Enjoy lavish views of the Free State from this cottage

Posted on 22 August 2018

Highlands Mountain Retreat, Golden Gate, Free State

Image by Melanie van Zyl

Getting high up into the mountains for panoramic views isn’t easy for everyone. Some of us might be too lazy to slog it out on a hiking trail, but there are others who dream of hiking into gorges and atop plateaus but are physically unable to.

As someone with disabled family members, I found a spot like Highlands Mountain Retreat to be a rare find: it offers self-catering accommodation designed for guests with mobility issues, while providing crazy, panoramic views that make you feel like you’re on top of the world.

Unit FT4Z is the log cabin to book for the accessibility features: a roll-in shower with a seat, grab rails next to the toilet and no stairs or slopes. The veranda is where you’ll probably spend most of your time. At 2 200 metres above sea level, the vista feels infinite; the grassy hills plunging into sandstone canyons and forested valleys.

Image by Melanie van Zyl

Do It

The accessibility cottage sleeps 4 in 2 en-suite rooms. The bedroom with a wheelchair-accessible bathroom has a double bed, the other room has two singles. From R2,437 for the unit. There are seven other log cabins here, sleeping either two or four people. From R1,514 for two.

There are seven day hikes in the park plus the overnight Ribbok Trail; hiking permits are R40 per person and can be obtained at the park’s hotel. For non hikers, there are two game drives in the park: the Oribi Loop and the Blesbok Loop. The latter drive winds all the way to a viewing point facing the majestic Generaal’s Kop. 0582551000, sanparks.org

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