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Once described as simply a series of farm towns, eclectic craft shops and an assortment of picturesque wedding venues, the KZN Midlands is aggressively marketing itself as more than simply a family getaway. The most exclusive private schools in the country and the convenience of the regional Oribi Airport in Pietermaritzburg are seen as prominent factors in this growth, as well as the increasing trend of wealthy families in major centres, seeking a second home. 

Hilton College, Michaelhouse, The Wykeham Collegiate and St Anne’s are all examples of schools whose annual fees sit between R150 000 – R200 000; making it the destination of choice for the offspring of the country’s wealthiest individuals. With an increasing number of flights from Oribi to Nelspruit, PE, Cape Town and Johannesburg, it has never been easier for a doting mother to spend a few days visiting her son or daughter. 

Aside from schooling, the KZN capital and its largely saturated property market is another reason for this gradual urban to country migration. Pietermaritzburg may still bear the moniker of ‘Sleepy Hollow’, but it remains the second largest city in the province and home to the legislature and a university campus. A need for secure, gated estates could not be met in the CBD and as such, movement towards Hilton and Howick began to take shape. 

An effortless mix of golf, lifestyle and wildlife estates now litter the midlands in a subtle and inconspicuous blend of traditional farms & game reserves. Howick is home to Amber Lee, Eagle Ridge and St John’s Village; an exciting new retirement lifestyle estate. Hilton features Garlington and the much-talked about Gates at Hilton; a 45 hectare space on the border of the iconic school with which it shares its name. Eaglecrest Wildlife Estate is partnered by Gowrie Farm Golf Estate in Nottingham Road and numerous Eco Estates are planned for the outlying areas of Pietermaritzburg. 

More and more South Africans are either working from home or commuting with the use of a nearby airport, leading families to pay a premium for security, quality schooling and an old-fashioned outdoor lifestyle in outlying areas. With the opening of the Midlands Mall in Pietermaritzburg and a state of the art private hospital in Hilton, growth in the KZN Midlands shows little sign of slowing down.   


Author Gated Estates
Published 11 Nov 2015 / Views -
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