Did you know about the Graskop Gorge Lift in Mpumalanga? (Photo: Supplied)
It’s the first of its kind in Africa.
This is the Graskop Gorge Lift that descends 51m and opens its doors on to luscious greenery and a 600m suspended waterfall trail.
The Graskop Gorge Lift is fairly new, opening its doors in December last year.
The drive to Graskop in Mpumalanga takes about four-and-a-half hours and the simple ride is perfect for a road trip with friends or family.
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We left Joburg in the late afternoon and the sunset as we crossed into Mpumalanga was breathtaking – there definitely is better lighting in the province where the sun rises.
Hours later we entered the small town and soon arrived at the wide-spanning Graskop Hotel, a three-minute drive away from the much-anticipated Graskop Gorge Lift.
Apart from being a convenient distance to the gorge, the Graskop Hotel accommodated us in comfort ahead of the eventful tour.
Graskop is best photographed on sunny days.
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But on the day of our tour the town was rainy, cold and misty – something that is not too unusual in the area.
The dense mist didn’t lift our spirits, but we were told that the rain was a symbol of blessings.
Oupa Pilane, one of the directors of Graskop Gorge Lift, outlined the countless possibilities of this tourism site and said this gorge is just the beginning of developments in the area.
The end goal is to create the biggest outdoor adventure centre in the country, he said.
The lift neighbours a cosy coffee shop, an arts-and-craft market, an art gallery, boutique shops and the Big Swing.
We entered the lift escorted by the friendly but strict guides on duty.
The lift has a maximum capacity of 26 people and allows you to enjoy an almost 360-degree view of the gorge as you descend.
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As soon as we stepped out we were met with huge rocks and refreshing forest air.
There was a faint sound of rushing water but the waterfall was not visible yet.
There were no birds chirping or bugs crawling as one would expect on warmer days but there was something magical about the thick, heavy mist that hung above our heads.
Brown wood and green moist leaves with a white haze were all that could be seen before, suddenly, the waterfall.
Along the gorge route there are educational boards, humorous placards and a magnificent stained-glass panel.
Once your journey is done there’s a 100% chance you will want to go down the trail again.
- Mbude was hosted by the National Empowerment Fund
- The lift is R120 to R175 per person and entry to the adventure centre is R20 per person. Contact 013 764 1177
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