The viewing lift takes visitors 51 metres down the face of the gorge into the forest below, where wooden walkways & suspension bridges meander along a 600 metre trail through the indigenous forest with interactive exhibits.
- 240 tons of concrete in the foundation
- 88 tons of steel in the shaft
- Lift was manufactured by Otis
- The distance from the base to the top of the shaft is 60m
- The total travel distance in the lift is 51m
- The lift travels at 1m/s and takes one minute to go down.
- ONLY the front of the lift is glass from waist height upwards
Whilst the lift, which travels 51m down the cliff face of the Graskop Gorge, was a feat of engineering skill to construct, it is the Afromontane forest below that is at the heart of this development.
In South Africa, Afromontane forests cover only 0.5% of the country’s land area. They occur in pockets along mountain ranges in well-watered areas, including ravines and south-facing slopes. Under the vivid green canopy of trees lies a lush wonderland filled with a spectacular variety of plants, animals, insects and birds.
- The trail has 6 interpretation exhibits and includes information about the forest, its biodiversity, water conservation, birds, insects, and includes giant replicas of indigenous mushrooms, a stained-glass window and much more.
- The trail takes about an hour to complete.
- The interpretation trail has several stairs and steep inclines.
- The first 100 metres or so do not have any steps or steep inclines or declines so are very accessible to all, even people in wheelchairs.
- The climate in the gorge is generally wet and can be slippery in sections. The decks have been fitted with anti-slip treads but caution should always be taken.
- Trees and branches protrude from the decks and guests need to be aware of obstructions on the trail.