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A retreat into the mountains

At 2100 metres above sea level, the sleepy town of Dullstroom is one of the highest towns in South Africa and a premier trough fishing area. Synonymous with warm hospitality and a sense of true country community, the delightful little hamlet situated in the heart of the Highlands Meander is just two and a half hours away from Johannesburg and is a much loved destination thanks to the high altitude fresh air, misty climate and plentiful fishing water.

Nestled in the Steenkamsberg mountain range, a mere 15 kilometres from the town and in the heart of this beautiful part of Mpumalanga is the stunning Highland Gate Trout and Fishing Estate.

The original master plan allows for 455 prime residential stands ranging between 770sqm and 1900sqm. Almost 60% of the stands were sold by 2007 in the first 12 months since the estate launched in 2006, with prices varying from R 450 000 to R 1.5 million (average R 850 000). Century Property Developments has recently acquired the remaining 186 residential stands and is now responsible for their sale. Since its inception in 1975, Century Property Developments is the only South African property developer to ever win the 'Best Development in the World' category at the CNBC International Property Awards and recognises remarkable opportunity to open to the public what they believed to be one of the finest golf designs in the country by completing the development infrastructure and constructing a new 12 kilometre tarred access road and state-of-the-art golf clubhouse, unlocking true value for investors. Once completed, it is envisioned that homes on the estate will retail for anything between R 5 million and R 7 million.

The residential component is split into 11 separate villages and, to date, there are 16 homes built with approximately another 30 with plans in place. Only 30% of the 700 hectare estate is permitted to be developed, with the majority being left as its natural state, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy nature at its best.

Stands are strategically staggered to provide unsurpassed views of the mountains and homes need to adhere to stringent architectural guidelines expertly developed to provide a design theme reminiscent of a tranquil Scottish landscape. Although residents are relatively free to create their dream home, they are encouraged to use natural materials like raw stone, wood and a combination of tin and tile roofs. Exterior shades that are in harmony with the natural Highveld grasslands and gently flowing streams also help to secure the integrity of the estate and its ecology and ensure long-term property values.

Purchasers are permitted to use a qualified architect of their choice, provided that the architect are approved by the aesthetics committee and have 18 months to submit plans from the date of purchase and another year to complete their building,

Focal to the estate is the sough after 18 hole Ernie Els Signature Golf Course rated by many to be one of the best and most unique in South Africa. A truly spectacular visual experience, the championship level course has multiple teeing areas, natural water features and sweeping changes in elevation and the added vibrancy of cool seasoned grass, making it the kind of layout that can be enjoyed by players of all levels.

A retreat into the mountains

The R 18 million Highland Gate Clubhouse is the social hub of the estate and has been designed in such a way as to showcase the scenic landscape and create a truly memorable golf experience. Apart from the conference centre, changing rooms and pro shop, the clubhouse also features a fine dining restaurant and bar and there are plans in place to incorporate a kids play area, indoor pool and well appointed wellness centre in the future. There is a wealth of additional leisure activities, ensuring that the whole family is catered for in this rare and tranquil setting. Homeowners have access to magnificent and abundant trout fishing opportunities in the naturals weirs, dams and streams that punctuate the estate and the noble art of fly fishing will provide hours of relaxation and enjoyment. Residents can also discover breath-taking waterfalls on one of the may walking trails, mountain bike through the stunning landscapes or picnic and scout birds, buck and wild animals roaming nearby.

Aside form keen golfers, wealthy young families from Johannesburg and Pretoria are attracted to this estate thanks to the stunning landscapes, sound security and beautiful Dullstroom town, characterised by quaint houses, speciality restaurants and local shops. Investor, who have the option of purchasing properties in a syndicate, can enjoy their weekend getaway with friends and family with the knowledge that their investment is secure. Fourteen kilometre boundary fencing secure the estate and each village has a security guard patrolling the designated section. Each home is also connected to the estate's own armed patrol vehicle and homeowners living away from the estate are able to monitor entrance and exits via an SMS message to ensure maximum security at all times. The one entrance and exit point is controlled by a boom and there is biometric finger access, onsite cameras and vehicle controls across the entire estate too. The estate is unique in that it is self contained and works like its own municipality - with very little reliance on external services. Well built underground power lines and fibre optic cables are available to each home, a waterborne sewage system controlled by an in house treatment plant supplies water and the estate management also provides gardening and housekeeping services to each home. Although the newly tarred road (R 95 million) to the entrance of the estate allows for easier vehicle access, with transport arranged for staff residing in the town, there are also plans for the inclusion of a helipad for homeowners to use.

Highland Gate is South Africa's best kept secret, offering the perfect holiday retreat for families and outdoor enthusiasts wanting to escape from modern day pressures, golfers wanting to play on a magnificent course and investors looking to own their very own piece of nature.

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Originally published on 21 Sep 2015
Estate Living September Digital
Estate Living September Digital View original