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Golden Gate: ADVICE

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele

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DuQues
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Re: Golden Gate :advice on where to stay

Unread postby DuQues » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:16 am

The Basotho village is a very good choice. Guess who is going to be there again in a few months?

It is a way better place than GR, quiet, spacious bungalows. Go for the HK2 bungalows, they are on the edge of the camp, with a view of what I call the Masai-mara.
GR is indeed about a half hours drive, so easily reached.

If you really want peace and quiet you can also opt for the Mountain Retreat. That is a stunning camp, with the best view of all SANParks camps beyond a shadow of doubt.

As a non-saffie I'll leave the roads to someone else, I have no idea. ;)

Check the link in my signature, plenty photos from GGHNP there.
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Re: Golden Gate :advice on where to stay

Unread postby Geckophobe » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:35 pm

Thank you DUQues this is just what I needed. We will keep our booking at the Basotho Cultural Village. The Mountain retreat is more expensive and if there is a TV the teenagers will be vegging on the couch:)without noticing the spectacular views. So we have a "house rule" that we try to never go on holiday where there are TV sets because we have that at home :)

We are booked in a HK2 and a HKD4 rondavel.
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Re: Golden Gate :advice on where to stay

Unread postby JenB » Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:03 pm

Hi Geckophobe,

I can only agree with Duco, the BCV is a lovely camp!

There is also a walk you can do up the mountain overlooking the village.
Image

Also make some time to visit the Vulture restaurant, the turnoff is to the right as you drive to GR.

Have a great trip! :)
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Re: Golden Gate :advice on where to stay

Unread postby DuQues » Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:28 pm

JenB wrote:Also make some time to visit the Vulture restaurant, the turnoff is to the right as you drive to GR.

That is also where you will see the Bearded Eagle (Lammergeier). We see it there all the time, unlike some other people. :whistle: :whistle: :lol:
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Re: Golden Gate :advice on where to stay

Unread postby Son godin » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:35 pm

Geckophobe wrote:

One more question - we assume that the best road from Gauteng would still be the N3 to Harrismith and then the R712 to Golden Gate. Is the R712 still in a good condition- and can we drive it after dark?

Would appreciate any advice.


Hi Geckophobe,

We normally take that route but alternatively you can turnoff at Warden towards Bethlehem and the approach GG from Clarens.

I've not stayed at the Basotho village before and do not know if one need to book in at Glen Reenen first as in the case of Mountain Retreat or if there is a reception area at the village? If not the route via Bethlehem might be a good alternative.

The park is open 24 hours a day, but the reception might close earlier and arriving late might be a problem. Just check before you leave to find out if they will be open late.

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Re: Golden Gate :advice on where to stay

Unread postby DuQues » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:02 pm

Son godin wrote:I've not stayed at the Basotho village before and do not know if one need to book in at Glen Reenen first as in the case of Mountain Retreat or if there is a reception area at the village? If not the route via Bethlehem might be a good alternative.

You can indeed checkin at the village, In fact you might want to have a walk around the building reception is in. It is the shop too, and it has nice homemade stuff.

Did you know I rate Golden Gate as the best park I have visited so far?
Well, only been to Groenkloof, KNP, KTP and Golden Gate so far if I count SANParks parks only, but still.... ;)
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Re: Golden Gate :advice on where to stay

Unread postby granjan » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:41 pm

Wow ,Duques, that's quite a recommendation!
We're looking to stay there next February and can't decide between the village and the Mountain retreat.
Any thoughts would be welcome.

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Re: Golden Gate :advice on where to stay

Unread postby JenB » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:58 pm

Mountain retreat!! :dance: :dance:
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Re: Golden Gate :advice on where to stay

Unread postby JenB » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:09 pm

You will not regret it, Granjan! :D :thumbs_up:
Imagine, log cabins high up on the mountain, You'll be looking down onto the Maluti Mountains for miles and miles while having your morning coffee. Raptors soaring below eye level...
I need to book too! :twisted:

Duco will be in shortly to tell you that it's the camp with the best view... hang on, he already said it up the page. :lol:
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Re: Golden Gate :advice on where to stay

Unread postby DuQues » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:45 pm

JenB wrote:Duco will be in shortly to tell you that it's the camp with the best view... hang on, he already said it up the page. :lol:

Not saying anything, just posting a link.... http://duques.nl/africa2009/thumbnails.php?album=5
:lol:

(Download the photos, and watch them with your preferred program at 100% zoom.)
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Golden Gate Highlands - management

Unread postby Joel » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:47 pm

Hi,

I spent the weekend at Golden Gate National Park and I wonder whether someone would be able to answer the following questions.

1- why are cacti (exotic to SA & potentially invasive) planted in the gardens of the Basotho village?
2- when did the QwaQwa section become part of the expanded GGNP? what will happen to the remaining farm buildings (about 4 clusters seen)?
3- is there plans afoot to link the NP to the sterkfontein dam nature reserve?
4- any plans to reintroduce predators?

Thanks

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Re: Golden Gate Highlands - management

Unread postby DuQues » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:25 am

Answer for question #2:
The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mohammed Valli Moosa, and the MEC of the Free State Province, Mr Sakhiwo Belot, today (Thursday, 18 March 2004) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the Basotho Cultural Village in the Eastern Free State for the incorporation of the QwaQwa National Park to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park.

http://www.info.gov.za/speeches/2004/04031813461001.htm

On 21 November 2008 the QwaQwa National Park (95 properties) were included in the park increasing the park to its current size of 32,690ha.

That and more you can find in the (draft) Management plan
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Re: Golden Gate Highlands - management

Unread postby DuQues » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:52 pm

But answered question #2. That will not change.

To sort of answer #1: Cacti do not really become invasive if kept in a garden. It is not as if they grow fast.

As for the rest I have no idea, but Sterkfontein is quite a ways away, with a village or two in between.
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Re: Golden Gate Highlands - management

Unread postby Lesego » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:06 pm

Hi Joel, here are the answers to the questions you had listed.


1) The cacti at BCV is identified along with other plants to the removed/treated by the Biodiversity Social Projects team (Alien Plants team). The problem with prickly pear is the aggressive vegetative nature. If the plant is cut a piece is left in the veld and it will grow. Due to the cold conditions Bio control agents will not work. We will use chemical inject to dry out the plants.

2) There are both proper houses and informal dwelling/mud structures found within the previously known QwaQwa Nature Reserve. Once the land claim process is completed and the residents are moved out of the park to the mutually settlement areas, the house will be renovated for staff use and the informal dwelling after being documented and photographed will in all probability demolished. Please note that they are a significant part of the QwaQwa Nature Reserves history spanning more than 20+ years therefore proper documents and advice will be sort before any work is done on these dwellings.

3) There are plans via the Maloti Drakensberg Trans frontier Programme (MDTP) to through contractual agreements with the local and tribal authorities to one day link up with Royal Natal Nature Reserve. To my knowledge thus I stand to be corrected, there are no immediate plan to link with Sterkfontein due to the complexity of such an arrangement and also from a species representation point of view. It would be more important to look at the conservation of the high altitude grassland communities between Royal Natal and Golden Gate.

4) There are no immediate plans to reintroduce predators to the park.
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Re: Golden Gate Highlands - management

Unread postby Joel » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:52 am

Many thanks for the detailed responses Lesego.
Have a great week.


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