Tucked away in a quiet corner where the Free State, KwaZulu Natal and Lesotho meet is the unique Golden Gate National Park. A couple of hours drive from Bloemfontein and 3 or 4 hours from Johannesburg, it was established in 1963 to protect its spectacular sandstone highlands, which are unsurpassed in their variety of rock shapes and colour.
The mountain air is crisp and fresh, and the atmosphere tranquil and remote, ideal for hiking and the park has a number of good walking trails from under an hour to half a day.
A great number of rare and unusual flowers grow here, including arum lilies, watsonias, fire lilies and red-hot pokers. There is also a magnificent and colourful variety of game animals and birdlife including the rare bearded and Cape Vultures.