Live in a nature reserve

The Grotto Bay Private Nature Reserve is located just off the R27 West Coast Road, about 45 minutes’ drive from the central city. The reserve totals 685ha, of which just 60ha has been allocated for housing. This portion has been divided into 220 erven, averaging 800sqm each, and contained within a secure environment.  The entire reserve forms part of the Cape West Coast Biosphere, proclaimed by UNESCO in 2000 in a bid to encourage human development which is ecologically friendly and sustainable.

Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports that the Grotto Bay residential component is now about 80 percent developed, with only a few dozen stands still to be built on. PGP is currently marketing six properties within the reserve, ranging in price from R1.585 million for a three-bedroomed cottage and R2.68 million for a 711sqm beachfront plot, to R7.7 million for a magnificent designer villa.  

Most homes enjoy spectacular views of Table Mountain and Dassen Island, while all have access to the sheltered beachfront via well-maintained roads and walkways. They also enjoy access to a network of four hiking trails within the reserve, ranging in distance from 3km to 13km.  Fishing, non-motorised watersports and long leisurely strolls on the beach are an integral part of daily life.

PGP’s area manager for the West Coast, Stephanie Wynne Cole, says the reserve was once part of the West Coast farm “Ganzekraal”, but was granted rezoning for a residential estate in 1995.  Located about 30km north of Melkbosstrand and 25km south of Yzerfontein, it occupies one of the most beautiful sections of the Cape Coast, with kilometres of unspoiled shoreline, and hectares of fynbos surrounding it, abounding with bird and reptile life as well as small animals such as badgers, otters, buck and caracal. “The reserve looks its very best during the August and September months,” says Wynne Cole, “as the veld erupts in a magnificent floral display. One can even sometimes see whales in the bay, or catch a glimpse of the rare African Black Oystercatcher, listed as a vulnerable species in the Red Data Book.  

The sunsets are spectacular, and residents also enjoy a unique ocean display known as the ‘Hissing Sisters’, where an underwater rock formation to the south of Dassen Island sends plumes of spray into the sky, sometimes as high as 30m.  For the locals, it’s like having their own spectacular, all-natural water organ feature.”

Maintaining this magnificent environment is a crucial part of the ethos of Grotto Bay, says PGP’s MD for the Western Cape metro region, Laurie Wener.  “The reserve is run in conjunction with Cape Nature,” she says. “With a built footprint of less than 10 percent, and a ban on any further residential or commercial development, it seems sure to remain an unspoiled natural paradise - particularly as it is part of the long-term Conservancy Plan which aims to establish a continuous nature reserve from Koeberg to Langebaan. Residents are encouraged to live a quiet, nature-loving lifestyle, without excessive noise and with respect for the surrounding flora and fauna.  

There are strict design guidelines to ensure that all building is harmonious with the environment, and does not impact on other residents’ privacy and views.  There is also a ban on exotic vegetation – residents are required to keep an indigenous garden.”

A perimeter fence with 24-hour manned entrance ensures residents’ security, and the reserve enjoys a relatively low crime rate.  This contributes to the ultra-relaxed lifestyle – as does the active Home Owners’ Association, which ensures compliance with all regulations to maintain the pristine environment.  Wynne Cole says the resident mix includes a number of permanent residents, as well as weekenders who enjoy the close proximity to Cape Town.  

A few Gauteng buyers have holiday homes in the estate, and there are several retirees, as well as European “swallows” who spend their summers here. All enjoy the ease of access to the city for major amenities such as shopping and medical care – available in Blouberg just 25 minutes away.  A number of restaurants, golf courses and wine farms are also within easy reach in the nearby towns of Darling, Yzerfontein and Melkbosstrand.

Among the properties currently for sale through PGP is a villa whose design style was inspired by the famous Hamptons beachfront in Long Island, New York.  Located some 200m from the sea, with uninterrupted views, the home is currently running as an upmarket self-catering establishment, and has earned a rating of “Excellent” from international travel website TripAdvisor.  It is on the market at R7.7 million.

The property occupies just over 830sqm, with a built footprint of 660sqm. This includes four luxurious bedroom suites, three of them located on its upper level and reached via a dramatic curved staircase.  The fourth bedroom is located on the ground floor as a separate guest suite, with a wheelchair-friendly bathroom and its own private garden. The home’s open-plan reception rooms include a dining room, two lounges and a bar, equipped with a surround sound system and centred around a large fireplace, ideal for cosy winter evenings.  

The reception rooms are enclosed by 23m of concertina doors, which can be opened up to create uninhibited flow onto the sheltered pool deck with its black splash pool and built in braai, as well as a second front deck. The modern open-plan kitchen includes a five-burner gas stove and electric oven, ample counter space, and a separate laundry/scullery. The home is protected by an alarm system, and has under-floor heating in all bathrooms as well as the main living areas. Garaging is provided for two vehicles, and the low-maintenance garden is watered via a borehole by computerised irrigation.
Whether you make it your permanent residence or invest in it as a holiday retreat, Grotto Bay Nature Reserve properties will surely provide a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of the busy city.

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