Golden Gate Highland national park is a unique must visit Africa destination visually stunning due to its spectacular sandstone cliffs that dominate their surroundings. The ancient rock formations are beautiful to look at and hidden among these colossal cliffs are caves containing San rock art paintings within them. The Golden Gate Highlands National Park boasts rolling hills and expansive views across open plains, with the Drakensberg visible in the distance. The sandstone cliffs found in the park are illuminated in a golden hue when the sunlight catches them, hence the park’s name.
The park's most notable features are its golden, ochre, and orange-hued, deeply eroded sandstone cliffs and outcrops,especially the Brandwag rock. Another feature of the area is the numerous caves and shelters displaying San rock paintings
Golden Gate Highlands National Park is located in Free State, South Africa, near the Lesotho border. It covers an area of 340 km2 (130 sq mi). The park's most notable features are its golden, ochre, and orange-hued, deeply eroded sandstone cliffs and outcrops,especially the Brandwag rock. Another feature of the area is the numerous caves and shelters displaying San rock paintings. 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
Climate: Golden Gate Highlands National Park
"Golden Gate" refers to the sandstone cliffs 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. The park is located in the eastern highveld region of South Africa, and experiences a dry, sunny climate from June to August. It has showers, hail, and thunderstorms between October and April. It has thick snowfalls in the winter. The park has a relatively high rainfall of 800 mm (31 in) per year.
The Geology of Golden Gate Highlands national park provides very visual "textbook" examples of Southern Africa's geological history. The sandstone formations in the park form the upper part of the Karoo Supergroup. These formations were deposited during a period of aeolian deposition towards the end of the Triassic Period. At the time of deposition, the climate of the area the park covers was becoming progressively drier until arid desert conditions set in, resulting in a land of dunes and sandy desert, with occasional scattered oases. The deposition of the sandstones ended when lava flowed out over the desert 190 million years ago.
The following sequence of geological formations is visible in the park (starting from the bottom): the Molteno Formation, Elliott Formation, Clarens Formation, and Drakensberg Formation. The yellow-brown Golden Gate and Brandwag cliffs are made up of the Clarens formation. The layers in this formation are 140 to 160 m (460 to 520 ft) thick. The Drakensberg formation comprises the basaltic lava that flowed over the desert. It forms the mountain summits in the park. On Ribbokkop, it is 600 m (2,000 ft) thick.The Elliot Formation is a red mudstone where many dinosaur fossils have been found.
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
Golden Gate Highland national park is visually stunning due to its spectacular sandstone cliffs that dominate their surroundings. The ancient rock formations are beautiful to look at and hidden among these colossal cliffs are caves containing San rock art paintings within them.
Golden Gate Hotel:
Glen Reenen Rest Camp:
Highlands Mountains Retreat:
Noordt Brabant Guest House:
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