New mountain cableway opens

26th September 2008 By: Loni Prinsloo

The new cableway link- ing the Euphoria Golf Estate & Hydro, in Limpopo province, to the rim of the Waterberg mountain range was officially opened last month.
The R12-million gondola jig-back ropeway system joins the Table mountain cableway, as only the second system of its kind in South Africa.

The system was imported from Austria and comprises two gondola cabins, each transporting eight people between the clubhouse of the Euphoria estate and the mountain. The cabins are able to transport up to 240 persons an hour. It has a travelling distance of 453 m, with a travelling speed of zero to 6 m/s. The speed of the cabins varies depending on the need: slow for a vista-viewing experience or a faster transfer of visitors to the Sundowner deck at the top.

The formal handover of the system was carried out by Austria-based transport technology specialist Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group’s representatives Beat Musfeld and Andrea Doppelmayr. The group was responsible for the design and construction of the system. As the South African representative of Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group, REM construction Consultants secured the contract with the Euphoria developers.

Doppelmayr states that the gondola jig-back ropeway sys-tem offers a comfortable ride and is the system of choice for feeder services in ski areas, tourism resorts and the urban environment. The enclosed carriers provide full protection against the elements, and have been designed with a strong focus on the special needs of families and the elderly.

The gondola cabins are attached to the haul rope with detachable fixed grips for safe and easy loading and unloading, and the cabin support wheels run on fixed support cables. Doppelmayr says that the safety of the group’s systems is not negotiable, and adds that the Table mountain cableway, also upgraded by Doppelmayr, has been operating safely and successfully for the last 82 years.

REM managers John Maynard and Will Robinson add that the installation of the cableway makes for a more efficient and attractive alternative to travel from the golf course at the bottom of the estate to the exclusive bushveld property stands and other attractions, including the view at the top of the Waterberg mountain range. He explains that the alternative would be to drive 22 km by road.

In addition, Maynard and Robinson point out that the cableway is environment friendly, cost efficient and energy efficient. He adds that the system only uses 55 kW to start, and 45 kW to run continuously. Robinson adds that the cableway will be part of the attraction to visit the estate.

Some of the other attractions at the Euphoria Golf Estate & Hydro include its Annika Sorenstam 18-hole championship golf course, its clubhouse with restaurants and conferencing facilities, its four-star Bush Villa accommodation and the nature reserve that opened earlier this year.

The estate also offers residents and guests activities such as nature drives, hiking and running trails, mountain biking, bird viewing, quad biking and fishing.

Future expansions that will be built within the next year include an equestrian, sport, business and shopping centre, as well as a hydrospa, a chapel and a children’s care centre.
Sorenstam will officially open the estate on her visit to South Africa on November 4, 2008.