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CAPE TOWN: Our insider’s guide to Zeekoevlei

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Originally a holiday destination, the area gradually shifted to becoming more residential, with many properties birdering the lake which is home to much endangered flora and fauna

Zeekoevlei, the largest natural inland body of water within metropolitan Cape Town, is on the western boundary of the greater False Bay Ecology Park, a 2 300ha reserve stretching almost 10km along the coast to Macassar.

It is home to endangered, some almost extinct, fauna and flora. There are, in fact, two “lakes” – Zeekoevlei and Rondevlei – separated by a peninsula; together they perform important functions for the area’s ecology. Hippos were indigenous to Zeekoevlei – hence the Afrikaans name – centuries ago.

After an absence of around 300 years a pod has been reintroduced to the Rondevlei Nature Reserve. It is the area’s closeness to nature that attracts residents, among them Jean de Wet Hulscher.

“Zeekoevlei is literally Cape Town’s best-kept secret. We live here because it’s such a quiet space in the middle of the busy Cape Peninsula. With two nature reserves on your doorstep recreational opportunities are endless.”

Moreover, the proximity of Zeekoevlei and Rondevlei nature reserves to the city makes them ideal for environmental education. According to Noel Furlong, owner of Furlong Properties, Zeekoevlei was not originally a residential suburb, but a holiday destination with vacation or weekend getaway homes.

“A unique aspect of the reserve is much of the water body is surrounded by 136 residential properties. “This includes a mixed bag ranging in price from around R850 000 to R4 million, although not many are at the upper end.”

Victoria and Dabchick roads at Zeekoevlei. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Generally, more expensive properties are located on the water, or on The Peninsula – the most sought after spot in the area. According to Lightstone statistics there has been a significant surge in younger buyers, ranging in age from 18 to 49 age group; clearly the outdoor lifestyle is attractive.

“There are no longer any vacant sites available and there are virtually no sectional title complexes in the area. Properties are mainly freehold with some stands quite large – from 1 000m² to in excess of 3 500m².” Most properties are owner-occupied with little rental stock available.

“The area enjoys a variety of amenities,” says Furlong. “There are several guest houses, recreational parks and the Zeekoeivlei Yacht Club. “Residents with school-going children need to find options outside of the immediate area, of which there are many.”

Jean de Wet Hulscher’s favourite things to do

Zeekoevlei is literally Cape Town’s best kept secret. We live here because it’s such a
quiet space in the middle of the busy Cape Peninsula. With two nature reserves on
your doorstep recreational opportunities are endless. – Resident Jean de Wet Hulscher and wife Caroline
Picture: Supplied

1 Outdoors

No shortage of things to do here. Nature’s diversity is on full show, birdwatching – there are regular guided sessions – is one of the top activities with hundreds of species featured. Join one of the monthly supervised outings; 079 343 1047.

The Zeekoevlei Yacht Club has grown into a multi-disciplinary venue with sailing, rowing and mini power boats catered for; 021 705 3373

The False Bay Nature Reserve consists of six parts, one of which offers guided bird-watching sessions. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

2 Eat

Not in the area, but A Tavola is a well-recognised Italian restaurant; 021 671 1763. A relaxed garden setting on the Groot Constantia estate is Pastis; 021 794 8334

3 Drink

Living in a nature reserve creates ideal venues for sundowners; Jean and Caroline’s balcony overlooks the wetlands. If you’re looking for something more conventional – but also in great surrounds – Bistro Sixteen82 on the Steenberg Estate, replete with a host of home-grown wines; 021 713 2211

4 Shop

There are limited opportunities within the suburb, but a huge selection within a few kilometres. Blue Route Mall, built in the ‘70s, but having undergone a major refit, has 120 line shops to satisfy retail needs; 021 713 2360


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