

The Golden Gate Hotel

Birdlife abounds around the chalets at the Golden Gate Hotel

Birdlife abounds around the chalets at the Golden Gate Hotel

Birdlife abounds around the chalets at the Golden Gate Hotel

Birdlife abounds around the chalets at the Golden Gate Hotel

The vulture hide is a very welcome recent addition to the Park’s facilities and we had a fantastic sighting of jackal / vulture interaction there on the Saturday afternoon – have a look at our “Bowling for Buzzards” post for pictures from that episode.

The Cape Griffon is an endangered species

The Cape Griffon is an endangered species

The Cape Griffon is an endangered species

The Cape Griffon is an endangered species

The vulture "restaurant" has a stunning view!

The vulture “restaurant” has a stunning view!

Black-backed jackal

Black-backed jackal

Setting out at first light on Sunday morning it was clear that winter had a firm hold on this mountainous landscape. At the top of Lichens Pass our temperature gauge was showing 5 degrees below freezing at 07:00am! Despite the bitter cold we were able to enjoy a couple of good game sightings and beautiful scenery.

Zebra sunrise

Zebra sunrise

Plains zebra

Plains zebra

A herd of blesbok making their way through the frosty landscape

A herd of blesbok making their way through the frosty landscape

Sunrise over the Eastern Free State

Sunrise over the Eastern Free State

Black wildebeest

Black wildebeest

After a leisurely picnic lunch beneath a protea-bush in the Basotho Village, we had to head for home. One night simply wasn’t enough, and we will be returning soon!

Beautiful mountain vistas at the eastern entrance to Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Beautiful mountain vistas at the eastern entrance to Golden Gate Highlands National Park

The Golden Gate Highlands National Park will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary in September this year, and to mark the event SANParks is offering a half-price promotion – have a look if you also need to escape to the mountains in a hurry!

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14 thoughts on “Golden Gate Highlands National Park, July 2013

  1. Pingback: Golden Gate Highlands National Park, August 2013 | de Wets Wild

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