In just over a year since it opened, the Graskop Gorge Lift Co has significantly contributed to tourism in Mpumalanga.

With its amazing natural beauty, the province has always been a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists but it was crying out for something new to re-ignite interest in its many established tourism products.

Enter Graskop Gorge Lift Co, which opened in December 2017. It is the biggest investment in tourism infrastructure in Mpumalanga in recent years and has in no small way played its parts in making the province a preferred adventure destination.

With its glass-fronted viewing lift that travels 51m down the face of the Graskop Gorge, and its breathtakingly beautiful 600m forest trail that has allowed thousands of people to explore the previously hard-to-reach indigenous Afromontane forest, the development attracted lots of interest over a short span of time.

The figures speak for themselves. From January to December 2018, 128 000 people visited the site and 63 411 paid to go down the lift and into the forest below. On April 28 alone, a staggering 978 purchased lift tickets. In December 2018, 19 280 people paid the entrance fee to the centre and enjoyed the viewing decks with their unforgettable views, the curios and crafts and the Lift Café restaurant and bar, which is perched on the edge of the gorge.

The developers have ensured that the forest it not degraded in any way, despite the many visitors. The trail through the forest is on an elevated boardwalk, with suspension bridges over the river, which prevents precious plants from being trampled.

Interpretation boards teach visitors about the importance of the forest biome and introduce the fauna and flora that thrive in the misty environment. “We are committed to making the beauty of our province assessible to more people in a sustainable and responsible manner,” says Oupa Pilane, one of the directors.

Situated on the Panorama Route and in close proximity to God’s Window, the Lisbon, Berlin and Mac Mac waterfalls, the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Three Rondawels – and on route to the Kruger National Park – the Graskop Gorge Lift Co gives get another reason to visit the Place of the Rising Sun!

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