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Quinton Pretorius, Graskop Gorge Lift Company’s newly appointed general manager, has experience as a chef, in the restaurant business, in adventure tourism and conservation. In other words, he is perfectly positioned to take the Lowveld exciting tourism destination to even greater heights.
The venue offers meaningful interactions with nature, particularly the Afromontane forest that lies at the foot of the gorge, as well as adventures for thrill-seekers in the form of the Big Swing and Gorge Zipline. The Lift Café serves made-to-order meals and has a diverse range of beverages – including craft beer made in nearby Sabie. Rounding off the experience are various retail offerings – including crafts, curios and art.
From the start, the Graskop Gorge Lift Company was committed to leaving as small an environmental footprint as possible. This ethos resonates with Quinton who worked for years with Working for Water and Working on Fire as national general manager of the High Altitude Teams Project, which does essential work in clearing alien invasive species.
Entrepreneurial ventures he has been involved in include extreme adventures – shark diving, bungee jumping, fighter jet trips, skydiving and rock climbing.
He has worked as a chef in both the United Kingdom and South Africa and has extensive mountaineering experience
One of Quinton’s mandates at Working on Fire was to find, train, develop and equip the most promising veld and forest fire managers and firefighters in the country and develop them into the bravest, fittest, strongest and most capable elite environmental first response unit that could also be deployed at short notice to anywhere in the world.
The owner of BigSky Drones and a Nelspruit resident, Quinton joined the Graskop Gorge Lift Co on 16 March 2020. Unfortunately, the national coronavirus lockdown followed shortly after, leaving Quinton champing at the bit.
“I love everything about this place and cannot wait until we re-open. We offer a pristine environment where the whole family can spend the day in a safe and tranquil environment that offers great adventure, great natural views and walks, great food and, above all, friendly and welcoming staff,” he says.
Quinton is 100% behind Graskop Gorge Lift Company’s philosophy of balancing adventure tourism with being custodians of the environment. “Together we can grow and develop this venue into one of the country’s top 10 must-visit venues for local and foreign clients and guests.”
Always up for a challenge, Quinton destresses by taking on daunting mountains and triumphing over them. His greatest experiences were climbing Blouberg in Limpopo, Barries route up the Drakensberg’s Monks Cowl and the Main Face Sentinel, also part of the Drakensberg.