Overview What to See & Do How to get there Climate Map

Background Information

Golden Gate Highlands National Park is located in Free State, South Africa, near the Lesotho border. "Golden Gate" refers to the sandstone cliffs that are found on either side of the valley at the Golden Gate dam. In 1875, a farmer called J.N.R. van Reenen and his wife stopped here as they travelled to their new farm in Vuurland. He named the location "Golden Gate" when he saw the last rays of the setting sun fall on the cliffs. This beautiful stretch of coastline is a national treasure and incorporates the Tsitsikamma, Knysna Lake Area and Wilderness. The mosaic of eco-systems from the ocean to the mountains incorporates pristine beaches, rugged cliffs, Cape indigenous forest, Fynbos, rivers and lakes to create one of the most sought after attractions in South Africa.

Wildlife featured at the park includes mongooses, eland, zebras, and over 100 bird species. It is the Free State's only national park, and is more famous for the beauty of its landscape than for its wildlife. Numerous paleontology finds have been made in the park including dinosaur eggs and skeletons. The very rare African Black Oystercatcher, the country’s most endangered bird species as well as the smallest antelope in South Africa, the Blue Duiker, which is also endangered, can be spotted.

The Park can be visited throughout the year