Situated in the picturesque harbour town of Knysna, in the heart of South Africa’s famous Garden Route, sits the Knysna Lifestyle Estate. The name may not suggest it, but this is in fact a retirement estate that offers its residents safe and luxurious living options against a breathtaking backdrop of the Knysna Lagoon and Heads as well as the surrounding hills, mountains and dams.
A central location, just 20 minutes from Plettenberg Bay and 40 minutes from George and its national airport, makes this a perfect place to stay in touch with the world while taking advantage of the best of the big-city culture, shopping and cuisine and some of the country’s finest golf courses. Combine this with small-town friendliness and back-to-nature green living that is synonymous with Knysna and the Garden Route, and there really seems no better place to retire than right here.
Here a privileged and secluded lifestyle is central and the developers have taken all available steps to ensure that every homeowner enjoys their freedom and privacy. Currently in the starting stages of phase three of a five-phase development plan, once completed there will be a mere 250 homes on the 52-hectare estate with a residential density of only five homes per hectare, making this one of the lowest densities of any similar estate in South Africa.
A selection of spacious two- and three-bedroomed freehold homes is available for purchase; levies cover gardening and external maintenance of homes. Twenty-five percent of any capital appreciation on the resale of a house is allocated towards a levy stabilisation fund, to keep future levies as low as possible.
Nearly 60 homes have already been built and occupied in phases one and two, by a healthy mix of Capetonians as well as an influx of retirees from other parts of the country and a small proportion of foreign investors and expats. While most of the owners are over 50, a five percent cap is permitted for buyers under 50, and this is usually made up of children buying a home for their parents, or for themselves for the future.
Plots in phase three of the development have an average erf size of 800m², and there are eight different plans to choose from, ranging from the popular Fulmar and Tern 1 (both two-bedroomed designs) to the larger Skua design, and all have aspects of contemporary Victorian architecture.
The estate is specifically aimed at active and healthy adults, who must be 50 years or older to be able to qualify to purchase a range of freehold luxury residential options, which are sold including VAT and with no transfer duty. Each home should have no more than two occupants, although an application for an additional resident can be made to the Homeowners Association (HOA), and in order to respect the rights of homeowners to peace and tranquillity, visitors, children and grandchildren are permitted to come and visit and stay, but strict limitations are in force.
There are comprehensive facilities, including an inviting clubhouse that features a lounge, library and billiard room as well as a communal bar.
Nature lovers can take pleasure in the natural fynbos areas, scenic walking trails and green belts with inspired colourful landscaping, whilst the sports enthusiasts can make use of the on-site gym, heated swimming pool, sauna and tennis court. Phase two of the facilities will see a bowling green and restaurant being added to the clubhouse.
Security is as much a part of the lifestyle at Knysna Lifestyle Estate as any other facet, and a robust security infrastructure, which includes manned access facilities and professional management, has meant that there have been zero break-ins or serious crimes reported since the estate’s inception in 2011.
For added peace of mind, there is also a well-equipped on-site healthcare centre and assisted living units sold on a life right basis. The healthcare offers 24/7 care with an on-site matron, on-call doctor and carers. Ideal as a step-down facility following surgeries and hospitalisation, there are a range of different grading structures with various living accommodation options, and care packages can be adapted as the needs of the homeowner change.
The estate, which survived the fires earlier in 2017 intact, has several sustainable measures including a 3 million litre capacity reservoir, which will be used for the estate itself as well as supplying neighbouring suburbs. The estate also makes use of solar geysers, some grey-water systems, low-voltage lightbulbs and water-wise indigenous plants.
There is no denying that there is an insatiable market for upscale retirement villages in South Africa, but as demand increases, so too does the task of offering something distinctive, unparalleled and at the forefront of any change. By emphasising the lifestyle aspect, one really does not feel as if one is living in a retirement community, and that is what sets Knysna Lifestyle Estate apart from other retirement estates. So make your move to the most luxurious retirement destination on the Garden Route.