African bush ex­pe­ri­ence

A share in one of Wel­gevon­den’s com­mer­cial lodges of­fers a good re­turn on in­vest­ment as well as an ex­clu­sive Bushveld life­style, writes Michelle Swart

Business Day - Home Front - - NEWS -

THE re­gion known as the Water­berg has been de­scribed as one of South Africa’s best-kept se­crets. Si­t­u­ated in Lim­popo in the north­west of SA, the Water­berg re­gion stretches 150km in a long arc from Thabaz­imbi in the west, Modi­molle (Nyl­stroom) in the cen­tre, to Mokopane (Pot­gi­eter­srus) in the east. Vaal­wa­ter is the cen­tral vil­lage of the area.

The Water­berg re­gion is in the heart of the Bushveld, with low moun­tain ranges and es­carp­ment. It is here, in the Wel­gevon­den pri­vate game re­serve, that share­hold­ers and guests en­joy un­lim­ited move­ment on 36 000ha of pro­tected land in an en­vi­ron­ment where bio­di­ver­sity con­ser­va­tion and game view­ing are man­aged in har­mony.

The re­serve’s man­age­ment says it is to­tally com­mit­ted to on­go­ing con­ser­va­tion re­search and devel­op­ment.

This wilder­ness area of­fers an ex­clu­sive, in­ti­mate ex­pe­ri­ence of the African bush, with only a lim­ited num­ber of guests hav­ing ac­cess to the re­serve at any given time. No pri­vate ve­hi­cles are per­mit­ted, which en­sures min­i­mal hu­man im­pact and the ul­ti­mate wilder­ness ex­pe­ri­ence.

Man­age­ment says that Wel­gevon­den pri­vate game re­serve is home to more than 50 dif­fer­ent mam­mals, in­clud­ing the Big Five, and has the largest pop­u­la­tion of white rhino on a pri­vate re­serve any­where in Africa. There are rare and un­usual species too, such as brown hyena, aard­wolf and aard­vark. The di­verse habi­tat abounds with an­te­lope, from the large eland to the diminu­tive duiker, as well as chee­tah, lion and leop­ard. More than 300 bird species, in­clud­ing rare blue cranes, have been iden­ti­fied

A share in Le­bala Lodge, which is si­t­u­ated in this pri­vate re­serve, is for sale. It is one of many com­mer­cial lodges within the re­serve. Own­ing a share in this Bushveld par­adise en­ti­tles the share­holder to four weeks a year and the ex­clu­sive use of the lodge, in­clud­ing all ameni­ties and fa­cil­i­ties. The year is di­vided into four quar­ters and one week will be al­lo­cated to each share­holder for each quar­ter.

Man­age­ment says that the levy of R100 000 a year per share­holder con­trib­utes to the gen­eral main­te­nance and up­keep of the lodge, pool and ve­hi­cles. A share­hold­ers’ agree­ment de­fines all rights and prac­tices of the share­hold­ers, in­clud­ing, but not ex­clu­sive to, the ap­point­ment of di­rec­tors, share­holder li­a­bil­i­ties, levies, week al­lo­ca­tions, swap­ping of weeks, rent­ing of weeks and the sale of shares.

The lodge sets high stan­dards in lux­u­ri­ous in­te­ri­ors. There are five bou­tique suites that can ac­com­mo­date 10 peo­ple, in­clud­ing chil­dren. The thatched prop­erty in­cludes a kitchen, lounge, din­ing room, fam­ily room, cov­ered ter­races, boma, deck and pool. Ad­di­tional fea­tures in­clude a gym, satel­lite tele­vi­sion, in­ter­net, of­fice fa­cil­i­ties and game-drive ve­hi­cle.

Marie Less­mann, of En­gel & Völk­ers that is mar­ket­ing this prop­erty, says that prop­er­ties in the area are mainly pri­vate game farms spe­cial­is­ing in eco­tourism, hunt­ing and game breed­ing.

She says that the game farms ben­e­fit from the ex­clu­siv­ity that na­ture re­serves like Wel­gevon­den and Marakele of­fer, and there­fore prop­erty prices re­mained rel­a­tively sta­ble dur­ing the re­cent eco­nomic down­turn.

Less­mann says that the buyer of this share would ben­e­fit from a solid re­turn on in­vest­ment. Wel­gevon­den’s strong in­ter­na­tional brand­ing, easy ac­cess by road or air and its lo­ca­tion in a malaria free area means the prop­erty value in­creases con­sis­tently, mak­ing this an ex­cel­lent in­vest­ment op­por­tu­nity. Price: Share ask­ing price:R2,985m Con­tact: En­gel & Völk­ers Marie Less­mann 082 412 0278 Vaal­wa­ter Of­fice 014 755 3899

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