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ELANDS RIVER FARM

Port Elizabeth, Port Elizabeth

ZAR - 1,295,000

REF - 9009

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Property Description

567ha Elands River Farm

Location
The farm sits on the southern side of the Groot Winterhoek mountain range nestled in between the Kwazunga and Elands Rivers. It borders onto the Groendal Wilderness Area to the East which apparently happens to be the only official wilderness area in the Eastern Cape. The property is just 52km from PE (Makro) with only 21km of this being on good gravel roads including 2, 5kms across other farms making the property absolutely safe and private.

Size
Made up of 1 title, the property is 567, 1341 hectares in extent.

Description
As discussed the property borders onto Groendal which incidentally measures 30 000ha in extent and of special interest is the rich biodiversity with over 2000 recorded species of fynbos plus 180 bird species. The property itself is very similar to the adjoining wilderness area in that it displays a high diversity of vegetation types and in being mostly rugged mountainous terrain with some flat, well grassed plateaus intersected by various streams and/or deep ravines covered with isolated pockets of Afromontane forest. The permanent stream itself, located near the Western border, is one of the prettier you will encounter and even during the current extended drought it maintained a reasonable flow rate forming a series of picturesque miniature cascades and numerous shaded pools. The property has several drainage lines which feed water into the Elands River. The area in general is perhaps one of the last true stretches of pristine wilderness outside of the Baviaanskloof.
Despite the above mentioned relatively close proximity to the urban centre of Port Elizabeth, this farm still remains extremely remote due to the fact that there are no roads on the vast neighbouring Groendal Wilderness to the East and then also the formidable surrounding escarpment that guards both Western and Northern access to the property. The property begins shortly after crossing the Elands River and climbs from 300m in elevation to a summit point at 840m above sea level affording panoramic views in every direction with the stand out features being: Cockscomb Peak, the Sand River Dam, the Kwazunga Valley, the Elands River and the Indian Ocean in the distance.
Because the topography is so varied with all the mountainous ridges and deep valleys, this is a very large 567ha farm, and I believe it would be an accomplishment to explore and traverse it all.

Veld types
This farm is ecologically diverse consisting of no fewer than 4 of South Africa's eight biomes.
The fynbos biome is found on the "sour", elevated soils on the ridges and slopes, the subtropical thicket biome mainly on the more fertile soils in the fire protected valleys and particularly on the sheltered southern slopes. The grassland biome occurs mostly on the plateau like, gravely surfaces on the foothills and the forest biome in the sheltered moist ravines along the steep sided drainage lines.

Plant species found include:

Grassland biome - Grass species found are predominately those associated with the sourveld fynbos biome and are dominated by the aristida species, a healthy covering of themeda ("Rooigras"), intermittent stands of hetrapogon and merxmuella. The shaded, more nutrient rich stretches along the valley floors have a fair covering of pannicums, eragrostis curvula and possibly sporobolis. The grass species pentaschistis eriostoma and erica pectinifolia grow on the shallow soils derived from weathered quartzite.

Fynbos biome - various proteas (e.g. Broad-leaf sugarbush and pincushions), ericas and restioids. The highly localised and threatened Willowmore cedar. Two species of indigenous cycads (mainly Encephalartos longifolius) - survivors from an ancient era, are found in a healthy concentration and this in itself is testament to the remoteness of the property.

Subtropical thicket biome - tree species include: Sweet thorn, Common guarri, Sneezewood, Cabbage tree, Wild olive, False olive, Boer-bean (Schotia afra), Num-num, September bush, Puzzle bush, Euphorbia and Spekboom.
Forest biome - White stinkwood, Red stinkwood, Outeniqua yellowwood as well as the "Real" yellowwood (latifolius), Tierhout, Cape ash, Cape fig, Cape plane, White ironwood, Milkwood, Cheesewood, Gardenia, Candlewood, Kamassi and ferns etc.

Rainfall
The farm falls in a transition summer / winter rainfall area with an annual average of 600mm.

Improvements
There is very little development of any significance on the property as it's basically still a blank canvas waiting for someone's unique stamp of approval as far as the dwelling in concerned. The remnants of a small shepherd's kraal are the only remnants of intermittent attempts over the years to stock farm here. In addition, the current owner has cleared a practical and picturesque camp site. Water is not currently laid on but it could be pumped from the stream to a slightly elevated 5000lt tank which could then supply the camp site. Alternatively with the high rainfall and enough storage tanks one could simply rely on rain catchments from the roofed area of any future homestead. Said camp site would also be the perfect spot to build as this site doesn't look onto other surrounding dwellings offering superb uncluttered views of the Sand River Dam and during normal rainfall years water can often be seen overflowing the dam wall. There are plenty of rectangular shaped rocks lying about with which to build an impressive stone lodge plus there is a fair amount of mature pine trees which could also provided useful building material.
The single access road is fairly well maintained and a 4 X 2 can get to just inside the property boundary where after it is best to use a 4 X 4. The farm roads are easily traversed in a 4 X 4 having recently undergone a complete maintenance makeover with both a bulldozer and an excavator for good measure.

There are 3 newly constructed earth dams.

The farm is stock fenced in parts and the quality thereof ranges from fairly good along the Southern boundary while the remote Northern section needs major repair should one choose to do it. The Western boundary is unfenced and the quality of the fencing along the Eastern boundary up against Groendal is uncertain.
Wildlife species
Include: Kudu (transient), Bushbuck, Mt. Reedbuck, Duiker, Grysbok, Bush Pig, possibly Klipspringer and Cape Mountain Leopard as well as other smaller mammals.
Bird species of special interest include Green Turacos (Knysna loeries), Brown hooded Kingfisher, Scaly throated Honey guide, Cape rock-jumper, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Chorister Robin as well as Black, Martial, Fish and possibly Crowned Eagle.

Conclusion
True wilderness in South Africa is becoming an increasingly rare commodity while true wilderness within 55km of a major city and 70km of an airport is almost unheard of. To put a value to this type of lifestyle farm is a very subjective and individualistic matter, as for anyone who yearns for the type of absolute solitude, unparalleled privacy/security and pristine virginity this wilderness has to offer, it simply doesn't get any better than this and furthermore so when considering the easily affordable below asking price.

This farm is not particularly well suited for a commercial farming enterprise; however, it could work as an eco-tourism venture designed around special interest groups. The natural beauty of the land forms as well as the array of plant and animal species will prove an absolute delight for any amateur or accomplished botanist and birdwatcher. The opportunity to establish an exhilarating 4x4 route is a definite option as well as conducting overnight hikes into the mountains. Or simply indulge in your own private mountain retreat.

Price - R 1 295 000 (no vat payable).

ID9009

Agents Details

The Susan Deacon Property Group

Agent

The Susan Deacon Property Group

Cell

0448746882

Email

info@susandeacon.co.za

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Property Details

R = Result

Area

Port Elizabeth

Property Type

Agricultural

Suburb

Port Elizabeth

Reference

9009

Erf Size

5670000

Residence sq M

0

Rates & Taxes

Levy

General Accommodation

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