Lure of coastal game
Game farm gems on the Cape West Coast offer attractive tourism real estate opportunities, writes Michelle Swart
THE Cape West Coast, which stretches from Cape Town as far as the border with the Northern Cape at Touws River, is still relatively undiscovered, with miles of unspoilt beaches, mountain ranges and rich geographical diversity, not to mention its display of wild flowers in spring.
However, the area is starting to grow into its role as a major holiday route out of Cape Town along Route 27. All along this stretch of coastline is a series of quaint historic towns and fishing villages with names like Lambert’s Bay, Paternoster, Saldanha and Langebaan. Route 27 is a seafood mecca and a number of open-air beach restaurants offer unsurpassed seafood fresh from the sea, cooked on open fires.
While the Cape is lesser known for game-farm properties than the country’s northern provinces, there are a few gems on the market, according to Heinrich Koorts, Seeff Langebaan Agricultural and Commercial MD.
One such property, he says, is Thali-Thali, a 1 460ha Cape West Coast game and fynbos reserve situated just off the R27 near Langebaan on the border of the West Coast National Park.
Koorts says that the unique combination of strandveld, fynbos, bush and beach, differentiate the game farms in the Cape from those of the bushveld.
A game farm here provides a unique opportunity for investors to own a piece of the Cape’s natural heritage, while gaining good financial returns by cashing in on the growing international and local hospitality sector.
As with all property purchases, location is important in determining the price and value he says. Thali-Thali was recently valued by Roode Valuations at R25m.
Thali-Thali was an old cattle farm when it was bought two years ago primarily for its location. After relocating more than 250 mammals, it is now home to game such as kudu, oryx, giraffe, eland, zebra, springbok, black wildebeest and duiker and a variety of bird species. The reserve falls within the southern migratory path for birds from the northern hemisphere and is close to bird areas such Saldanha and Dassen Island and the Lower Berg River Wetlands.
“The reserve contains an extensive and important area of the Saldanha Flats strandveld that consists of grasses, shrub land, trees and plants. Although largely flat, the property does contain low hills and small valleys that lend diversity to the landscape.
“The property is unique in its reminiscence of a bushveld lodge with tented accommodation located on the West Coast,” says Koorts. The lodge includes luxuriously furnished West Coaststyle chalet and tented accommodation for up to 20 guests situated around an open-air lapa and bar area. The units are fully equipped, including satellite television, braai facilities and terraces that overlook the landscape. Game viewing vehicles include a customised open Land Rover and game trailer with capacity for six guests, as well as quad bikes.
Facilities include a 3D bow hunting track, a swimming pool and a marquee tent for functions. The property is enclosed by galvanised fencing. The farm holds a Cape Nature licence and all animals are registered. There is also a restaurant on the property with a liquor licence. The property offers further development potential, including the addition of five more chalets and two houses.
“South African game farms are rated as some of the finest in the world,” says Koorts. “These farms are popular with international investors from Europe, as well as with local investors.”
Operating a game farm and lodge can be very rewarding, says Koorts, especially along the Cape West Coast, given the area’s popularity with international tourists and local holidaymakers. Contact: Seeff Properties Heinrich Koorts 082 440 2000 Office: 022 772 1866