Kirsten notes that while there is more activity in the R1m to R1,7m price bracket as these properties are more affordable, there are some good property purchase options available to those looking for an investment opportunity. For example, RE/MAX Team currently have a backpackers lodge in the Drakensberg on the market for R6,75 million.
The Drakensberg Mountain Range, which is 200-kilometre-long, and which was proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 2000, mostly falls within the KwaZulu-Natal province and acts as a barrier separating KwaZulu-Natal from the Kingdom of Lesotho. Also known as uKhahlamba, Zulu for Barrier of Spears, these mountains boast basalt cliffs which are snowcapped in winter and tower over riverine bush, lush yellowwood forests and a number of waterfalls.
“Combining natural beauty with a wealth of biological diversity, this picturesque mountainous region boasts tens of thousands of rock paintings depicting the daily bushman life, an array of hiking trails and more adrenalin-inducing mountain sports as well as around 290 species of birds, 48 species of mammals, and a number of rare varieties of plant life,” says Kirsten.
The Northern and Central Drakensberg area has some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. The area falls into four valleys, each of which has their own kind of beauty and character, and all have magnificent mountain views.
Inkosana Lodge is situated in the Northern Drakensberg area and is a great place from which guests can explore the entire Drakensberg and Battlefields region or just take time out to relax. “This upmarket backpackers lodge has an exceptionally tranquil setting in an indigenous garden and is surrounded by grassland. The lodge lends itself to conversion to a luxury resort. The mountain views are superb and birdlife is abundant. There is an eco-pool, yellowwood walk and formal herb garden complete with summerhouse and fountain,” says Kirsten.
The lodge has rooms and separate rondawels, some of which are en-suite. There are also dormitories and campsites. The communal area consists of a large lounge/dining room with a wood burning stove. The main kitchen has anthracite stove and there are two additional kitchens for guests as well as braai facilities. In the valley, numerous first class restaurants, shops and boutiques are available.
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that current pricing makes now an ideal time to invest, especially for those looking for leisure properties that will provide a good return on investment. “Lower prices make these kinds of investments more attractive, especially when they are well situated in popular tourism regions.”
Kirsten notes that Inkosana lodge boasts a four-star rating and has won the South African AA Travel Award for backpackers. It is still in the AA Hall of Fame and is acclaimed in all overseas travel guides. “The Drakensberg region is a tourism hot spot, and Inkosana Lodge is ideally placed to take advantage of the scenery and adventure this region has to offer visitors,” she concludes.