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Golden Gate: ADVICE

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele
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Pumbaa
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Re: Golden Gate: ADVICE

Unread post by Pumbaa » Tue May 12, 2009 7:29 pm

Ups I somehow missed all your brilliant pictures Duques & GP :clap: :clap: :clap: Looks very inviting.

Thanks also for your pictures JCM - the one with the elands is awesome :thumbs_up:

Obviously another park to include to the many many others which we should visit :tongue:

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Gleen Reenen or Basotho accommodation ???

Unread post by michela09 » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:18 am

This is my first post but I am an old reader of this very helpful forum :thumbs_up: . We are a family with 2 teenagers coming to South Africa next July. Last year we visited the western part of the country and Kgalagadi, this year the idea is to fly to JNB, spend the first 3 nights at the Golden Gate NP, visit the KwaZulu-Natal and finish with Kruger. Everything is booked with the exception of the first 3 nights. We have planned to hike in GGNP, do the Sentinel trail and visit the Basotho Cultural Village.
We love self-catering and no-frill accommodation but we can’t decide if it is better to spend the nights in a 4 bedded rondawel in Gleen Reenen or at the Bashoto Village rest camp (the cost is the same). From this forum we got a lot of info about the former, but we know almost nothing about the Basotho rest camp. In particular we have some concern about security as we read that the place is deserted at night.
Please, any suggestion or advise that can help us deciding is welcome! Thank you

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Re: Gleen Reenen or Basotho accommodation ???

Unread post by DuQues » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:37 am

Welcome to the forums michela! :yaya:

Family of mine visited GGNP last month, and stayed in the rondawels. They were pleasantly surprised, found them clean and luxurious, with great service by the staff.
So it's a definite yes from them.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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Re: Gleen Reenen or Basotho accommodation ???

Unread post by Boorgatspook » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:49 am

Welcome to the forum michela09!
I'm not sure but the Bashoto Village either falls in the Qwaqwa Nature Park or Lesotho. :hmz:
Thus if a forumite do have some advice for you on the Village they will PM you with info.
The Sentinel Trail, which falls under Witsieshoek - Qwaqwa - is a awesome trail and worth doing :wink:

As Duques suggested, will I also opt to stay at GGHNP, all the places you want to visit, even the Sentinel Trail - is not a very long drive away.

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Re: Gleen Reenen or Basotho accommodation ???

Unread post by Johann » Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:46 pm

Qwa Qwa Nature Reserve has finally been incorporated into Golden Gate. Took ages to get this done. Look at 'Golden Gate Highlands NP – Poised to attract more tourists to the Free State' and 'Incorporation of the Qwa Qwa Nature Reserve into Golden Gate NP'
I don't know when the last article was published though. Think the incorporation got finalised in the last month or two.

The Basotho Village really looked nice when we last visited there. Can unfortunately not tell you what it is like at night or even what the rondawels look like inside.
It does get a few tour busses during the day that might put me off. Gets a bit noisy for my liking.
Glen Reenen might be easier if you want to go hiking etc. You won't have to drive anywhere but can start right from camp. Not sure what activities are on offer at the Basotho Village.
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Golden Gate’s Brandwag Hotel undergoing revamp

Unread post by Boorgatspook » Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:06 pm

Media Release:
The Brandwag Hotel in the Golden Gate National Park is currently being revamped and is set to offer an even higher level of comfort and entertainment to its guests. There will be enhancements in design to the rooms, conference facilities as well as the restaurant.

The refurbished results will be a lighter and more modern design with a defined timeless elegance flowing through all the rooms and public places. The rooms will be transformed into 54 luxury double rooms.

Conference facilities will be improved to include a main conference room with a seating capacity of 300. Four additional breakaway rooms of varying sizes, all properly suited for conferencing, will also be available.

A newly-enlarged restaurant on the middle floor aims to convey a sense of sophistication and will be able to cater for conference delegates, large wedding receptions and any other functions.

Brandwag Hotel is set to reopen in December 2009, so do come and enjoy this peaceful, serene and healing environment. This fabulous world of sandstone cliffs, an age-old-cultural heritage and the spectacular mountain splendor of the sun-clad Malutis will add to a life changing experience.

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Re: Golden Gate: ADVICE

Unread post by Cassius » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:59 am

Basotho Cultural Village Rest Camp

“The Free State landscape gladdens my heart, no matter what my mood. When I am here I feel that nothing can shut me in, that my thoughts can roam as far as the horizons.” These are the words used by the former State President Nelson Mandela in his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom.

It is here where Basotho Cultural Village Rest Camp nestles on the eastern side of the Amalgamated Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The Camp resembles an 18th century Basotho Village. The surroundings take you back from the pathway of previous times to the modern days, here the Basotho lifestyle, architectural and hospitality is the order of the day.

The Basotho Cultural Village Rest Camp offers comfortable self catering accommodation with splendid view where game viewing is practically enjoyed without the trouble of having to embark on a game searching journey.

The Camp also has communal braai facilities that are shared amongst families sharing the kraal and also private webber braai facilities for every chalet.

Kgotso! We greet You in Peace, come stay with us, dance to our rhythm, sip from our traditional beer, consult our Ngaka (Traditional Healer) and come to Lekhotla (the gathering place for men).

The tranquil and healing cultural heritage experience awaits you, Kgotso!! Pula!! Nala!!

Activities:

• Game viewing drives (self driven) – it is not only the game that one get to enjoy in this part of the world, one gets to enjoy rock formation, birds, grassland and the beautiful scenery that forms part of the Drakensberg and Maluti mountains.
• Museum tours – visitors get to feel the Basotho experience by tasting traditional cuisine, getting to know equipments and weapons that were used then.
• Cultural route, one gets afforded an opportunity to be taken through the Basotho culture and the way of living dating back from the sixteen century to date.
• Herbal trail, visitors are lead through this trail in order to be educated about the medicines that were used and are still by the African Traditional Healers.

Where to Find Basotho Cultural Village Rest Camp:

This jewel of the Basotho Populace and the Eastern Free State in general is situated in the heart of the three major metropolis and only 55km from Harrismith and the N3. It is sited along the Maluti Drankensburg Route only 350km from Pietermaritzburg, 330km from Bloemfontein and 320km from Johannesburg.
Basotho Cultural Village is only 42km away from the renowned Clarens, a tourist Mecca of the Free State Province through the scenic Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
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Re: Basotho cultural village rest camp

Unread post by Cassius » Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:10 pm

Basotho Cultural Village Rest Camp nestles on the eastern side of the Amalgamated Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The Camp resembles an 18th century Basotho Village. The surroundings take you back from the pathway of previous times to the modern days, here the Basotho lifestyle, architectural and hospitality is the order of the day.

The Basotho Cultural Village Rest Camp offers comfortable self catering accommodation with splendid view where game viewing is practically enjoyed without the trouble of having to embark on a game searching journey.
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Distance from Glen Reenen to Brandwag

Unread post by Jozigirl » Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:22 pm

Can anyone tell me how far the Glen Reenen accommodation is from the soon to be upgraded Brandwag Hotel and is it within walking distance?
Thanks

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Re: Distance from Glen Reenen to Brandwag

Unread post by Cassius » Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:40 pm

Hi Jozigirl

It is not a long distance; I think it can be a Kilometer or less to Glen Reenen from Brandwag Hotel.
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Re: Golden Gate: ADVICE

Unread post by michela09 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:18 pm

Thanks for the info to all of you. :D
At the end we have booked at Glen Reenen as hiking is the highlight, but we would like to visit the Basotho Village and have a look to the Basotho rest camp as well. Maybe you will appreciate a small trip report, but for that you have to wait till September as we are going to spend 32 days on vacation in SA. How lucky we are !!! (only 12 days left and than we come!)

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I need urgent info regarding Golden Gate.

Unread post by Guinea Pig » Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:30 pm

The paved road from the main road to the parking lot for the Highlands Mountain Retreat - is it accessible with a Honda Ballade 1500 sedan vehicle?
I can't find any info here or on the site and read and been told elsewhere it's a slight glitch. The pic I've seen show a steep gradient.
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Re: I need urgent info regarding Golden Gate.

Unread post by DinkyBird » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:16 pm

It sure is GP :D

There were a good few sedans that managed the climb perfectly when we were there last Oct. The tracks are cemented with ridges in to make it easier to drive up there.
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Re: I need urgent info regarding Golden Gate.

Unread post by Guinea Pig » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:39 pm

Thanks DB! 8)
My brother's photo taken in 2006 and the story of the lady who had to be towed up after getting stuck had me worried!

That road was a 2-track-dirt road in the photo. My brother couldn't get up there with their Mazda323. And it's narrow, you couldn't turn around. He had to reverse down. Luckily not too far.

Hmm...Good before and after photos I think. I'll get one now and post his 2006 photo as comparison.

And maybe a photo of Duques pushing the car up there? :twisted:
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Re: Golden Gate - Brandwag Camp - Sept/Oct - Experiences?

Unread post by Guinea Pig » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:11 pm

My brother and sister-in-law go there every year like others do with Kruger.

They never book a Longdavel - iffy privacy and noisy. The Rondavels have all been upgraded, very nice. Noiselevels during the week okay, weekends a bit more due to the campground and motorcyclists sometimes. But it didn't bother them that much.

Activities -
Hikes galore. Some are very challenging so maybe a bit of caution? Wodehouse, Holkrans and Generaalskop especially. Dangerous heights and slippery in places.

Have they got mountain bikes you can take with?

Horseriding - 1 or 2 hour rides from Gladstone farm.

Absailing, canoeing and quad-biking available but not Sanparks related. I'll send you a PM. :wink:
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