Camping in Golden Gate Highlands National Park

The last four days of our Easter break this year was spent at the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, which is the closest bit of the Drakensberg mountains if you’re coming from Gauteng. It’s situated in the Free State and was about five hours’ drive for us, which is really not that far if you think about it (I spend three hours in traffic driving to work every day).

By the time I had booked, way back in January, there were no more electrified camping sites left, so we came prepared. We had a gas grill braai and an electric light that you hook up to the car at night. We didn’t want to plug our camping fridge into the car as well, for fear that it would drain the battery too much and we’d be stranded in the mountains (I can think of worse fates!), but as it turns out, the weather was cold enough that the already cold fridge stayed cool long enough to keep our food fresh for four days. We also had a steel crate that we locked when we went out during the day, just in case there were baboons again, but we had no trouble with our furry friends this time round.

Apart from the fact that we didn’t have electricity, we also didn’t have a braai (which was strange, since all other campsites we have visited in the past had their own braai facilities) or a water tap or a dustbin close by. The sparkling clean ablution and kitchen facilities more than made up for these small inconveniences, however.

The camping grounds are extremely picturesque. The sites are located in a valley at the foot of Mushroom Rock and while our previous few days camping in the Krugersdorp Game Reserve was wet, muddy and noisy, these last few days turned out to be cold, clear and quiet. We slept in most days, because the shadow of the mountain kept the sun from waking us too early, and went to bed after we’d gazed up at the Milky Way in wonderment. We were certainly well-rested by the end of the week!

For more posts in the Krugersdorp – Glen Reenen Breakaway series, click here.

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