Golden Gate National Park - Glen Reenen Rest Camp - South Africa

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Lesotho lies just over the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The Golden Gate Highlands National Park in South Africa has an area of approximately 340 km2. The park was proclaimed in 1963 a national park. The park is an ordinary road, the R 712. People driving from Harrismith to Clarens, drive through the Golden Gate Highlands National Park.

The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is known for its unusual rock formations. The famous rock is the Brandwag which lies close to the Rest Camp. The unusual rock formations caused by erosion of sandstone. The name Golden Gate Park was given by the beautiful colors of the sandstone as the sun shines. The park offers several hiking trails. It is also possible to different routes by car to drive. The roads in the park are tarmac roads.

We arrive early at the park, because we want to go hiking in the park. Fortunately, the house already cleaned and we can get our luggage into the house. We get a card at the reception with the footpaths and decide to walk to Echo Ravine and the top of the Brandwag.

We see what clouds arise, but at least we hope it stays dry. We begin our walk quickly from the Rest Camp and cross the road. We cross the camping site and a bridge. In the first and second crossing, we follow the direction of Echo Ravine.

From the first moment of the walk we have a great view of the unusual rock formations. Slightly rising we walk the Echo Ravine. In the forest we encounter the same problem as almost all the walks in South Africa. The paths are about 1.60 meters high. Above that, the paths are overgrown with branches. Sandra has no problems, but Marko is a little longer.

Soon we arrive at the Echo Ravine and walking through the gorge. The gap is beautifully carved by water and is very photogenic. After a short stop we walk back to the intersection. We walk toward the top of the Brandwag. At the Boskloof gorge we discuss whether we still go in, but we have no idea what the weather will do. So we decide to skip Boskloof and walk to the top of the Brandwag. On the way back we always can get into the Boskloof if the weather stays nice.

The path to the Brandwag is very well, except for the final stretch. There is a concrete walkway, which is a lot better than the tree stumps on the footpath we have seen in South Africa. Along the walking path we pass a beautiful carved wall.

Then the last bit of climbing. We leave a classroom pass to go downstairs and after them we climb up. The last piece is really climbing. On all fours we climb the last bit up. Once at the top the effort makes it all worth with it beautiful views. From the Brandwag you have an amazing view over the Golden Gate Highlands National Park.

We make a few quick pictures, because in the distance we see very black clouds coming our way. We want to be sure it to have had the climbing part before it starts raining. We descend quickly and it gets darker. We still have to walk a kilometer, but now it is really time to get the raincoats. The cameras go into the backpack and we walk the last part back in the rain. What strikes us is that the raindrops are very cold and the temperature quickly drops.

We take shelter in a hut on the camping site. In the meantime, it is also going to thunder and crosses the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. We finally cross the road in the rain and wait in the house till the rain has drawn. And when the clouds move away the sun begins to shine.

Because the sandstone gets wet, the color of the sandstone gets deeper into the sunlight. We get quickly into the car and go for a ride across the park. We use the 'golden hour', the hour before sunset. This tour was a perfect end to a successful day in Golden Gate Highlands National Park in South Africa.

Length: about 4 km
Height difference: 200 m

The official homepage of Golden Gate Highlands National Park

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