Residential Resorts of Africa Are a Draw for Their Scenery and Serenity

These luxury havens are unlike anything found in the rest of the world

The penthouse at Mont Choisy La Reserve, Mauritius where prices start at US$500,980. Photo: Pam Golding International

The penthouse at Mont Choisy La Resereve, Mauritius where prices start at US$500,980. Photo: Pam Golding International

On the continent of Africa, where safari camps and big-game lodges abound, it is the idyllic Indian Ocean islands and waterfront South African provinces that are enticing resort developers. These “lifestyle developments” lure buyers for their scenery as much as their serenity.

On the tropical island of Mauritius off the coast of Africa, several new lifestyle developments are on the market.

Properties on the island, which is only a short flight from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, are particularly attractive to South African property investors and buyers looking to acquire residency, according to Richard Haller, director for Pam Golding Properties Mauritius, who said there’s already a large South African expat community there.

Mr. Haller said there has been a surge of acquisitions by South Africans, particularly in the last year. He said that investments are appealingly priced, starting at US$290,000. (Homes in the area, he said,  are marketed in U.S. dollars, Euros or the Mauritian rupee.) Additionally, those who buy properties over US$500,000 can get permanent residency through the government’s Property Development Scheme.

He said most of the inquiries on the island, where English and French are spoken, come from South African and French buyers. “Purchases also emanate from Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and elsewhere in Europe,” he added.

The most coveted areas, he said, center around Grand Bay, the north-coast area that has been dubbed the “St. Tropez of Mauritius,” and the Black River in Tamarin on the west coast, where prices of residential properties range from US$300,000 to US$2 million.

Mauritius Akasha Villas offer panoramic views. Photo: Pam Golding International

“At the luxurious Mont Choisy Le Parc Golf & Beach Estate, where properties are priced from US$880,000, we have recently resold a number of villas in the region of US$2 million to US$6 million, which reflects a capital growth of 50% to 60% in only four years,” Mr. Haller said.

He added that phase three of that project, Mont Choisy La Reserve, will launch sales of the first 52 units in April.

The units, which are a mix of private villas and apartments with a fresh-water swimmable pool, start at US$500,980.

The development, which is on the site of a former sugar plantation, is in Grand Bay. The 18-hole Peter Matkovich championship golf course is a draw, as is the club house that has tennis courts, athletic courts, a yoga studio, a gym and a spa.

The pool overlooking wild life the Phinda Homestead in Phinda Private Game Reserve near the Blythedale Coastal Estate. Photo: Leisa Tyler / Getty Images

At another development, AKASHA, Pam Golding International has recently sold 19 of 30 units. Next to the Tamarina golf course and bordered by the Rempart River, the project was co-developed by the French firm Safran Immobilier and the Mauritian-owned investment holding company Landcorp Capital.

Its freestanding three-, four- and five-bedroom villas, which are selling for US$878,000 to US$2.9 million, come with amenities such as swimming pools and terraces.  

Pam Golding International also is handling sales for the 86 units at Ki Resort Apartments, a lifestyle development minutes from Pereybere Beach and on the border of Grand Bay.

With starting prices for two-bedroom units at US$229,450 and amenities such as swimming pools, landscaped gardens, cabanas, sunbeds, club membership, a fully equipped gym, a café, underground parking and storage rooms, sales at the development have been brisk –29 have sold and 17 are reserved, according to Pam Golding International.

A walking trail at Monks Cowl, a nature reserve in the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa near the Blythedale Coastal Estate.Photo: Leisa Tyler / Getty Images

Mr. Haller said that a combination of factors, including a burgeoning economy, a stable government, world-class international schools, a growing tourism market, a tax rate of only 15% and no capital gains tax or inheritance tax, have made Mauritius an attractive investment.

With its beautiful scenery, wild game and beaches, South Africa is another country ripe for lifestyle developments, such as Blythedale Coastal Estate, which is on 2,471 acres on the north coast of the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

The pool overlooking wild life the Phinda Homestead in Phinda Private Game Reserve near the Blythedale Coastal Estate. Photo: Leisa Tyler / Getty Images

The pool overlooking wild life the Phinda Homestead in Phinda Private Game Reserve near the Blythedale Coastal Estate. Photo: Leisa Tyler / Getty Images

A walking trail at Monks Cowl, a nature reserve in the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa near the Blythedale Coastal Estate.Photo: Leisa Tyler / Getty Images

A walking trail at Monks Cowl, a nature reserve in the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa near the Blythedale Coastal Estate.Photo: Leisa Tyler / Getty Images

The developer, eLan, is building 4,000 green, smart homes that feature photovoltaic panels. The development has three categories of homes—a luxury section, a lifestyle village and a hotel/resort complex.

The initial plots of land, whose prices start at ZAR690,000 (US$47,522), are being sold now and will continue in phases until the project is completed in 2025. The first units are under construction.

Eugene Boniface, marketing manager for eLan, said the location of the land, on the ocean and set on 790 acres of forest, as well as the project’s vacation clubs, golf course and stables, make it an ideal spot for a residential resort.

He added that eLan, as a South African company, deals in ZAR for its transactions.  “Any other currencies can be used but will be governed by local banking and business laws,” he adds.

Those who have bought land, he says, appreciate that it’s close to the King Shaka International Airport, the Drakensberg mountains, the historic midlands battlefields, the Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park, which is the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa, the Phinda Private Game Reserve and Isimangaliso Wetland Park. By the time the development is finished, he added, the N2 highway will link it to Maputo, Mozambique.

Aerial view of La Reserve Mont Choisy, Mauritius. Photo: Pam Golding International