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Living Wild

Living Wild

The words “I had a farm in Africa”, spoken by Karen Blixen in the film, ‘Out of Africa’, resonated with so many people that the continent received a significant tourism boost. Now that dream of a home in Africa can be yours with the creation of the luxury development Mahathunzi on the edge of the five-star Karkloof Safari Spa in the lush sub-tropical landscape of Natal.

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Living in one of these luxury homes on 60 to 80 acres of your own land, your neighbours will include giraffes, rhinos and buffalo, along with many other game animals and hundreds of bird species. The place is well named: taking a cue from the Zulu word ‘is’ithunzi‘ – which means presence, aura, confidence, spirit, well being and shade – as well as the ancient Sankskrit word ‘maha‘, meaning powerful connection with nature.

Mahathunzi forms part of a pristine game farm, the 7,400 acre five-star Karkloof Safari Spa where wildlife thrives in a predator-free area that remains in many ways untouched. There are no fewer than 283 bird species, 43 resident mammal species, and countless butterflies. On the hillcrests there is indigenous mistbelt forest and its unique floral kingdom. The night skies sparkle with stars as there is no light pollution. The climate is temperate all year round with a light breeze, ranging from around 20°C in winter to 30°C in summer.

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Some 49 exquisite low-slung homes, designed to blend seamlessly into the landscape, are being developed here on freehold plots ranging from 50 to 80 acres – virtually a small farm. Each home is different from every other and will offer a truly exceptional way of living – a retreat from the frenetic pace of the man-made world and a portal to the vitality of nature.

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Access from London is straightforward. A 10-hour overnight-flight from Heathrow brings you into Johannesburg at dawn, then it’s a 45-minute hop to Pietermaritzburg. As there is just a one-hour time difference, there is no jetlag. Then it’s a short drive into the country and you will be on the deck for lunch and a spot of game viewing, with the sounds and smells of Africa reminding you that you are now a world away from London and its stresses.

Despite Mahathunzi’s remote feel, it is just 20 minutes from downtown Pietermaritzburg, a charming university town in KwaZulu Natal, and close to the seaport and holiday resort of Durban. Mahathunzi and Karkloof offer the best of both worlds, a safari reality with easy access to city sophistication and superfast broadband that provides links to the wider world.

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Residents will be able to use 46km of all-weather shale roads within the property for game viewing and also have the freedom to enjoy mountain biking, walking, fishing and even trail running. And it lies at the heart of three distinct kingdoms, all just an hour away by plane. To the south are the mountain-ringed vineyards of the Cape; to the west the deserts of Namibia with their dune climbing elephants; and to the east lies some of the world’s greatest deep-sea fishing off the coast of Natal and out into the Indian Ocean off the islands of Mauritius and the Seychelles.

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This remarkable place is the brainchild of Fred Wörner who created the Karkloof Safari Spa, which has won plaudits from environmentalists for its game-breeding programme, its accommodation, hospitality and spa. Says Wörner of Mahathunzi: “My vision was to create an opportunity to live amongst wildlife, while leaving a minimal footprint on the landscape, a place where time stops, an experience I and my guests have enjoyed and which has massively added to the quality of our lives. Interest in the development is coming from buyers who love Africa and love the idea of living cheek by jowl with wildlife in a green and sustainable way where wildlife will always have priority.”

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