In 1856, Queen Victoria of Great Britain permitted a Deed of Grant for a Mr. George Wilson Prince to take ownership of a piece of land situated in the Northern part of South Africa. Mr. Prince purchased the 3 354 acres of land, known as Hyde Park farm for the handsome amount of two pounds, five shillings and four pence sterling. Soon after, the farm was acquired by Babu Bodasing, an indentured cane cutter from India who retained the land until selling a portion to Princes Grant Property Share Block Limited and Raj Bodasing, who remains a shareholder and director of the company.
Today, this farm forms part of the land of Princes Grant Coastal Golf Estate, one of the best estates of its kind, situated just 35kms north of the King Shaka airport in Kwazulu Natal. As a nod to the rich history, the developers were keen to retain some of the existing features, such as the small house on the beach behind the fifteenth green, which was the first building on the property and the Bodasing family’s original beach cottage. Although slightly redesigned, the foundations are those originally built by the family almost eight years ago.
Similarly, the 16th hole of the Peter Matkovich designed golf course is known as Paddyfield, which were first planted by Babu Bodasing in order to grow rice in the early days. When the development was designed in 1992, it differed considerably from most golf course estates in that the golf course took precedence and formed the heart of the estate. An example of this is the piece of prime real estate land where the fifteenth hole lies which most developers would have allocated for residential development but with the help of Matkovich’s carefully designed layout, a sustainable course that intrudes as little as possible in its natural surroundings has been successfully created.
Opening in June 1994, the 18 hole, 5 star, world class golf course quickly became extremely popular with domestic and international players. The clubhouse that was opened by Hugh Baiocchi, the then golf director, was at the time a wooden Wendy house perched on top of the tenth tee but today it takes the form of a luxury establishment that is the venue for weddings and private functions and there is also a Pro Shop, and the installation of a putt-putt course to add to the experience.
The colonial past of the estate is also reproduced in the building and architectural style which forms a breath-taking backdrop over the never ending Indian Ocean. Just over 480 houses make up the estate and all stands, which varied from R 430 000 to R 500 000, have been sold and are only available via resale.
The prices for land and property here are a little lower than other estates within major centres of the country because the area is deemed as a holiday destination with predominantly second homes. Owners interestingly do not have a build by date and at the time of inception, a stand would have set one back around R 130 000. However today’s homes, which are built on an average stand size of 600 m² with a floor space of approximately 350 m², sell for an average of R 3.5 million for a 3 or 4 bedroom home, with the highest recorded sale coming in at R 8 million.
A sole apartment block called the Princes Grant The Eighteenth, is currently under construction and upon completion, will offer exclusive and extremely modern 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, some with sea views and all within the R 1.9 million and R 2.3 million price range. The estate has appointed Martin Peterson from Peterson Properties and Noelle Taylor from Golf Estate Properties to solely handle these property sales within the estate.
As one of the only estates on the north coast with direct beach access to 2km’s of pristine, private beach, Princes Grant remains a beautiful and convenient choice for many and is why there is only a 18-20% permanent occupation rate. The balance is made up out of holiday homes owned by international and local residents who usually visit during the sensationally hot summer months.
The estate is located just outside of the small town Stanger whilst the bigger city of Ballito is not too far and the heady metropolis of Durban being just an hour’s drive away. For residents that often travel, an airport shuttle service is convenient and ideal and those families who do wish to make Princes Grant their permanent home can utilise the many fantastic private boarding schooling facilities in Durban and the Kwazulu Natal Midlands.
During peak season, lifeguards are on duty looking after residents and holiday makers that want to swim in the warm ocean and other facilities of offer include three swimming pools, a tennis and squash court, trampolines, nature trials, bird watching clubs, canoeing on the nearby lagoon, table tennis, jungle gyms and play areas for children, two onsite restaurants and communal braai facilities. The sub-tropical haven of coastal bush is home to a wide range of wildlife and birdlife such as bushbuck and blue duiker. A 100 000 indigenous trees have been planted to add to the natural biodiversity site on this conservation area.
The four star Scottish themed onsite lodge offers hassle free holiday accommodation for those seeking a luxury and private break with 15 stunning rooms, all with sea or golf course views, open for bookings at the main lodge whilst the adjacent Umdoni Suites are ideal for company conferencing, golf travel groups or big families and there is also the option of self-catering houses on the estate.
With such a diverse and constantly changing residential make-up, security is paramount with IPSS Security providing 24 hour patrols. There are also cameras around the perimeter and on the estate, a perimeter electrified fence, guarded entrance with fingerprint access for residents and scan in access for visitors. During December when the estate is at its busiest, a guard is placed on each and every road to ensure the safety of guests and homeowners.
The estate management are currently busy with FTTH plans in order to provide visitors and homeowners the very best in connectivity via the latest fibre technology available and the Homeowners Association stays in touch with its residents via their Glovent portal as well as involving themselves with community upliftment projects. Their partnership with DCLM and UkuPhakamisa is one example as is their support via sponsorship of the local soccer team.
If you call lying on the beach watching dolphins frolic in the Indian Ocean, and the sun slowly setting living, then you need to call Princes Grant home – how life should be lived!