Graskop Gorge Lift Co has won the Visitor Experience of the Year award at the prestigious Mpumalanga Lilizela Tourism Awards.
The awards ceremony was held on Friday, September 6, at the Ingwenyama Conference and Sports Resort, where the province’s finalists were honoured for their contribution to service excellence in the tourism industry.
Graskop Gorge Lift Co introduced Africa’s first outdoor viewing lift in December 2017 and has since attracted thousands of visitors. The development brought new life to the Lowveld’s Panorama Route, with domestic and foreign visitors keen to travel 51-metres down the face of the gorge and then explore the Afromontane forest below via a circular interpretation trail.
Plans are now well underway to create an adventure hub at Graskop Gorge. Already, the Big Swing – a 70-metre free-fall from the edge of the gorge – and the 130m zipline have been taken over and incorporated into the Graskop Gorge Lift Co.
In August, a 52-metre suspension bridge that links the northern side (where the Big Swing is located) and the southern side (where the lift is) opened to the public. The bridge allows unrivaled access to the magnificent beauty of the area.
Another addition to the tourism destination is an elevated walkway that has been built around the edge of the gorge as an alternative means of access to either side.
Future plans include the creation of additional walkways in the forest, more interpretation boards and seating areas to allow visitors to immerse themselves in the sounds, smells and sights of the forest. Also coming is a guided electric bike trail, as well as hiking and mountain bike trails on the plateau.
“We will continue to uphold our commitment to making this beautiful area more accessible without damaging the environment,” says director Campbell Scott.