Golden Gate National Park

Golden Gate National Park - Southern Africa : The Golden Gate National Park is named after the golden hues of the sandstone cliffs, especially those flanking the west end of the park. The park comprises 11 600 ha of grassveld. There is forest (Afrotemperate Forest), but it is confined to fire-safe

The Golden Gate National Park is named after the golden hues of the sandstone cliffs, especially those flanking the west end of the park. The park comprises 11 600 ha of grassveld. There is forest (Afrotemperate Forest), but it is confined to fire-safe habitats in sheltered ravines, which tend also to be moister and less frost prone.

Poleward slopes may be dominated by Leucosidea sericea (Ouhout) woodland. Isolated patches of acidic soils have Protea woodland (Protea caffra, P. roupelliae and, in fire-safe areas, P. subvestita). But it is Highland-Sourveld and Themeda-Festuca veld that dominate the park.

Some 117 beetle species in 35 families have been recorded on Ouhout in the park.

Mammals include Black Wildebeest, Eland, Blesbuck, Oribi, Springbuck (alien) and Burchells Zebra dominate the fauna.

Birds include the rare Beard Vulture (Lammergeier) and Bald Ibis, Black Stork, Bald Ibis, Cape Vulture, Black and Martial Eagle, Jackal Buzzard, Lanner and Peregrine Falcon, Rock Kestrel, and Black and Alpine Swift. Highland specials include: Greywing and Redwing Francolin, Mountain, Mocking Cliff- and Buffstreak Chat, Sentinel and Cape Rockthrush, Orangebreast Rockjumper, African Rock Pipit, Ground Woodpecker, Wingsnap, Wailing and Lazy Cisticola, Gurneys Sugarbird, Malachite, Greater Doublecollar and Southern Doublecollar Sunbirds and Drakenberg Siskin.

Fossilized dinosaur eggs and skeletons have been found in the park.

The Lombardi Poplars and Weeping Willows in the park are introduced alien species, kept for sentimental cultural and historic connections. Other alien species such as Wattle and Bluegum, are being systematically eradicated.

11 Jan 2015
Tony Rebelo