Planning a weekend getaway should be easy and stress-free. And so should the location! Golden Gate Highlands National Park is geared towards quick escapes, offering super activities and gorgeous sights – all year round. By Arnold Ras

Home to the famous Brandwag Buttress, the sound of horses’ hooves echoing among sandstone cliffs, and ancient secrets hidden in its mountains, Golden Gate Highlands National Park is a stunner. We’ve done the legwork for you and put together a fun-filled programme. All you have to do is decide when you want to go.

Take a look at our roundup of the top activities and you could win a two-night stay for two at Basotho Cultural Village, or a two-night stay for two at Golden Gate Hotel & Chalets – each to the value of R3,900. Enter now!

On horseback

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Ain’t this a beautiful sight to turn around to 💓

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For horse lovers, this experience would be like something from a movie. Picture sandstone cliffs, mountain air, beautiful mounts… the only thing that’s missing is the soundtrack of Legends of the Fall. All gear is provided making horse rides at Golden Gate effortless. Pick your horse, get saddled up and set off on an adventure you will remember for years to come. Ideal for the whole family, horse rides commence from Gladstone Stables at 09:30, 10:30 and 14:00. Hour-long rides cost R150 per person. Rides take place weather permitting; take note that the horses enjoy an off-day on Mondays. Pre-booking is essential: +27 (0)58 255 1000

On foot

This beautiful corner of the eastern Free State offers a variety of both guided and unguided hikes. For splendid views of the mountains without exhausting yourself, you can’t beat the Brandwag Rock Hike. With a medium degree of difficulty and lasting approximately one hour, it can be enjoyed by young and old. This unguided hiking trail starts from either Golden Gate Hotel or Glen Reenen, and its steep descent is said to get the adrenaline pumping. And while exploring on foot, make the most of the experience and try to spot some of the park’s mammals such as black wildebeest, mountain reedbuck and the rarely seen Southern African hedgehog. The park’s colours change with the seasons, making Golden Gate a location you’ll never grow tired of.

Back in time

Now is your chance to experience the rich Basotho culture dating back to as early as the 16th century. Embark on a tour of the Basotho Cultural Village to learn more about the Basotho people’s architecture, lifestyle, music and, of course, traditional Basotho beer. Meet the tribe’s chief, take a look inside typical huts and take pride in one of Africa’s oldest ethnic groups. Enter our competition and you could spend two nights at the Basotho Cultural Village Rest Camp. A tour of the cultural village takes some 45 minutes and costs R40 per person. For more information, contact the park on +27 (0)58 255 1000.

Look for game

Go in search of Golden Gate’s fauna and flora at your own time and pace. One of the park’s two self-drive routes, Oribi Loop (4,2km), starts east of the Glen Reenen petrol station. A must-see is the Vulture Feeding Project – here poison-free carcasses are provided to vultures to aid the species’ conservation efforts. After a short walk, you will reach the vulture restaurant and bird hide, where you can settle in for sightings of Cape vulture or the endangered bearded vulture. Some say early morning visits are the best time to get lucky. Good news is that four-wheel vehicles are not a requirement, but take note of the 30km/h speed limit.

Dine in style

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Fine dining #birthdaythings

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Top off an action-packed weekend with a meal at the Golden Gate Hotel’s Masutsa Restaurant. The restaurant serves a scrumptious and sophisticated buffet dinner with fresh ingredients sourced locally. Depending on the number of guests, an à la carte menu is also available at times. Highlights include beef oxtail and lamb chops, trout, homemade cheesecakes, delectable salads and veggies, and several South African wines. The hotel boasts a luxurious and modern environment decorated with Africa’s seasons in mind. Masutsa Restaurant is open for dinner seven days a week from 18:30 to 21:30. Contact the hotel on +27 (0)58 255 1000 for reservations.


Now that you have fallen for Golden Gate, take part in our competition and win. Up for grabs is a two-night stay for two at Basotho Cultural Village, AND a two-night stay for two at Golden Gate Hotel & Chalets – each to the value of R3,900. Email the answer to our simple question below to [email protected] (subject line: Golden Gate) and be entered into the lucky draw. The competition closes on 19 May 2017 at 11:00. Wild will randomly select the winners. Winners will be notified telephonically. Entrants must be 18 years or older. Remember to include your full names and contact details.

Question: What is the speed limit on Oribi Loop?

Winners: Jane Manser, Mohamed Moola

Take note

  • The prizes are valid from 22 May 2017 to 30 November 2017 outside school holidays and long weekends.
  • The mentioned two nights’ accommodation at Golden Gate Hotel & Chalets excludes the premier and honeymoon suites.
  • Prizes may not be exchanged for cash and are not transferable.
  • Additional persons, meals, activities, etc. are for the prize winner’s own account.
  • Reservations are subject to availability and bookings must be made in advance.
  • A prize letter must accompany the booking request.
*Featured picture by Hein Grobler