A small piece of par­adise

Vis­it­ing the fa­mous Mid­lands Me­an­der is one thing, liv­ing in this lit­tle piece of green par­adise is an­other. Lea Jacobs takes a look at a gen­tle­man’s es­tate in the heart of this beau­ti­ful re­gion

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

THE Mid­lands of KwaZu­luNatal stretch from just out­side Pi­eter­mar­itzburg to the foot of the Drak­ens­burg moun­tain range. Well­known for its pop­u­lar me­an­der, the area has seen a growth in res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment in re­cent years.

Those look­ing to live in the coun­try are drawn by the beau­ti­ful scenery and laid-back life­style the re­gion en­joys. The pop­u­lar­ity of the area has put towns like How­ick, Bal­go­wan and Not­ting­ham Road firmly on the map and the fact that the re­gion hosts some of the best schools in the coun­try has added to the over­all al­lure. Michael­house and Hil­ton Col­lege have ed­u­cated some of the finest minds and de­vel­oped some of SA’s top sports­men and are firmly en­trenched on the well-known me­an­der route, at­tract­ing a large num­ber of vis­i­tors ev­ery year.

The Mid­lands Me­an­der was es­tab­lished by a num­ber of lo­cal artists, pot­ters and weavers in 1985 to high­light the wealth of arts and crafts avail­able in the area. Ini­tially six stu­dios were opened, but this fig­ure soon grew and to­day the area boasts over 160 places where vis­i­tors can eat, sleep and shop, as well as of­fer­ing a di­verse mix of art and craft fa­cil­i­ties. The area has drawn a wide va­ri­ety of peo­ple who want to show­case their tal­ents and wood­crafters, leather work­ers, cheese mak­ers, beer brew­ers and herb grow­ers, to name a few, call the Mid­lands home.

How­ick, which is sit­u­ated about 90km from Dur­ban, has be­come a bit of a tourist hot spot and of­fers shop­pers a wide choice of craft and an­tique shops. Famed for its wa­ter­fall, the Mgeni River makes a spec­u­lar dis­play as it cas­cades 90m over the How­ick Falls. Sit­u­ated in the cen­tre of the town, the falls of­fer a magnificent back­drop to this quaint town.

Named KwaNogqaza (Place of the Tall One) by the lo­cal Zulu in­hab­i­tants, the falls were first dis- cov­ered by Euro­pean trav­ellers in the early 19th cen­tury. An English mis­sion­ary, James Arch­bell, orig­i­nally farmed the area. How­ever, it wasn’t long be­fore the gov­ern­ment re­alised that the site was on a busy horse-drawn traf­fic route and es­tab­lished a town there.

The town has grown enor­mously over the past few years. As a pop­u­lar re­tiree des­ti­na­tion, Knowl­edge Fac­to­ries sta­tis­tics in­di­cate that 44 free­hold sales have taken place over the past 12 months. The high­est price paid for a full ti­tle prop­erty was R1,1m. Sec­tional ti­tle sales per­formed equally well, with the stats in­di­cat­ing that 48 units were sold dur­ing the pe­riod. The high­est price achieved was R1,4m. How­ever, the pre­dom­i­nant price band, was be­tween R650 000 and R800 000.

The town has a mod­ern pri­vate hos­pi­tal and a med­i­cal cen­tre with doc­tors, spe­cial­ists and nurs­ing fa­cil­i­ties. For those seek­ing an ac­tive out­door life­style there are a host of leisure ac­tiv­i­ties within easy reach in­clud­ing trout fish­ing, bird­watch­ing, horse rid­ing, hik­ing and moun­tain bik­ing through nearby forests. There are two golf cour­ses nearby; namely How­ick Golf Club and Sak­ab­ula, as well as a cen­tral sports club. Boat­ing and fish­ing en­thu­si­asts can take full ad­van­tage of Mid­mar Dam, vir­tu­ally on their doorstep.

The Mid­lands is renowned for large prop­er­ties, farms and gentle­men’s es­tates and Wake­fields are mar­ket­ing a large es­tate near How­ick.

Hid­den from view and sit­u­ated on the Curry Post road about 15 min­utes from the town, over­look­ing the Boschhoek val­ley, lies a magnificent 20ha es­tate.

Vis­i­tors are im­pressed from the mo­ment they en­ter the beau­ti­fully de­signed wrought iron gate that has been de­signed by a Swiss crafts­man. The road along the tree-lined av­enue runs past the sta­bles and vast man­i­cured lawns which lead to the African-styled thatched homestead.

The main house has four ensuite bed­rooms, three lounges and din­ing room and a mod­ern kitchen. Other fea­tures in­clude wooden floors and stone tiles im­ported from France, high ceil­ings, slate floors as well as large French win­dows that open out onto a cov­ered ve­ran­dah and gar­den.

In ad­di­tion, the prop­erty has a 1,5ha man-made lake, a ten­nis court, work­shop and a three-bed­room man­ager’s house, a sep­a­rate two-bed­room cot­tage and an en­ter­tain­ment pad that, along with the main house, over­looks a heated in­fin­ity pool that flows into a smaller pool be­low.

There are also five sta­bles, a tackle room and ex­er­cise pad­docks close to the en­trance of the es­tate.

“The view from this moun­tain top prop­erty look­ing over the Mid­lands to the ’Berg is spec­tac­u­lar,” says Keith Wake­field, CEO of Wake­fields Real Es­tate. “It goes with­out say­ing that hectares of nat­u­ral in­dige­nous bush are home to hun­dreds of bird species, as well as small buck and other an­i­mals.”

A thatch hide takes ad­van­tage of the magnificent views. One of the fea­tures of this state-of-the-art lapa is the elec­tronic win­dows that can be low­ered to waist height on fine days or closed when the weather turns. Price: R24m Con­tact: Wake­fields Real Es­tate Chris Forde 083 441 9828 Richard Pa­trick 072 380 4696 Of­fice: 033 330 6004

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