New Skywalk lookout point in the making at God’s Window in Mpumalanga

Posted by Anita Froneman on 20 September 2021

A brand new development at God’s Window in the Drakensberg in the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve will offer tourists unparalleled views of the canyon and surroundings.

The Skywalk will be 12m long, overhanging from the cliff and suspended in the air at approximately 700m high. The lookout point will be modelled on the Grand Canyon Skywalk Arizona.

‘Our desire is to see this beautiful project acting as an instrument to put the area back into its place as a world-class tourism destination. We believe that this project will energise the area and create new jobs and support other attractions in the area,’ said Jerry Mabena, CEO of Motsamayi Tourism Group.

‘The Blyde River region attracts nearly one million visitors annually. Projects like the skywalk will do a lot to increase those numbers and encourage people to roam in the area for longer, which in turn will increase visitor spend to the region while exposing more people to one of South Africa’s most beautiful locations. It will also be the first skywalk of its kind in South Africa and one of a very few to have been built around the world,’ he added.

The architect firm, Boogertman and Partners, stated that the building and the landscape emulate the sacredness of the environment through a blending of the building into the landscape. ‘The strategy to lift the building off the land minimises the environmental impact of cutting into the natural rock of the escarpment edge, and the landscaping will celebrate endemic and indigenous plants,’ the firm said on its website.

A water filtration system will lead into an attenuation pond at the lowest portion of the site, which will then be pumped up to repeat the cycle reducing water usage. Materials used include sustainably farmed timber that references the site’s indigenous rain forests while stone cladding the natural stone of the escarpment ridge. The stone will be sustainably sourced and constructed by local community craftsmen.

Pictures: Boogertman and Partners

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