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Golden Gate: CAMPING

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele
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hikes with children at Golden Gate

Unread post by 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 post by 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.
Satara and Biyamiti booked for May 2018. 8)

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Golden Gate

Unread post by gert » Sun Aug 05, 2007 4:37 pm

Hi, we are camping in Glen Reenen in December 2007. We would like to know if it is possible to visit the Qwa-Qwa National Park from Golden Gate. We have heard that the two parks are now amalgamated? We have never visited either park and would like to know if we can visit the two simultaneously.
Do we need passports etc. to get into Qwa-Qwa?
We have also read that the game is fairly scarce in Golden Gate since the two parks have been amalgamated, is this so? We will be most grateful if anyone can give us a little more info.
Many thanks,
Ina Pelser.

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Unread post by Johann » Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:31 am

The road travelling through Golden Gate continues on towards Qwa Qwa and then goes through the park. You are doing game viewing from the main road. There is a couple of dirt roads branching of the main which you could drive on but unfortunately the last time I checked there were no maps available.
There is a map at the Basotho Cultural Village taped on the counter which might be of some help. (You get there by following the main road through Golden Gate and Qwa Qwa, lots of signage to the BCV)

No need for a passport, only if you cross into Lesotho will you need one.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein

Latest lifers from Kruger NP:
Thick-billed Cuckoo Pachycoccyx audeberti Dikbekkoekoek
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe Europese skaapwagter

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glen rheenen camp

Unread post by gert » Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:26 pm

Hi There, an anybody pelase tell us whether there is braais at all the campsites ast Glen Rheenen.

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Unread post by gwendolen » Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:48 pm

Hi Gert,

There are braais there. :D Have a look at the Info on the website. There's a map of the campsite too.

I hope you have a super trip!

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Glen Reenen camp

Unread post by Tomasz » Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:02 pm

Hi Gwendolen

I have made a booking for 2 powered campsites for the weekend prior to new years and i am really looking forward to the trip, now i am aware that there is a max od 6 ppl per campsite allowed,which is fine.
but what i was not aware of which i became aware of this morning was the apparent limitations on tents and cars per site.
my ideal would be to bring 3 cars and possibly a trailer,and be able to pitch 4 tents.
I spoke to reception this morning, and they said it wouldnt be a problem.....
is that correct?


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Unread post by Senyetse » Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:34 pm

As far as I know additional cars pay an extra fee. I think they don't really mind more than one tent as long as you don't crowd people on another site and respect their space.
Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal

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Unread post by dianne » Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:54 am

Hi Tomasz

Herewith a response

We have not organize any activity for the New Year’s Eve, the challenge being that some of our clients prefer a quite night and others would like to have a bit of fun to celebrate the New Year as the Park we get caught in the middle if we were part of the fun regarding the noise level etc.. But that does not mean our clients cannot celebrate on their own. I know it’s difficult; one cannot be a player and the referee at the same time.

Regarding the security at camps / camping sites, it is fenced and there are no interferences of the public at camping sites as the Meriting picnic spot (for general public use) is almost 2 km away from the camping sites (Glen Reenen)

NB. The new toilets block is under construction as we speak to address the shortage of toilets facilities at the camp but the contractor is out of the site as we speak to allow our clients peace and quietness during the festive season.

Yes we do have camping sites with power next to the river but we do not allocate sites to out clients they choose their own spot as they arrive.

Regarding Wilgenhof Centre situation, the centre has nothing to do with our clients coming for holidays here, it is used to accommodate school children coming to do environmental education only.

What used to happen in the previous years was that we had a senior citizen couple who planned the holiday programs and utilised the centre during the festive season or school holidays but unfortunately this year it was not the case and we had short notice on this matter as they are committed somewhere else.

What we have done in the meantime was to get qualified Tour Guides to come and do holidays activities inside the park for our clients i.e. canoeing, up sailing, guided walks & trails, Township tours etc... the working agreement was sealed on 20th December 2007 with the service providers.

Contact numbers of the service provider are available at all our reception areas if the clients need to talk to them directly, they can also book the activities at reception and I can be contacted on 083 313 2006 if the clients feel they do not get the service they deserve.

I trust and believe that the above information will assist in planning your holiday further and we are looking forward to welcoming you in Golden Gate.


Sipho Zulu

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Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Dianne Tipping-Woods

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Re: Golden Gate - Brandwag Camp - Sept/Oct - Experiences?

Unread post by Charming1 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:15 pm

We spent 5 days camping at Golden Gate with six kids. They hiked and rode bikes, explored the Vulture Restaurant.... nothing like carcasses and 'dem bones to amuse a couple of teenagers - and we spent a morning in Clarens. They are all very eager to go back again. I wish you a superb stay in a truly magnificent part of the world :mrgreen:

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Golden Gate Camping

Unread post by Orangek » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:18 am

Hi there campers! Hope someone can help me. We have booked to arrive at Golden Gate on 29 January. I have a 2 year old and was wondering about the following:
1. Are there baths in the ladies ablutions?
2. Have the ablutions been upgraded because I have read some negative comments on the forum.
3.Is there a laundry with washing machines - we are there 10 days and I will have to do some washing
4. Has the camp been fenced off? If not what is the safety like?

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Re: Golden Gate Camping

Unread post by Mellory » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:15 am

Hi Orangek

My husband and I did duty (we are honorary rangers) in the camp in Dec 2008 the abultions had just been rebuilt and yes there is a special raised bath for babies/toddlers please remember to take a plug as this appeared to be an ongoing problem whilst we were there, I think we must have replaced them at least 4 times as people tend to take them with them for some reason. At the time there were no washing machines but there is a laundry where hand washing can be done. The camp is not totally fenced off but the access points are gaurded at night, I never at any time felt unsafe. Hope you have a great time in the stunning park.

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Re: Golden Gate: ADVICE

Unread post by Son godin » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:22 pm


I stayed at Glen Reenen camp site in 2011 in March over a long weekend. The park is open 24 hours a day and if you look on a map you can clearly see the advantage for taxis to follow this route from Clarens to Qwa-Qwa.

Besides the taxis passing trucks use this route through out the night. Speed bumps may slow them down, but that is where the problem comes in. Long before the truck pass the campsite and after passing it you can hear it driving over the speed bumps repeating a few times. Just as soon as you sleeping again the next truck comes passed.

Maybe those sleeping in chalets are not that much effected, but definitely in a tent the road is a disturbance for peace and quiet time.

I've been visiting the park since 1983 and if it was not for the road we would have visit more often. When we visit again we will try to book the cabins at the Highlands Mountain retreat or try out the farm house, but about camping I will think twice. The only problem is that we love camping and might book again. Its like a person hiking the Fish River canyon. When you finish the last km and drink your beer at Ais-Ais you promise not to do it again, but a few years later you do the same trip over.

Golden Gate can be a great outing and maybe you will experience it differently. The ablution were fine for me as far as my memory goes and the camping area is a lovely spot and nice to visit before the winter cold. If you very energetic you will love all the trails and even the swim in the pool. So I won't say cancell, because you can still have a great time and maybe you not such a light sleeper as me that hears every movement in the camp.
Jan 2018: Next trip to KNP - Tamboti, Talamati, Maroela and Satara

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Re: Golden Gate: ADVICE

Unread post by Fynbos » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:42 pm

Hi, we want to book 2 nights camping at Golden Gate next year September 2013. I shall like to know if it is ok for camping that time of the year or do you think it is best to book a chalet? Has never before visit Golden Gate. We are from Paarl and book 16 nights at KNP and has think that it will be nice to visit Golden Gate when we return home. :think:

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Re: Golden Gate: ADVICE

Unread post by DinkyBird » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:53 pm

A visit to GG on your way from KNP is really a great idea, and will be worth while.

A couple of thoughts from me re the camping:

Golden Gate can be very cold at night, and I think that could be the case in Sept ... so do you enjoy camping in the cold, and will you be equipped with enough bedding etc if you are coming from a warmer area like KNP.

We have camped there in May, and it was cold.

The camping area is lovely, and very pretty and you can camp in a secluded spot away from the road through the park.
- Dalene

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