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Sable in Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Nov.'06

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sable
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Posts: 346
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:44 pm
Location: Germany

Sable in Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Nov.'06

Unread post by sable » Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:45 pm

This year our South Africa holiday started south of Johannesburg in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. We’d never been to this area so it was a very exiting start.
Besides Golden Gate Highlands National Park
we visited the National Parks

Augrabies Falls National Park
(See report http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12545 ),
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
(see http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12585 )
and Kruger Park (Punda Maria, Shingwedzi, Letaba and two day visits)
(see http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12767 )

Have fun! :wink:
Last edited by sable on Thu Dec 28, 2006 5:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures

User avatar
sable
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 346
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:44 pm
Location: Germany

Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Unread post by sable » Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:56 pm

3rd November 2006

We arrived at Johburg at 8 am after a very pleasant flight. North wind shortened our flight time. My suitecase took a long time, but finally it appeared and off we were for the car rentals. We got a Toyota Corolla and I asked the lady at the car rental station for the way to Golden Gate National Park. She didn’t know this Park and called her colleague who asked me the question “Is it near Nelspruit?”. Not really! ;-)
I showed my map and the route. In this forum it was recommended to take the route via Vereeniging, Heilbron to Bethlehem and then enter the park at the Clarens side for more variety and scenic views.

It was not easy to find our way out of Johburg. We suddenly were in the district named Kennsington on an avenue with wonderful blooming jacarandas. But this is the way to down town, isn’t it?
After turn around we got the direction to the South and at least took the scenic route.
At Bethlehem we stopped for shopping at a mall and then we continued with the alpine route. And there they were, shortly after entering the gate we saw our first elands.
They enjoyed the fresh green on the hill across from the Brandwag Hotel.

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Elands across the road at Brandwag Hotel

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Brandwag Hotel

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Golden Gate

Around the next hill we arrived at Glen Reenen Rest Camp.
Bad luck, at the reception they didn’t find our names on the booking list. On our voucher there was no SANParks booking number, so it had to be sorted out with the travel agency.
Fortunately there was rondavel #14 for us and we got our first wild card at the reception.
Glen Reenen:

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Parking in front of the camp
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#14
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First visitor at #14

We unpacked the car and after a short rest we were on our way to Oribi Loop and Blesbok Loop. Look at this wonderful fresh green!

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Mushroom rock in the evening light

It was a very stormy afternoon and the only animal we saw was a lonely, very shy grey rhebok, but there were all these wonderful viewpoints.
After dinner at the Brandwag Hotel we returned to our rondavel very tired because of the long flight.
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures

User avatar
sable
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 346
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:44 pm
Location: Germany

Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Unread post by sable » Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:48 pm

4th November 2006

Enjoyed our breakfast at Brandwag Hotel with a view to the elands still browsing on the hillside across the road. It was going to be a warm and sunny day, good for us coming from a nice Golden October in Germany.
Back to Glen Reenen we met Alex. It is great to meet a SANParks Guru, Alex made this day a winner for us.
At “Mountain Retreat Rest Camp” we enjoyed with him the scenic view.

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View from Highlands Mountain Retreat

Afterwards we had a short walk to Callie’s Kraal.Wonderful landscape.
Back at the car we saw a lonely Blue Wildebeest enjoying the green grass and the yellow flowers.
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Blue Wildebeest

Next we walked to the vulture restaurant.
It seems the vultures were on “diet”, next feeding was planned at the next week for the birding weekend.
So you could only see vultures circling across the area, checking the scene and waiting for the next feeding.
There were some Cape vultures and one bearded vulture.

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Following the Oribi loop we arrived at the Drakensberg view point.
Here a picture of Alex and me:
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At Blesbok Loop we saw a black wildebeest running down the hill. Alex, I got it, even if it was running so fast.
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In the valley down the hill you could see it standing and it seems it was wondering why it was running that fast, as there were no predators chasing it.

So you see we had a wonderful morning with Alex giving us a lot of information on Golden Gate, the National Park with this wonderful landscape which we definitely will visit again.
Thank you Alex for giving us such a superb start into our holiday.


In the afternoon we drove down to the valley towards Harrismith. Alex told us we find the animals down there in the valley enjoying the fresh grass. And there they were, herds with zebras, black wildebeests, springboks and blesboks. Unfortunately this road towards Harrismith has much traffic and people often drive very fast. So it was sometimes impossible to stop and enjoy the sightings.

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Enjoying the green meadows …
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures

User avatar
sable
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 346
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:44 pm
Location: Germany

Golden Gate Highlands National Park 2006

Unread post by sable » Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:08 pm

5th November

Another sunny day at Golden Gate with blue sky, but we had to leave this nice place.

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Glen Reenen, view from the residents parking area

This morning there were no elands any more on the side across the Brandwag Hotel, but we enjoyed watching the birds during our breakfast.
Alex recommended the scenic route to Ficksburg through Lesotho, but our car was not to leave SA. So we took the R711 to Fourisburg and then Ficksburg which is a very scenic route as well. Our next accommodation was in Kimberley on our way to the Arid Parks, Augrabies Falls National Park was planned for the 7th November.
Reports 2013
Bontebok for Beginners, Tsitsikamma - Bridges and Electric Wheels, ADDO-rable Elephants,
Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
Table With A View, West Coast Adventures


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