In search of tranquility
A small Western Cape town is beginning to attract attention for all the right reasons. Lea Jacobs reports
LOCAL folklore would have us believe that the Towerkop Mountain that dominates the skyline of Ladismith in the Western Cape was split in two by a witch, who, impatient to get home, waved her wand, thus changing the look of the mountain forever. While the truth may be a little different, this large mountain that literally sits on the town’s doorstep has added to the overall beauty of the area.
This little-known town is attracting increasing interest from those seeking to escape the stresses of city life. Masood Husain, Pam Golding area principal, says that the area is a perfect alternative in contrast to a coastal getaway.
“The town sits amid picturesque, unspoilt countryside in the lap of the Swartberg Mountain range and at the foot of the famed Towerkop Mountain. Seweweekspoort with its world heritage site and beautiful pass and the Hoeko Valley are nearby.
“Home-buyers looking for a scenic and tranquil haven away from big cities or weekend getaways are finding very appealing and affordable options here.”
Just 78km from Riversdale and the N2, about 300km east of Cape Town and 100km west of Oudtshoorn, Ladismith is accessible either via the N1 through Laingsburg or a good tarred road from the Route 62 wine route, the main scenic road linking Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.
Over and above the low crime rate and friendly community life, Ladismith remains a fertile, green oasis with unique fauna and flora, that produces everything from wine and brandy to fruit and cheese for world markets. Apart from the Ladismith Eco Festival, the town is known for its cycle races, including the Seweweekspoort bike rally that takes place later in the year.
“Currently, smallholdings and farms are where the majority of inquiries are channelled among both local and overseas buyers — the latter mainly from the UK and Netherlands — from those seeking the sun, clean air, peace and tranquillity. There is a good selection of these properties, varying in size from 1,7ha for a smallholding up to an 8 800ha game farm, at prices ranging from R385 000 to R16,6m. At present the strongest demand is in the R1,4m to R1,5m price range.”
Pam Golding Properties has a wide variety of farms available, indcluding game, apricot and mixed fruit, lucerne and olive farms, and to a lesser extent livestock farms. City dwellers are mostly interested in acquiring lifestyle farms and smallholdings.
Vacant land ranges from about 600m² to close to 5 000m² in size and is priced between R120 000 and R500 000.
“These stands are ideally suited for private buyers looking to build their dream homes or city getaways, while the larger sites may be of interest to property developers,” says Husain.
“At present a large plot of 4 83m² near the golf course and including part of a dam is on the market for R590 000.”
There is also growing interest in the existing homes market in Ladismith, mainly in the R600 000 to R950 000 price range. “We have everything from small townhouses to Edwardian/Victorian mansions, and even a grand, sprawling ostrich palace formerly owned by an ostrich baron and which is wellsuited for use as a guesthouse.
“In between there are a variety of small, quaint cottages, suburban-type houses and relatively modern buildings. Prices start from R340 000 for a unit in a cluster complex to R6m for the former ostrich palace. Generally, the above homes are used as permanent residences by owneroccupiers or let for a long term.”
Knowledge Factory’s SAPTG statistics indicate that 18 sales have been concluded in the area over the past 12 months. The highest price paid for a property in the region was R800 000 and the lowest R75 000. The average value of property sold in the area hovered around R267 000.
Ladismith is essentially a small town where almost everything is in walking distance, yet still offers shopping facilities, schools and hospitals among other services and facilities. Surrounding towns include Barrydale and Calitzdorp, with Mossel Bay within reach.
Local activities include mountain biking and hiking, while restaurants and beautiful historic guesthouses offer visitors a warm welcome. Artists find inspiration in mountain retreats, while visitors revel in a variety of wine estates along the R62. Despite its name, Ronnie’s Sex Shop is in fact a pub popular among locals and travellers alike, both South African and from overseas. Contact: Pam Golding Properties Masood Husain 028 5511783