Intaba Ridge Private Game Estate: A zebra in your backyard?

Not many homeowners can attest to frequently sharing their garden with zebra or regularly rubbing shoulders with wildebeest, reedbuck, impala, blesbuck and the endangered Oribi, which traverse the estate where they live. Least of all within close proximity to a capital city.

The sweeping view to Pietermaritzburg from Intaba Ridge Private Game Estate.

Residents at Intaba Ridge on Pietermaritzburg’s doorstep regard this as a highlight of life on this privately developed residential game estate, which was created by developers Brendan Falkson and John Dovey, as something truly special.

“Seeing game not only roaming the estate but right in your front garden is an almost daily occurrence,” says Falkson, who is proud of the estate’s small but growing population of the critically endangered Oribi.

“Oribi are the flagship species for grasslands - one of the most threatened ecozones in the world, and are endangered due to destruction of their habitat as well as from poaching. Through an ongoing eradication programme to eliminate alien weeds and non-indigenous species we have rehabilitated and even increased our grassland areas. We are proud to have grown our Oribi population over the past four years and extremely excited every time we sight a new youngster.”

Barbara Becker, Pam Golding Properties area principal in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, says residents on the estate range from 25 to 80 years of age. “They say there’s nothing like seeing game in one’s garden grazing the lawn, while the bird life is also prolific with hoopoes, bishop birds, eagles, owls, heron and many more exotic birds visiting the estate.”

Completed home at Intaba Ridge Private Game Estate.

To date 65 of a total of 100 stands have sold, each approximately 2 500sqm in size and with current prices ranging from R565 000 to R790 000, which represents price appreciation between 15 and 20 percent over the past two years. Plot and plan homes are currently selling from R1.95 million to R2.295 million for three and four bedroom houses. Twenty-one homes are fully constructed while another 12 are currently in the process of being built.

The completed homes packages are in three design styles offering either three or four bedrooms plus study, or four bedrooms plus study and staff quarters. “This is good value for money as the average value of a completed home on the estate is estimated between R3. 5 million and R5 million.”

“As more and more people buy into the estate it creates a ripple effect with friends being drawn by the appealing lifestyle and so they too, decide to purchase. A recent mountain biking event also put Intaba Ridge on the map, with three sales being concluded with avid cyclists.”

“Many people show interest in relocating to this estate with a view to leaving their families in a secure environment while they commute to Gauteng on business.  Intaba Estate is only five minutes from Pietermaritzburg Airport, which has received a R18 million upgrade to its terminal building and apron, which has greatly improved functionality and seen Airlink recommence its Quad Jet services. Further investment is earmarked for resurfacing the runway and taxiway. There are also plans for the development of a technology park around the airport, catering for aviation and manufacturing industries.

Zebra, blesbuck and reedbuck are regular visitors to properties on Intaba Ridge Private Game Estate.

“A number of other buyers are from the Hillcrest area, who then plan to commute daily to the workplace. This healthy, country lifestyle with wide open spaces and room to breathe is appealing for all age groups, but particularly for young families with children because of the strong emphasis on security,” says Becker.

With panoramic views across the grasslands to the Pietermaritzburg city bowl and ‘Table Mountain’, Intaba Ridge includes a clubhouse and walking and mountain biking trails. It’s also just south of Bisley Valley Nature Reserve. Leading schools within a radius of 8.5km of the estate include Epworth School, St Charles College, St John’s Diocesan School for Girls, Pietermaritzburg Girls High and Maritzburg College. Activities in the nearby vicinity include Rocky Valley Game Lodge, Bisley Nature Reserve, Maritzburg Golf Club, Canterbury Equestrian Centre and Ashburton Pony Club.

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