Golden Gate Highlands National Park- an iconic day drive.
As summer arrives in the park, the browns and golds and russets of winter are replaced by valleys so green it takes your breath away. With December holidays around the corner, this is an iconic day drive to build into your stay at Amohela ho Spitskop.
Nestled in the rolling foothills of the Maluti Mountains of the Eastern Free State, Golden Gate Highlands National Park gets 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 including 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 Golden Gate Park, reveals a breathtaking tapestry of red, yellow and purple hues as its warm shades merge with the cool mountain shadows towards evening.
The Oribi Loop will take you to the Vulture Restaurant. A short walk along the path from the dedicated parking will lead you straight to the lookout point. There is a very neat and functional bird hide which, given that there is a fresh carcass, the Cape Vulture and the endangered Bearded Vulture can be seen scavenging, noisy, fighting, flapping, tearing, an amazing sighting.
The Golden Gate Hotel has one of the most memorable views imaginable as the large windows face the golden Maluti Mountains, where there is a coffee shop which is open from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm for meals. Contact No 058 255 1000.
From Amohela ho Spitskop it is a scenically stunning drive and in the park there are viewpoints where you can stop and picnic if you do not want to eat at the hotel.