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Duke Ellieton-Golden Gate Getaway_Aug 2011

Tell us about your breathtaking experiences in the parks
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Duke Ellieton
Posts: 4688
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:13 pm
Location: Centurion, ZA

Duke Ellieton-Golden Gate Getaway_Aug 2011

Unread postby Duke Ellieton » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:18 pm

It is twenty years since we last visited Golden Gate. The mountains were snow covered back then and seems they will be snow covered again this weekend :D

6 August - Glen Reenen
7/8 August - Basotho Cultural Village

Join us at another SANPark :thumbs_up:

Hope the Lammergeiers (Bearded Vultures) are around :pray:

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Duke Ellieton
Posts: 4688
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:13 pm
Location: Centurion, ZA

Re: Golden Gate Getaway

Unread postby Duke Ellieton » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:41 pm

Quote from the GG brochure

“Golden gate is known for its spectacular beauty. The name stems from the sun’s rays reflected on the gigantic sandstone rocks, resulting in a golden glow which is visible for kilometers on end. The sandstone cliffs are complemented by vast open grassland plains.”


We left Pretoria at 9.00am and got to GG at 1.00pm. There were plenty of roadworks between Villiers and Bethlehem resulting in delays.

It was an overcast day and very cold but that did not take away from the magnificent scenery that unfolded before us as we entered the park.

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although more famous for the scenery GG does offer some great wildlife sightings too :wink:

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Duke Ellieton
Posts: 4688
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:13 pm
Location: Centurion, ZA

Re: Golden Gate Getaway

Unread postby Duke Ellieton » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:52 pm

Our first night was at Glen Reenen Rest Camp.

The parking area with our rondavel in the background

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Kitchen, bedroom and braai area

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The next morning we were up bright and early and headed for the "vulture restuarant"

Sharifa, warmly dressed and ready

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From this point there is a steep but not too long climb. At the top are open grasslands

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Yep, it was minus four and bitterly cold

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and only bones no vultures :(

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we decided to hike for a while and suddenly from the horizon they appeared

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Duke Ellieton
Posts: 4688
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:13 pm
Location: Centurion, ZA

Re: Golden Gate Getaway

Unread postby Duke Ellieton » Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:49 pm

If you check up on birding in Golden Gate you will see that The Bearded Vulture and Bald Ibis are listed as special sightings and other raptors that can be seen are the jackal buzzard and rock kestrel.

We walked towards the vultures hoping to see a bearded vulture knowing full well that the bearded vulture is solitary and soaring in the distance was a group.

Soon we were below them – it was a wonderful moment. There were only cape vultures but I am not complaining.

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Sharifa thought this was the best way to enjoy them.

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Duke Ellieton
Posts: 4688
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:13 pm
Location: Centurion, ZA

Re: Golden Gate Getaway

Unread postby Duke Ellieton » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:32 am

Thank You Micetta, anne-marie and Lionspoon :thumbs_up:

Our second night was going to be in the Basotho Cultural Village which is about 20 Km from the Glen Reenen rest Camp.

On the way we saw some Bald Ibis

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and also two Rock Kestrels

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and at the camp a bokmakierie close to our bungalow to welcome us :dance:

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Duke Ellieton
Posts: 4688
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:13 pm
Location: Centurion, ZA

Re: Golden Gate Getaway

Unread postby Duke Ellieton » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:51 pm

Thank you DuQues and Elsa :thumbs_up:

The Basotho Cultural Village is beautifully set at the foot of a mountain

The reception area

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You are in a kraal. We were in number 3B. Although in the same enclosure has 3a and 3c you still have privacy and if in a large group there is a communal braai area

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A novel idea for a window in the bathroom

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and you just have to sit on the patio and enjoy

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Duke Ellieton
Posts: 4688
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:13 pm
Location: Centurion, ZA

Re: Golden Gate Getaway

Unread postby Duke Ellieton » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:23 pm

Micetta, too much furniture in the room

Curious Canadian - time for another trip

Liospoon - It is a gem Lionspoon

Other critters seen from the patio

The black wildebeest

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Springbok

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and on a drive ruby red eyes (black shouldered kite)

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a stone chat

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and zebra

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Duke Ellieton
Posts: 4688
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:13 pm
Location: Centurion, ZA

Re: Golden Gate Getaway

Unread postby Duke Ellieton » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:06 pm

Golden gate was beautiful and our next trip will not be after another 20 years.

Out final morning ended in a high. First with a jackal buzzard

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and then with two black shoulderd kites in a territorial skirmish. Although they were far out it was still a spectacular display.

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Thank you for joining us at Golden Gate.

See you soon :wink:


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