By Dale Hes for The Rest Nature Estate
Situated on the spectacular piece of land which Nelspruit’s founders decided to settle on, The Rest Nature Estate is one of the city’s newest residential estates, and in every respect, one of the most impressive.
Covered in bushveld vegetation overlooking the hilly terrain around Nelspruit, this 320 hectare, low density estate offers restful modern living, high-tech security and nature-rich surrounds. Despite being remarkably tranquil, the estate is conveniently positioned next door to the prestigious Curro Private School and just a few minutes from Nelspruit Medi-Clinic and the city centre.
Currently, the first of four phases – incorporating 400 stands in two neighbourhoods – has been built, with more than 95% of the stands already sold. At the end of phase four, the estate will have approximately 1 100 residential stands ranging in size from 900m2 to over 16 000m2, split into five neighbourhoods.
Visiting the estate and speaking to residents gives a clear answer as to why stands are selling so fast. The first impression is highly attractive, with the wide brick-paved roads – fringed by indigenous landscaped vegetation – leading to two beautiful, organically-inspired gates. As you enter, the picture only gets prettier. Amidst iconic Lowveld trees and spectacular views over the Nelspruit valley, you’ll find houses straight from the pages of design magazines. Stone merges seamlessly with glass, earthy colours blend perfectly with the landscape and wide verandahs look out over tastefully landscaped gardens.
When building a house, residents can choose between five different styles, giving them flexibility without compromising on property value and the overall integrity of the estate. All of the styles focus on providing the trademark indoor/outdoor lifestyle of the Lowveld, and do it very stylishly.
Nature-lovers are in their element here. There are large areas of natural bushveld to explore, hiding abundant plant life, wildlife such as red and blue duiker, klipspringer, various mongoose species and even caracal and serval. A wide array of bird life is also found here, and the estate has several well-constructed bird hides overlooking natural-looking dams.
“You really feel like you’re out in the wilderness here, even though you’re a short drive from town,” says Ryno Vos, who, along with wife Sheyenne and their two small children, has lived on the estate since August last year.
As with many of the estate’s houses, the Vos family’s rented home showcases magnificent views over Nelspruit’s lush green valleys. There’s a small waterhole just the other side of their wall too, attracting animals such as small antelope and porcupines. In contrast to other estates, almost half of the natural terrain will remain untouched as development expands, apart from an extensive removal of all alien vegetation.
“It’s not some artificial eco-estate, it’s all natural. We can really make life an adventure here and connect with nature. It’s the perfect place to bring up your children and we’re planning to buy here as soon as possible,” says Ryno.
Not many estates around Nelspruit can claim to have a 22 km mountain bike trail or a short 4×4 route, but The Rest boasts both. In total, there are more than 40 km of walking, cycling and jogging tracks, including a very picturesque 1 km wooden walkway leading through shady trees.
Residents can enjoy their leisurely lifestyles with complete peace of mind, as The Rest’s security is right up there with the very best.
To get in, you have to pass through one of two permanently manned gatehouses equipped with access booms and 38 cutting-edge CCTV cameras. A state-of-the-art intruder detection fence spans the estate’s 8 km perimeter, complemented by electric fencing and Clear-Vu steel mesh fencing. Esteemed security company Thorburton operates from a 24/7 manned control room, with guards patrolling the estate and its fences continually.
“You really do feel completely safe, which is rare for South Africa. Last year there wasn’t a single incident, not even a minor one. That’s more than most estates can say. The security staff are very professional and they work as a team with the residents instead of being impersonal. For instance, they will knock on your door to tell you your child’s bike is outside and suggest moving it to a safer place,” Ryno explains.
The stringent security clearly makes families feel safe, which is particularly important when considering that the estate is right next door to Curro. Most of the school-going children on the estate attend this excellent private school, which offers both English and Afrikaans education for 1 200 pupils.
“It really is amazingly convenient. Our children are too young for school, but we’ll send them to Curro when we live here and they get older. They can ride safely up and down the street on their bicycles and there’s so much for them to explore,” says Sheyenne.
At the moment, the estate has a small gym, but the second phase of the development will see the construction of a clubhouse and other leisure facilities. Sheyenne says that estate management treats residents as family, always being willing to listen to ideas.
“They will find out what the residents actually want, such as a restaurant, a larger gym or another swimming pool, before going ahead with anything. It’s like that with every aspect of living here,” Sheyenne explains.
With all of the estate’s world-class features and services, you would expect properties to sell for an arm and a leg, but not so.
“900m2 stands are available at under R 500 000. You can build a 300m2 house for around R 2.7 million all in, and expect to sell it for at least R 3.3 million within two years. It’s one of the best value-for-money estates in Nelspruit,” says Sheyenne.
Levies are also highly affordable and include everything from the extensive security services, to general upkeep of houses and gardens.
“When you buy here, you’re not just buying a property, you’re buying the whole package. Taking into account everything the estate offers, it’s probably one of the best investments you can make,” Ryno says.
Read the article in Get It Lowveld April 2016: