Highlands Mountain Retreat - Golden Gate Highlands National Park| safari.com
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Overview

Adorning the attractive foothills of the Free State's Maluti Mountain range is the sun-kissed Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Spread over 11 600 picturesque hectares of a distinctive ecosystem, this distinct highland territory plays home to a diverse range of indigenous animals, birdlife and a majestic view of the overlapping mountains.

Accommodation

Accommodation at Highlands Mountain Retreat is as follows.

• Four couple-sized cottages have one bedroom each, with a double sleeper couch in the living area. Bathrooms are en-suite and kitchens are fully equipped, while the living area has its own television and fireplace. The verandah also serves as a braai (barbecue) area, with its own weber.

• Four family-sized cottages are available, with one double bedroom and one with two single beds. Both bathrooms are en suite, the kitchen is fully equipped and the living room comes with a television and fireplace. These units are also wheelchair accessible. 

Activities & Facilities

Sites of interest in the Highlands Mountain Retreat area include the Van Reenen family graveyard, the well known Brandwag buttress rock formation, the opportunity to go swimming in the retreat's natural pool, and various lookouts and viewpoints from which to spot the park's indigenous wildlife. A guided walk to Cathedral Cave is also offered.

Facilities include an atmospheric hotel pub with a log fire, picnic site for day visitors with ablution and braai (barbecue) facilities, the Glen Reenen general dealer and filling station, Brandwag curio shop, Vulture restaurant, coffee shop and ladies' bar. 

Important Information

Pets are not allowed in the Highlands Mountain Retreat or surrounding camps. Firearms must be declared and sealed at the front gate, to be unsealed upon departure.

Vehicle repair, medical, post office and police services are available at Clarens or Bethlehem. 

Wildlife

The Golden Gate Highlands National Park plays host to Black Wildebeest, blesbok, duiker, eland, and Grey Rhebok, as well as springbok, Red Haartebeest, and steenbok.

Birding in the high mountains of the area (Highlands Mountain Retreat) often yields Bearded Vulture, while other large birds in the lower lying areas of the park include Black Stork, Bald Ibis, Cape Vulture, Verreaux’s (Black) and Martial Eagle, Jackal Buzzard, Lanner and Peregrine Falcon, Rock Kestrel and Black and Alpine Swift.

Vegetation in Golden Gate is divided into grassland and woodland/forest. In the valleys and on the south-eastern sides of certain slopes, Leucosidea sericea (ouhout) woodland. There are also isolated patches of Protea woodland (Protea caffra, P. roupelliae and P. subvestita).The two dominant veld types are Highland-Sourveld and the Themeda-Festuca veld.

Directions

• Equidistant from Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein.
Highlands Mountain Retreat easily accessible via excellent tarred road.
• Public road runs through the park.
• Roads in the park are tarred.


Basotho Cultural Village Rest Camp (which adjoins the rest of the park):- It is only 55km from Harrismith and the N3.
- It is sited along the Maluti Drakensburg Route only 350km from Pietermaritzburg, 330km from Bloemfontein and 320km from Johannesburg.
- The village is only 42km away from well known Clarens.

Reviews


Moira

Die wegbreek na die Drakensberge was fantasties. Die hut waarin ons gebly het was hoog op die berge en dus het die koue ons erg gevang - maar met dit kagel en die verhitte mat onder kinders se "sleeper couch" is dit vinnig gebreuk. Die bokkies het by ons kom kuier en DIT was vir my kinders een van die top punte. Die top punt van top punt was natuurlik die speel in die sneeu. Die algehele ondervinding was genotvol. Dankie

Mandi de Jager

Fantastic. Friendly staff. Excellent staff... beautiful views. 10/10

Dr Maarten Potgieter

The log cabin and the fire place were fantastic. It was bitterly cold while we were there so we didn't see many animals. I think i would have liked to have known that it is not ideal for children. My daughter was bored stiff and this made it very trying during the weekend. I think it would suit just adults.

J Linstrom

Thoroughly enjoyed the couple of days - thank you.One lady at Glen Reenen reception can improve her client skills (rude & unfriendly). Not all equipment in all chalets - e.g. tin opener, etc. Some drains blocked.Venue is fantastic.

Gerald Gadd

We had a magnificent view!!! The chalets were well equipped. The spot is in a very private area and well maintained. It is a camp worth recommending. The road to the chalets are in a good condition. The game is plentiful.

Lizette Jacobs

We experienced real weather with lovely cloud formations and lighting displays. Lots of game especially Eland and lots of babies, also some snakes! Our accommodation was in need of repair & maintenance (eg front door didn't close properly and the bathroom dark).

LANDI DREYER

Thank you. Very enjoyable.

ESTER SCHOEMAN

Enjoyed our stay very much. The accommodation was clean and attractive and the view was spectacular. We saw a variety of animals and enjoyed some good walks.

J BOSCHARD

Wow what a great experience. It is surely one of the most beautiful places in our country. Cabins were well heated, exept for the bathroom. the only thing that could need some attention is the shower, seeing as you have to run around to actually get wet. haha. other than that I had the time of my life. I was there alone and never felt in danger or unwelcome. Thank you Highlands Mountain Retreat for a fantastic weekend!

Lombaard Reinet

Adorning the attractive foothills of the Free State's Maluti Mountain range is the sun-kissed Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Spread over 11 600 picturesque hectares of a distinctive ecosystem, this distinct highland territory plays home to a diverse range of indigenous animals, birdlife and a majestic view of the overlapping mountains.

Accommodation at Highlands Mountain Retreat is as follows.

• Four couple-sized cottages have one bedroom each, with a double sleeper couch in the living area. Bathrooms are en-suite and kitchens are fully equipped, while the living area has its own television and fireplace. The verandah also serves as a braai (barbecue) area, with its own weber.

• Four family-sized cottages are available, with one double bedroom and one with two single beds. Both bathrooms are en suite, the kitchen is fully equipped and the living room comes with a television and fireplace. These units are also wheelchair accessible. 

Sites of interest in the Highlands Mountain Retreat area include the Van Reenen family graveyard, the well known Brandwag buttress rock formation, the opportunity to go swimming in the retreat's natural pool, and various lookouts and viewpoints from which to spot the park's indigenous wildlife. A guided walk to Cathedral Cave is also offered.

Facilities include an atmospheric hotel pub with a log fire, picnic site for day visitors with ablution and braai (barbecue) facilities, the Glen Reenen general dealer and filling station, Brandwag curio shop, Vulture restaurant, coffee shop and ladies' bar. 

Pets are not allowed in the Highlands Mountain Retreat or surrounding camps. Firearms must be declared and sealed at the front gate, to be unsealed upon departure.

Vehicle repair, medical, post office and police services are available at Clarens or Bethlehem. 

The Golden Gate Highlands National Park plays host to Black Wildebeest, blesbok, duiker, eland, and Grey Rhebok, as well as springbok, Red Haartebeest, and steenbok.

Birding in the high mountains of the area (Highlands Mountain Retreat) often yields Bearded Vulture, while other large birds in the lower lying areas of the park include Black Stork, Bald Ibis, Cape Vulture, Verreaux’s (Black) and Martial Eagle, Jackal Buzzard, Lanner and Peregrine Falcon, Rock Kestrel and Black and Alpine Swift.

Vegetation in Golden Gate is divided into grassland and woodland/forest. In the valleys and on the south-eastern sides of certain slopes, Leucosidea sericea (ouhout) woodland. There are also isolated patches of Protea woodland (Protea caffra, P. roupelliae and P. subvestita).The two dominant veld types are Highland-Sourveld and the Themeda-Festuca veld.

• Equidistant from Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein.
Highlands Mountain Retreat easily accessible via excellent tarred road.
• Public road runs through the park.
• Roads in the park are tarred.


Basotho Cultural Village Rest Camp (which adjoins the rest of the park):- It is only 55km from Harrismith and the N3.
- It is sited along the Maluti Drakensburg Route only 350km from Pietermaritzburg, 330km from Bloemfontein and 320km from Johannesburg.
- The village is only 42km away from well known Clarens.

Moira

Die wegbreek na die Drakensberge was fantasties. Die hut waarin ons gebly het was hoog op die berge en dus het die koue ons erg gevang - maar met dit kagel en die verhitte mat onder kinders se "sleeper couch" is dit vinnig gebreuk. Die bokkies het by ons kom kuier en DIT was vir my kinders een van die top punte. Die top punt van top punt was natuurlik die speel in die sneeu. Die algehele ondervinding was genotvol. Dankie

Mandi de Jager

Fantastic. Friendly staff. Excellent staff... beautiful views. 10/10

Dr Maarten Potgieter

The log cabin and the fire place were fantastic. It was bitterly cold while we were there so we didn't see many animals. I think i would have liked to have known that it is not ideal for children. My daughter was bored stiff and this made it very trying during the weekend. I think it would suit just adults.

J Linstrom

Thoroughly enjoyed the couple of days - thank you.One lady at Glen Reenen reception can improve her client skills (rude & unfriendly). Not all equipment in all chalets - e.g. tin opener, etc. Some drains blocked.Venue is fantastic.

Gerald Gadd

We had a magnificent view!!! The chalets were well equipped. The spot is in a very private area and well maintained. It is a camp worth recommending. The road to the chalets are in a good condition. The game is plentiful.

Lizette Jacobs

We experienced real weather with lovely cloud formations and lighting displays. Lots of game especially Eland and lots of babies, also some snakes! Our accommodation was in need of repair & maintenance (eg front door didn't close properly and the bathroom dark).

LANDI DREYER

Thank you. Very enjoyable.

ESTER SCHOEMAN

Enjoyed our stay very much. The accommodation was clean and attractive and the view was spectacular. We saw a variety of animals and enjoyed some good walks.

J BOSCHARD

Wow what a great experience. It is surely one of the most beautiful places in our country. Cabins were well heated, exept for the bathroom. the only thing that could need some attention is the shower, seeing as you have to run around to actually get wet. haha. other than that I had the time of my life. I was there alone and never felt in danger or unwelcome. Thank you Highlands Mountain Retreat for a fantastic weekend!

Lombaard Reinet

Accommodation options

Log Cottage (FT2/4)

Dates Base rate Extra adult Extra child Unit Sleep
15 Jan 2019 — 31 Oct 2019 $ 105 $ 30 $ 15 2 people
01 Nov 2019 — 03 Dec 2019 $ 112 $ 32 $ 16 2 people
04 Dec 2019 — 13 Jan 2020 $ 125 $ 32 $ 16 2 people
14 Jan 2020 — 31 Oct 2020 $ 112 $ 32 $ 16 2 people
From $ 105

For 2 people

- Check-in at Glen Reenen Reception - Double Sleeper Couch (not suitable for adults) - DSTV (Limited Channels) - Fireplace - Kitchen - No Smoking - One bedroom with double bed - One en-suite bathroom (wc and shower) - Veranda with Weber braai 

Family Log Cottage (FT4)

Dates Base rate Extra adult Extra child Unit Sleep
15 Jan 2019 — 31 Oct 2019 $ 170 - - 4 people
01 Nov 2019 — 03 Dec 2019 $ 180 - - 4 people
04 Dec 2019 — 13 Jan 2020 $ 200 - - 4 people
14 Jan 2020 — 31 Oct 2020 $ 180 - - 4 people
From $ 170

For 4 people

- Check-in at Glen Reenen Reception - DSTV (Limited Channels) - Fireplace - Kitchen - No Smoking - One bedroom with 2 single beds - One bedroom with double bed - Two bathrooms (en-suite, with wc and shower) - Veranda with Weber braai 

Family Log Cottage (FT4Z)

Dates Base rate Extra adult Extra child Unit Sleep
15 Jan 2019 — 31 Oct 2019 $ 170 - - 4 people
01 Nov 2019 — 03 Dec 2019 $ 180 - - 4 people
04 Dec 2019 — 13 Jan 2020 $ 200 - - 4 people
14 Jan 2020 — 31 Oct 2020 $ 180 - - 4 people
From $ 170

For 4 people

- Check-in at Glen Reenen Reception - DSTV (Limited Channels) - Fireplace - Kitchen - No Smoking - One bedroom with 2 single beds - One bedroom with double bed - Two bathrooms (en-suite, with wc and shower) - Unit accessible to the mobility challenged - Veranda with Weber braai