Right before the darkness erases the remaining flecks of colour from the sky, something magical happens in Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The jagged sandstone outcrops fronting the foothills of the wild, maroon-hued Maluti Mountains glow golden in the dying light; lemon-yellow rays silhouette a lone kudu standing still in a sea of mint-green grasses before the sky explodes in a fiery collision of purple and red. The park might not boast any of the Big Five, but it does feature fantastic nightly sunsets.
There are quite a few animals in the park, though, including grey rheboks, blesboks, elands, oribi antelope, Burchell’s zebras, jackals, baboons and numerous bird species, including the rare bearded and Cape vultures as well as the endangered bald ibis. The park is popular with hikers on long treks, but there are also shorter walking trails.