At one with the bushveld mood
Game viewing remains big business in SA, particularly when the big five are involved. Lea Jacobs takes a look at a game lodge that features safari living at its most comfortable
Cup, pumping R3,6bn into the local economy. Although figures for the first quarter of the year are not yet available the number of foreigners visiting our shores in September last year increased to about 650 000.
TripAdvisor, a company that specialises in visitor reviews, reported an increase in the number of people seeking information about visiting the country.
In October last year their web page stated that it had received about 1,4-million hits in 2009 and that this figure had grown to 1,7m during October last year.
Most of the foreign inquiries came from Britain, the US, Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, Italy and China.
Those who are considering investing in a property that caters for the tourism industry need to ensure that not only does the property fit the bill comfort-wise, but that it is also located in the middle of the action.
One such property ticks all the right boxes. A pleasant 2½-hour drive or a 45-minute flight from Johannesburg to one of two airstrips makes Welgevonden Private Game Reserve in the Waterberg of Limpopo one of the most accessible big five, malariafree wilderness reserves in the country. Proximity to the larger centres in Gauteng has ensured that it has become a popular weekend safari destination.
The game reserve
covers 35 000ha and is home to the big five, as well as to a vast array of other animals, including giraffe, kudu, impala, wildebeest, red hartebeest, tsessebe, gemsbok, waterbuck, wild dogs, honey badgers and bush pigs. It is also rich in bird life.
“Welgevonden is a vast premier game sanctuary with a limited number of exclusive safari lodges, most of which are limited to only 10 guests and have been built to a strict aesthetic code,” says Loua Boshoff, MD of Seeff Bela Bela.
“Each lodge on Welgevonden is secluded and built on its own freehold portion of this vast reserve. Owners and guests can traverse and have free access to the whole unfenced sanctuary.”
Boshoff says a who’s who of private and corporate SA have lodges there, and he recently sold a lodge in Welgevonden to a South African businessman for R17,5m.
A newly built 10-bed lodge has come on to Seeff’s books priced at R17,95m.
“This lodge measures about 2000m² and is set in its own 500ha of the reserve. The private lodge is an exquisite five-star quality bushveld hideaway, fully equipped for private, corporate or commercial purposes,” he says.
Boshoff says the lodge includes five double luxury and superbly furnished chalets, each with its own elegant sense of style and décor, designed to make residents feel pampered and special.
Large double sliding doors open on to a private sundeck where visitors can relax. The entertainment areas, such as the lounge, bar and dining room, are surrounded by a wooden deck where guests can relax, or refresh themselves in the pool.
The lodge also features a gourmet kitchen, office, wine cellar, a boma and lapa, he says.
“This lodge offers the discerning buyer a unique investment opportunity,” says Boshoff. “With its traversing rights, the property assures magnificent views and exceptional game viewing and symbolises a perfect balance between nature and modern comfort. Welgevonden is an excellent property investment opportunity for anyone looking for a private home in a premier reserve, a share in a syndicate lodge, a corporate investment, or for those who intend to run a luxury game lodge commercially.” Price: R17,95m Contact: Seeff Properties Loua Boshoff 082 929 4261 Office 014 736 6497