Golden Gate Highlands National Park in South Africa.

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Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Free State

The Free State's only national park is known for its dramatic, golden-hued sandstone cliffs and outcroppings, abundant wildlife (including eland, zebra and wildebeest) and centuries-old cave paintings by the San people. The landscape is breathtaking, and best experienced on multi-day hikes. If you've only got a day, though, the self-guided game drives are certainly worthwhile.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Free State attractions

1. Basotho Cultural Village


Within the park you’ll find the small Basotho Cultural Village, essentially an open-air museum peopled by actors depicting various aspects of traditional…

3. Lionsrock

20.32 MILES

Eighteen kilometres from Bethlehem, Lionsrock is a 12.5-sq-km sanctuary and wildlife park for big cats rescued from all over the world and includes lions,…

4. San Rock Art

24.26 MILES

Of several San rock-art sites within the park, this is the only one open to tourists. Siyaphambili Elijah tours, whose representatives you can usually…

5. Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve

26.7 MILES

The small Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve is in a beautiful area of the Drakensberg foothills, and home to springbok, zebra, rhebok and wildebeest…

6. Royal Natal National Park

26.79 MILES

Royal Natal National Park is one of the best spots in the entire KZN Wildlife system. The park and its surrounds are full of movie-quality scenery …