Buyers guide to Bhisho

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Bhisho may be new to the urbanized lifestyle, but it has a lot to offer. Read our buyers guide to find out about the small, yet adventure filled area.

Bhisho, the capital city of the Eastern Cape that lies east of King William’s Town and north of an exquisite section of coastline known as the Wild Coast, offers residents and holiday makers a rural lifestyle filled to the brim with South African history and culture.

History

As the former capital of the Ciskei township, the area excluded from South Africa during Apartheid, but was reincorporated into the country in 1994.

Formed by combining residential areas including Bhisho Central, Tyutyu North, Bhisho Gardens, Balasi and Amatola View, it has picturesque views of the Amathole mountain range and forest that borders the northern part of the area. Visitors are treated to a number of available hiking trails through the mountains, but the most iconic is the 100 kilometre six day/five night trek. Called the Waterfall Trail, hikers are in for spectacular views of a number of waterfalls and natural pools as they navigate the ancient, dense forest.

According to Getaway, the trail “does not get nearly the attention it deserves. The trail takes you through a dense, ancient forest where the sunlight barely pierces the canopy of the trees. Steep hills ascending hundreds of metres lead to the macchia grassland and a myriad of wild flowers.”

Read more: Eastern Cape housing market looking upbeat

Residents

With its quiet and relaxed lifestyle, it is no surprise that recent data from Lightstone reports that Bhisho is home to a majority (48%) of owners aged 50 - 64. 25% of owners are 65 years and older, with only 24% aged 36 - 49 and 2% aged 18 - 35. While the the population of the town may be dominated by an older generation, the area is a popular place to settle, with 81% of residents having lived in Bhisho for 11 years or more.

Additionally, the median asking price is rather favourable to all generations. While prices have increased over the years, the average price for freehold homes still sits below a million Rand. Rising from R310,000 in 2008 to R565,000 in 2018, buyers will be glad to know that they can grab a property for around half a million Rand at a time when most cities don’t offer anything below R1 million.

See more: Homes for sale in Bhisho

Amenities

Bhisho, meaning ‘Buffalo’ in Xhosa, was named after the Buffalo River that runs through the town and while it may be a small town with only 6,785 adults recorded, it offers residents amenities that not many city centres can.

Restaurants:

  • The Yellowwood Forest Tea Garden and Pizzeria, known for offering mouth watering pizzas and local Xhosa dishes.
  • Country Bumpkin Restaurant, a family friendly establishment offering pizzas and a delicious Sunday roast.
  • MoonShadow, fine dining within the Umzimvubu Retreat.
  • The Deck Restaurant and Bar, a laid back offering with tables overlooking the Indian Ocean.

    Activities:

  • Wild Coast Wild Run, a three-day trail run that passes through the Transkei beaches, and iconic rolling hills of the Eastern Cape.

  • Thandi’s Khaya, an experience of a life in a true Xhosa village including food and culture.
  • Dolphin and whale watching, a sightseeing boat trip with educational snippets from the knowledgeable Rod Hastier.
  • Umgazana canoeing, paddle along the Umngazana River with a professional guide and get the chance to spot the local birdlife.

Bhisho may be small, but it sure packs a punch with its beautiful, mountainous surroundings and well-priced property. Whether you’re after a calm retirement, or adventurous lifestyle, Bhisho has it all.

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