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Top 10 residential estates in South Africa for 2018

07 Nov 2018

By Andrew Amoils

During the past year, the New World Wealth research team visited top-end residential estates across the country. This year’s report contains an overall top 10, as well as top 10s in two different sub-categories, including the top 10 wildlife estates and top 10 golf estates in the country.

Zimbali in Ballito, north of Durban, is arguably the most picturesque estate in the country, with its own natural lagoon and forest. Property prices range from R5 million to R75 million. This home is on the market for R22 million - click here to view.

Residential estates include lifestyle estates, wildlife estates, golf estates, equestrian estates and parkland estates i.e. themed estates.

Ratings criteria include: views, scenery and wildlife; communal gardens and parks; design and space; maintenance; location; security features; activities – gym, swimming pool, golf, walking trials, fishing, horse riding, polo, tennis; facilities - shops, offices, parks, gathering places, children playgrounds, schools, hospitals.

According to SA real estate advisor Basil Weinrich, who helps in compiling the ratings: “Residential estate living is on the rise, especially among the more affluent. We estimate that over 40% of South African HNWIs live or have homes on residential estates.”

Recent trends in this space:

  • Although the residential market in SA has come under strain over the past year, houses/apartments in top-end residential estates have outperformed the general market.
  • A large number of lifestyle and golf estates have started to add luxury apartments onto their offerings. Previously, most of them had focused only on houses.
  • Estates with parks, birdlife, walks and trails are becoming more popular.
  • Most developers are now creating small neighborhoods within the estates, as opposed to the old model where houses were spaced evenly around the entire property. The new model allows for more parkland and open spaces between the neighborhoods.

Notably, South Africa is one of the global pioneers in residential estate living. In fact, the only country with more residential estates than South Africa is the USA (mainly in Florida area). Interestingly, residential estates are now becoming increasingly popular across the globe, especially in the likes of the UAE, Portugal, Spain, Mexico, New Zealand, Mauritius and the UK.

Notable residential estates in other countries include:

  • Yellowstone Club - Big Sky, Montana, USA
  • Wentworth Golf Estate - Surrey, UK
  • Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club - Boca Raton, Florida, USA
  • Jumeirah Golf Estates - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Quinta do Lago - Algarve, Portugal
  • PGA Catalunya Resort - Spain
  • Bighorn Golf Estate - Palm Desert, USA
  • Kukio - Hawaii, USA
  • Millbrook Estate - New Zealand
  • Jacks Point - New Zealand
  • Quivira Los Cabos - Mexico
  • Monte Rei - Algarve, Portugal


Steyn City is near Broadacres in Johannesburg and is arguably the best designed estate in South Africa, with large open parkland areas between distinct residential neighborhoods. This home is on the market for R25 million - click here to view.

The top 10 estates in South Africa for 2018 are listed below, in no particular order or rank:


Zimbali is located next to Ballito and about 45km north of Durban. It is arguably the most picturesque estate in the country, with its own natural lagoon and forest.

The vegetation and birdlife on the estate is very impressive - it is home to several types of kingfishers, louries, bee-eaters and even the rare Crowned Eagle is a resident (the largest eagle in Africa). Notably, the estate is right on the beach.

House prices on the estate range from R5 million to R75 million.


Fancourt is located in George on the Garden Route. It is undoubtedly South Africa’s top estate for golfers, with three highly rated courses on one estate. The two original courses (the Montagu and the Outeniqua) were built in the early 90s, whilst the world famous Fancourt Links (the top rated golf course in Africa) was added in 2000.

There are several different residential areas on the estate including: Colonial Lodges, Cape Dutch Homes, Oakland Residences, Links Avenue Properties, Links Ridge Properties and Montagu Ridge Properties.

House prices on the estate range from R3 million to R50 million. 

Val de Vie

Val de Vie is located in the winelands of Paarl. It is one of the most impressive and well-run estates in the country.

Highlights of this estate include: beautiful vineyards, polo fields, an equestrian centre, a highly rated golf course (Pearl Valley), natural fynbos scenery, parks, lakes and mountain backdrops.

House/apartment prices on the estate range from R3 million to R50 million.

Val de Vie contains a number of district and unique neighborhoods, including:

  • Pearl Valley - houses spread along the Pearl Valley Golf Course
  • The Polo Village - one to two bedroom apartments designed by Stef Antoni
  • The Gentleman’s Estate – the most exclusive neighborhood on Val de Vie - offers residents their own private stables, garden and vineyard. Properties on the Gentleman’s Estate range from 3 to 6 hectares each
  • The River Club - large plots along the Berg River
  • The Reserve - large plots bordering on a Fynbos Reserve
  • Evergreen Retirement Village - upcoming retirement village
  • Several other neighborhoods, including: Le Domaine, La Vue, the Vines at Le Domaine, the Vines and Val de Vie Phase 1

Steyn City

Steyn City is located near Broadacres in Johannesburg. It is arguably the best designed estate in South Africa, with large amounts of beautiful parkland between the various distinct residential neighborhoods.

It also offers a nice mix of houses, townhouses and apartments. In our view, its design and layout has set the blueprint that upcoming estates will try to follow.

The communal areas, vegetation, nature and parklands there are particularly impressive, as is the birdlife. The parklands on the estate successfully emulate parks such as Hampstead Heath and Richmond Park in London, where local residents gather during weekends and after work to meet, talk and walk their dogs. The estate is also very child-friendly with walking paths and underpasses under all the roads.

To promote birdlife, Steyn City works with a local company called Ecosolutions to encourage owls to live on the estate. This is a particularly noble idea and speaks to the benefits of residential estates in preserving endangered birds such as owls. Wild finches and bee-eaters are also common on the estate. House/apartment prices on the estate range from R2 million to R35 million. 

Waterfall Equestrian Estate

Waterfall Equestrian Estate is located in Waterfall City in Johannesburg. It is arguably the most exclusive estate in the country - it is home to some spectacular mansions and stands are particularly large, starting from around one hectare each.

House prices there range from R15 million to R100 million. 


Pezula is located in Knysna on the Garden Route. The views and scenery on the estate are very impressive, as is the golf course.

House prices there range from R5 million to R50 million.

Pezula includes two sub-estates, namely Pezula Golf Estate and Pezula Private Estate.

Atlantic Beach

Atlantic Beach is the ‘hidden gem’ of South African estates. Located between Blouberg and Melkbostrand in Cape Town, the estate features a top rated golf course and lovely vegetation, views and scenery.

It also operates as a wildlife sanctuary, with several wild animals such as antelope living on the property.

House prices on the estate range from R2 million to R20 million. 


Located on the Bot River Lagoon, 28 miles west of Hermanus, Arabella is one of the most scenic estates in the country. Only a few of the holes have houses on them and as a result stands are limited.

House prices on the estate range from R3 million to R15 million.

Blair Atholl

Blair Atholl is a golf and equestrian estate situated near Lanseria in Johannesburg. Like Waterfall Equestrian Estate, it has relatively large stands, with some very impressive houses and gardens on the property.

House prices on the estate range from R10 million to R80 million.

Whalerock Ridge

Whalerock Ridge is located in Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route. The 100 hectare estate offers residents impressive views over the bay. The bottom gate of the estate is located approximately 100 metres from the beach.

House prices on the estate range from R3 million to R35 million.

Val de Vie is in the winelands of Paarl has a highly rated golf course, polo fields, equestrian centre and more. This house is priced at R8.7 million - click here to view.

Sub-categories (in no particular order): 

Top 10 wildlife estates in SA:

  • Gondwana Private Residences
  • Hopewell Conservation Estate
  • Highland Gate
  • Intaba Ridge
  • Kruger Park Lodge
  • Leopard Creek
  • Mjejane
  • Royalston Wildlife Estate
  • Zandspruit Estate
  • Zebula

All of these estates offer a great wildlife and birdlife experience for private owners, which is why they are included in this list. Leopard Creek, Kruger Park Lodge, Zebula and Highland Gate could also be classified as golf estates. Notably, Highland Gate is one of the only estates in SA that offers good fly-fishing. 

Top 10 golf estates in SA:

  • Arabella
  • Atlantic Beach
  • Blair Atholl
  • Fancourt
  • Pezula
  • Pinnacle Point
  • Steenberg
  • Steyn City
  • Val de Vie (includes Pearl Valley Golf Course)
  • Zimbali

For last year’s top 10 read Top 10 residential estates in South Africa for 2017.

About the Author
Andrew Amoils

Andrew Amoils

Andrew is the head of research at New World Wealth, a global wealth intelligence company based in Johannesburg. He can be contacted on

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