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Golden Gate: ADVICE

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele

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Pac
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Golden Gate: ADVICE

Unread postby Pac » Tue Feb 22, 2005 8:25 pm

We will be going down to Clarens this weekend and plan to go to the Golden Gate Park to do a little photography and take in the beuty of the area.
Is there any advice that anyone could give me that would make the experience better, as it is the first time i'm going to the park??
Where are good places to watch birds etc?

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Pac
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Feb 23, 2005 6:48 am

Hi pac,

anywhere in there is good for birding. Watch out for the bearded vulture! Take some of the hikes. It is always wortwhile.

Read some of the other topics in here if u have not before.

Enjoy!
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Unread postby Pac » Wed Feb 23, 2005 1:54 pm

Thanx a lot WTM, i will hopefully do some walks there, that is if my leg heals in time....lol. I have read some threads and the park looks really interesting, hopefully will have some nice pics up by next week.

Pac
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albormann
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Hiking in Golden Gate

Unread postby albormann » Thu Mar 03, 2005 11:14 am

Is it possible to go hiking in the park without a guide? Which hikes are recommended?

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Mar 03, 2005 11:25 am

Hi, Unfortunately I do not know about the sleepover hikes, but there are 3 or more day hikes that you can do on your own time that I am aware of.

It starts from the camping area.Ask if you need more info.

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Unread postby Guinea Pig » Thu Mar 03, 2005 11:53 am

We did a sleep-over hike there a while ago without a guide. There's a restriction on the number of people who hike per group and you have to report to the reception area at the shop. Just check first if the rules have changed and they must be booked in advance. All the others we've done on our own, just report to the same reception area before leaving camp and when you return. You don't have to book these.

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Unread postby Pac » Fri Mar 04, 2005 8:50 pm

We were just in the Golden Gate this last weekend and it was lovely. i am not so sure about the hikes, i think you have to get a permit for one. but the accommadation at the park is great, there is a Holiday Inn and a lovely campsite, really you can walk anywhere, it's great. some nice places to test your 4x4 as well.

Pac
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Apr 13, 2005 2:01 pm

There was a good article about Golden Gate and some usefull info regarding hikes in the latest Getaway mag.
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hikes with children at Golden Gate

Unread postby mellothi » Sat Jun 04, 2005 3:41 pm

Hi all,

All of the family (with 3 children of 8-10-12 years old) will be in Golden Gate park in the last week of July. It is our first stay there (and in the whole of Africa), so we are very excited!
We have bookings for Glenn Reenen restcamp, and we wondered if you already have good tips for us while staying there, f.i.
what is the easeist place to shop for food?
are there any walks (max. three-four hours) that are especially attractive for the children, maybe with waterfalls or something else spectacular?
are there any places in the neighbourhood that will be of special interest (I heard about a vulture place)?

Apparently we would like to know the same about Royal Natal (Thendele Camp), but I suppose this is not the right spot for that, being a SANParks forum.

Thanks in advance for any reactions!
Christianne (and Thias, Melle, Lovis)

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Unread postby Guinea Pig » Sat Jun 04, 2005 3:57 pm

Hi mellothi!

Golden Gate National Park is one of my favourites. First off though - be warned - you might experience extreme cold weather during the time you'll be visiting. It's dead centre in the middle of the Maluti Foothills. We drove past there last year during the same period and it was white with snow.

Otherwise there is so much to do. As there are no lions etc. you're allowed to go where you want. If going for a hike you need to report to the shop reception first. There are several ranging in length and difficulty. You may ride through the park on mountainbikes too. There's horse riding as well - catering for the experienced to the absolute beginner, ranging in difficulty and length.

The vulture restaurant is still in operation - just ask when they'll be feeding. Worthwhile watching. Be careful of the kids though - if squeamish - rather not.

There is a campshop similar to those in Kruger National Park. It sells basics and curios.

The Park is about an half an hours drive from Clarens, the most picturesque little town in the eastern Free State. Lots of bigger shops, restaurants and curio shops.

Hope you enjoy your visit.

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Unread postby Guinea Pig » Sat Jun 04, 2005 4:13 pm

Taken as you leave Clarens. Turning to your right takes you in the Park's direction:

Image

Highest point in the Free State - Accessible by foot:

Image

Brandwag Hotel. Has an excellent restaurant:

Image

Our favourite walk:

Image

I have pictures from the horse ride and other hikes as well as Glen Reenen, but they are with my brother and his wife who'll be going there as well in September. I'll get them and post for you.

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Unread postby Bushbaby » Sat Jun 04, 2005 6:03 pm

I agree with GP - beware of the cold and odd thunderstorm!!!! We camped last year in June and the cold was quite intense but the surroundings make up for it. We were four families with kids from 2 - 19 years. The 7 year old enjoyed hikes up to the gates about 11 km from the camp site. The walk was very lesurely and is very pituresque. There are many walks that can be taken that are not very taxing. Don't forget to ask for the route maps to see the San Rock art (you can drive a portion and then get out and walk) this is very educational and interesting. The little game reserve holds some treats and you can spot many species of animal there. The horse riding is outstanding. For the less energetic - just sitting and watching the sun move over the sandstone is a treat in itself! Shop at any small town along the way but Clarens or Fouriesburg will provide most of what you need.
Not all who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

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Unread postby Guinea Pig » Sat Jun 04, 2005 6:23 pm

Slightly off topic, but oi......driving the road from Clarens or Golden Gate to Fouriesburg and then Bethlehem equals the Panorama Route in Mpumalanga. 8) It's an absolute must do. If you have time it's worthwhile getting (visas?) to visit the Kgatse Dam - now that's something never to be forgotten.

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thanks

Unread postby mellothi » Sat Jun 04, 2005 7:35 pm

Thanks very much for the respons! We were already looking forward very much; now we will be even more impatiently! The pictures are beautifull; looking forward to more pictures! And indeed, we will be prepared for snow (we will not camp, but stay in a bungalow and bring warm clothes).
The horse riding sounds promising, we hope they accept also unexperienced 8 year olds?!
Thanks also for the mentioned panoramic route.

Best wishes, Christianne (and Thias, Melle, Lovis)

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Re: thanks

Unread postby Guinea Pig » Sat Jun 04, 2005 7:47 pm

mellothi wrote: And indeed, we will be prepared for snow (we will not camp, but stay in a bungalow and bring warm clothes).
The horse riding sounds promising, we hope they accept also unexperienced 8 year olds?!



The bungalows are stunning - heated and each have a fireplace. Each bungalow has more than enough warm bedding as well. 8)

Anybody is welcome on the horsetrails! :D Just book the one suited to your family. They'll help you with that. I remember I couldn't sit properly for a day or two as we took a slightly more advanced one! :lol:


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