PRICE : R4 800 000 – Full title, serviced land;  Including VAT and transfer costs

Peaks tower on three sides of an airy grove of wild olives, dotted with Huilboom and Cabbage-trees. Bird calls drift up from the valleys – Knysna turaco, black cuckoo, honey guide and the rich liquid notes of the eastern nicator. The understorey is of spurflower and gentle-berry, and Spikethorn with its tiny polished leaves and mist of minute red flowers.

A wild rock garden forms a natural viewing platform. The view presents endless slopes blanketed in montane forest, from valley bottom rising to meet the tumbling mountain mist. Zebra and hartebeest thread the distant hillside paths.

From left: Both the eastern and northern views shown here overlook the canopy of the nearby riverine forest.

The site lies on a rocky bushveld shoulder, on a ridge thrusting above the valley bottom in a vast semi-circle of wooded, grass-capped hills. A seasonal stream, deep in the valley below, crosses in front of this spectacular north facing site, adding to the whisper of Hyslop’s Creek to the east. The feeling of being at the centre of attention in a giant natural amphitheatre, is invigorating. Birdsong of red eyed doves, barbets, shrikes and francolin floating up from the valley below and the surrounding hillsides provides constant solace from a stressful world.

The slope downwards from the almost level promontory is quite steep. The outlook is slatted through the stems of slender Wild Olives, Combretums and at least two species of Karee. The tree diversity at this site is impressive and the olives at least will provide some year-round shade. Undergrowth is sparse, with grass only appearing on the lower slopes of the ridge where shade and tree density are reduced. The site is dry and the trees mostly deciduous, but it is exposed to cooling breezes in hot weather. Sansiveira and Solanum nodiflora, a favourite bushbuck food, contribute to the understorey.

The building footprint follows the north-south orientation of the ridge and is limited to the more level ground. The rocky outcrop at the north end of the site provides for a skilfully constructed viewing deck, to be shared with monkeys in the sour plum season. The vehicle approach will come from the south-east more-or-less along the contour.

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