A new Interpretation Centre for Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Visitors to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park can look forward to an exciting new attraction – the Glen Reenen Interpretation Centre opened its doors to the public on 4 October 2019.
A collaborative venture between SANParks and the SANParks Honorary Rangers, this informative and interactive display showcases the diversity, scenic beauty and uniqueness of the park and takes one on a journey through its natural history, palaeontology, geology and cultural heritage.
When SANParks identified the need for an Interpretation Centre in 2016, they approached the SANParks Honorary Rangers for assistance. Free State and KZN Regions of the SHR sprang into action to make the dream a reality.
While the members of Free State Region took on the hands-on task of getting the job done, KZN Region provided a large proportion of the funding. Funds were sourced from the annual Golden Gate Challenge and Golden Gate Birding Weekend.
Property Mokoena, Managing Executive – Parks Division at South African National Parks, said “We trust that this project will enhance the visitor experience in Golden Gate by opening up the wonderful attributes of the park”, adding “We are confident that the centre will provide the most ideal platform to educate visitors (especially children).”
Mr Mokoena, together with Reuben Ngwenya, Regional Manager Central Region, conveyed their gratitude on behalf of SANParks for this “valuable gift to the park”.
The ceremonial cutting of the ribbon was performed by Property Mokoena and Reuben Ngwenya on behalf of SANParks, and Jimmy Telle, member of the SANParks Honorary Rangers Board and Jan Janse van Rensburg, Chairperson of KZN Region.
Des Bothma, project leader and a member of Free State Region, stated “The journey started back in 2016 and has taken approximately 3 years to complete. We did most of the research and the construction work ourselves to keep costs to a minimum. Helicia Delport was responsible for the fantastic artwork. We must also acknowledge the help we received from friends who simply came to the party with their tools and expertise”.
There is no entrance fee to visit the Interpretation Centre, which can accommodate small groups – up to about 30 people at a time.