Lift off! A first for Africa

What is the inspiration behind the idea?

The Graskop Gorge development was inspired by the developers’ vision of making the rugged beauty of the Panorama route more accessible to visitors in an environmentally-conscious and sustainable manner. All local residents, the three developers are passionate about the Lowveld and about sharing its natural beauty with as many people as possible while at the same time, contributing to economic development by increasing the number of tourists visiting the area.

What exactly are they building?

Centrally, a viewing lift that will transport people to the bottom of the Graskop Gorge. The lift travels up and down the cliff face and gives unrivaled views of the forest, river, waterfall and mountains.

This lift is a first for Africa. Construction of the lift base involved around 160 tons of concrete being poured down a specially-created pipe system that ran down the cliff face. The lift shaft weighs 88 tons and is 60m in length, with a total travel distance of 51m, which is around 16 storeys.

Walkways and suspension bridges at the bottom of the gorge create a network of environmental trails that encourage visitors to learn more about the escarpment’s afro-montane forest.

How big will the new elevator be?

The custom-designed viewing elevator will accommodate 26 passengers.

How many people can be accommodated?

The development will be able to accommodate tour buses and will offer an exciting new option for tourists exploring Mpumalanga or travelling to the Kruger National Park. Visitors to the Graskop Gorge centre will easily be able to spend a morning or afternoon there, doing the enviro walks, having a meal and browsing through the shops and curio stalls.

The centre will incorporate a restaurant, bar and shops at the top of the gorge, with look-out points and a children’s play area that will be constructed in the near future.

When will the viewing lift be operational?

If all goes well, the development will open in time for the festive season 2017.
Visit and Like their Facebook Page to be notified of the launch date!

Operating hours:

08:00 – 17:00 (these will be extended in summer to 18:00)

Safe parking:

Car guards will be on site.

Limited wheelchair access:

Wheelchair access will be available to the lift and down to the waterfall along the broadwalk. However, due to steepness in the valley it was not possible to provide full access.

For more info and how to book:

Email [email protected]



Answer this simple question:

How many metres will the viewing lift travel?

CLOSING DATE: 11 January 2018

* Winner will be announced 17 January 2018. 


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