The 10 best residential estates for South Africa’s ultra-rich

AfrAsia Bank and New World Wealth have released a new report detailing the top 10 residential estates in South Africa.

According to the report, South Africa is one of the global pioneers in residential estate living, with only the US boasting more such properties. Research by Lightstone found there are more than 6,500 closed community or estates in the country.

However, New World Wealth’s report found that residential estates are now becoming increasingly popular across the globe, especially in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Portugal, Spain, Mexico, New Zealand, Mauritius and the UK.

In South Africa, the report shows a rise in demand for retirement and wildlife estates especially, while there is a move away from traditional golf estates.

The way these estates are structured is also changing, with many developers 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.

Over 100 estates across the country were ranked according to the following criteria:

  • Design and space
  • Communal gardens and parks
  • Maintenance
  • Location
  • Security features
  • Views, scenery and wildlife
  • Activities – gym, swimming pool, golf, horse riding, polo, tennis
  • Facilities – shops, offices, parks, gathering places, children playgrounds, schools, hospitals

Top 10 Residential estates:


Val de Vie – Paarl

Val de Vie in Paarl retains its position from last year as the top residential estate in South Africa.

Highlights of the estate include: vineyards, polo fields, an equestrian center, a highly rated golf course, natural fynbos scenery, parks, lakes and mountain backdrops.

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

Steyn City – Fourways, Joburg

Steyn City, ranked fourth last year, moves up to second place this year. The newly built Johannesburg estate includes: an equestrian center, a golf course and over 250 hectares of landscaped parkland.

The communal areas, vegetation and parklands on the estate are particularly impressive, as is the bird life.

Once fully complete, Steyn City will be the most extensive estate in the country (in terms of facilities and activities).

House/apartment prices on the estate range from R2 million to R30 million.

Zimbali – Ballito, KZN

Zimbali is located approximately 50kms north of Durban. It is arguably the most picturesque estate in the country, with its own natural lagoon and forest.

The bird life on the estate is very impressive – it is home to several types of kingfishers, loeries, bee-eaters and even the rare Crowned Eagle is a resident.

Notably, the estate is located right on the beach, with house prices on the estate ranging from R5 million to R50 million.

Fancourt – George

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 property.

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.

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

Waterfall Equestrian Estate – Waterfall, Joburg

Waterfall Equestrian Estate is located in Waterfall City in Johannesburg, overlooking the newly built Mall of Africa.

It is arguably the most exclusive estate in the country – stands on the estate are particularly large, starting from around one hectare each.

House prices there range from R10 million to R70 million.

Steenberg – Constantia Valley, Cape Town

Steenberg is one of the pioneer estates of South Africa. Originally a vineyard, Steenberg was redeveloped by JCI in 1990 to include a golf course, hotel, spa and housing estate.

The estate still contains a large winery and vineyard.

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

Mjejane – Hectorspruit, Mpumalanga

Mjejane Lifestyle Estate is the only wildlife estate in the top 10. It is located on the banks of the Crocodile River (bordering and open to Kruger Park).

Notably, Mjejane has access to the full big five. The estate offers 200 stands (around 50 houses have been built to date) over 4,000 hectares with 10km of river frontage.

House prices on the estate range from R5 million to R30 million.

Whalerock Ridge – Plettenberg Bay

Whalerock Ridge is located in Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route.

The 100 hectare estate offers residents impressive views over Robberg Beach. The bottom gate of the estate is located approximately 100 meters from the beach.

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

Waterfall Hills Retirement Estate – Waterfall, Joburg

Waterfall Hills Retirement Estate is the only retirement estate in the top 10.

House prices on the estate range from R3 million to R6 million.

Fransche Hoek Estate – Franschhoek

Franschhoek is the fine food capital of SA and one of the fastest growing towns in the country in terms of wealthy people buying homes there.

The estate has its own private vineyards and fruit orchards. All the houses on the estate have lovely views of the surrounding valley.

House prices on the estate range from R10 million to R60 million.

Read: 3 popular Cape Town suburbs for holiday apartment investments

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The 10 best residential estates for South Africa’s ultra-rich