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Golden Gate Highlands National Park is one of the Free State’s major natural highlights and this protected grassland area is the only national park of its kind in South Africa. It could be South Africa’s “Jurassic Park” with its geological formations and the world’s oldest fossilized dinosaur eggs and embryos. This 12 000 hectare park is situated in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains and derives its name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the park's sandstone cliffs. The Brandwag rock overlooks the main restcamp, Generaalskop is the highest point in the park and guided walks to Cathedral Cave or the 31 kilometre Rhebok Trail provide majestic views and great exercise.
There are many activities from hiking, horse riding, abseiling, canoeing to game and bird watching. Various animals such as Highveld grassland antelope, eland, black wildebeest, rooi haartebeest, blesbok, reedbuck, zebra and a few pairs of the highly endangered Oribi can be seen along with the rare bearded vulture (lammergeier) and the equally rare bald ibis, which breed on the ledges in the sandstone cliffs and accumulate in the feeding area for vultures. Cultural resources span from mid to late Stone Age through to Basotho and early Settler and the Van Reenen Family Graveyard is also a popular site. Stay at the Glen Reenen Rest Camp or the luxury Highlands Mountain Retreat while the Qwa Qwa Rest Camp (a replica of an 18th century Basotho Village) is still a work in progress and should be ready for use by the end of 2007.