Peace and Convenience
Category SA Property Market
There is a worldwide trend among homebuyers towards estate living, primarily to ensure better personal safety and security, but also to satisfy a diverse range of preferences for a particular lifestyle. In SA, for example, we have a plethora of golf estates but also a huge variety of wine, olive, fly-fishing, equestrian, polo, farm, eco-friendly and wildlife estates.
“And among these specialist developments,” says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, “the demand for homes in wildlife or ‘game’ estates is particularly strong at the moment, perhaps because the affluent foreign buyers who have bought game farms and lodges in SA in recent years have given local buyers a new appreciation for the wildlife and beautiful unspoiled places that we have in such abundance that we tend to take for granted.”
In addition, he says, technology is now making it much easier to live permanently on a wildlife estate and run your business from there rather than just visiting for weekends and holidays – and this is especially boosting demand for the estates in areas such as Hoedspruit, Mbombela/ White River and the Waterberg.
“But convenience remains a consideration too, and in all of these nodes, a big part of the attraction is that buyers are able to live on true wildlife estates, where the animals and birds and plants are the real ‘residents’, humans are the ‘visitors’ and large parts of the estate are respectfully left undeveloped and untouched – while still being within easy reach of good schools, shops and high-speed internet connections.”
In Hoedspruit, Everitt notes, there is a wide choice of wildlife estates including the Blyde Wildlife Estate, the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate, Raptor’s View, Moditlo and the Grietjie Private Reserve, which offer a huge range of homes to suit different family sizes and budgets.
“And although these attract many second-home buyers from the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and other European countries, the majority of owners are South African. What is more, an increasing percentage of these are full-time residents, with the Southern Cross private school in Raptor’s View being a major attraction for those with families. The town also has comprehensive shopping and medical facilities.”
Similarly in the Mbombela area, wildlife estates such as Shandon and Uitsig are in high demand among an increasing number of professionals and executives who are relocating with their families, he says. The Uplands and Penryn private schools are draw cards and the estates are a few minutes’ drive from shopping centres and, for those who need to travel on business, the Kruger Mpumalanga airport.
Also popular, he says, are wildlife estates in coastal areas that offer an enticing combination of nature and the beach, with top examples being Simbithi on the KZN north coast, the Kenton Eco Estate in the Eastern Cape and Breakwater Bay near Herold’s Bay on the Garden Route.
“And then for the more affluent who own private aircraft, the latest thing is the wildlife & aero estate, where residents can fly in and out as needed and store their aircraft in hangars close to their homes. Examples of these are Zandspruit near Hoedspruit and Brightside near White River.”
Author: Meg Wilson