Urbanites are increasingly choosing to make Hartbeespoort their permanent home.
When Boer General Hendrik Schoeman died at the age of 60 in 1901, his dream of building a dam on his farm, Hartebeestfontein, which the community could gain from, would not be laid to rest with him. With the drive and determination of his son, Johan Schoeman, the general’s foresight finally came to fruition 22 years after his death. Despite many setbacks, the construction of the dam wall was completed in 1923. It was built across a gorge cutting through the Magaliesberg mountains in the picturesque Hartbeespoort valley on the southern foothills of the Magaliesberg mountains in North West, 35km west of Pretoria. The dam is fed by the Crocodile and Magalies rivers. The dam has become the main water recreation area for Gauteng residents.
The establishment of the little hamlet of Schoemansville, another brainchild of Hendrik Schoeman, was approved in 1922 and the first stands sold soon after. Today, Schoemansville is only one of many settlements around the dam. Other stands include Ifafi, Kosmos, Melodie, Meerhof, Pecanwood Estate and Xanadu Eco Park. These are collectively referred to as Hartbeespoort. The superb location close to major cities has steered many city dwellers to invest in second properties allowing them to often enjoy the unequalled range of pleasures on offer – from quiet sunset views to an abundance of adrenalin-pumping activities.
On weekends, the road over the dam which still boasts the beautiful original gatehouse, old bridge and a 56,6m tunnel carries masses of bikers and motorists flocking to their weekend paradise in the countryside.
Urbanites increasingly choose to make Hartbeespoort their permanent home. Residential possibilities vary from lock-up-and-go units to luxury homes in high-end estate developments. Sufficient shopping, medical and educational amenities support this trend.
Recreational activities on offer include hot-air ballooning, river rafting, abseiling, zip-lining, quadbiking, 4x4s, mountain biking, horseback riding and hiking. You can also enjoy kayaking, water-skiing, jet-skiing, fishing, golfing, windsurfing and visiting the cheese, strawberry and olive farms. Wildlife enthusiasts can visit De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Farm, the Elephant Sanctuary, Monkey Sanctuary, Snake and Reptile Park, Owl Rescue Centre, or explore the many pubs, restaurants, spas, art galleries and food and craft markets. Also visit the movie set of Pretville, Chameleon Village and Lesedi Cultural Village.
Living here is like living a holiday every day
Lina Ferreira, resident
Best in food:
- Silver Orange Bistro
- De Vette Mossel at Harties
- Siesta Tapas and Bistro
- Convenient access to N4/R511/R512/N14 leading to Pretoria (+ 40km), Rustenburg (+ 80km), Sandton (+ 65km), Johannesburg (+ 80km) and Krugersdorp (+ 65km).
- Nearest airports: Lanseria International (+ 40km), Wonderboom (+ 50km); Grand Central (+ 50km) and OR Tambo International (+ 88km).
- Private shuttle to Gautrain stations.
- Laerskool Generaal Hendrik Schoeman
- Hartbeespoort High School
- Mountain Cambridge School (pre-primary - high school)
- Pecanwood College (Grade 000 – 12)
- Meerhof School (for children with special needs)
- Several other quality private/public schools to choose from
Estate agent insight into the Hartbeespoort area:
What are the best things about the area for families?
Hartbeespoort’s convenient location about 40 minutes away from the major cities of Gauteng allows career-driven parents to commute to the city to work. Harties offers numerous attractions for families such as the animal and reptile park, cableway, aquarium, elephant sanctuary, various lion parks and water activities, to name a few. There are several brilliant primary and secondary schools around the dam. The Village Mall offers convenient shopping along with other shopping complexes and supermarkets. The spectacular views of the dam and mountains with the tranquillity that comes along with it make Hartbeespoort the perfect place for a family to call home.
What are the key attractions of the area for potential property buyers? Hartbeespoort was always seen as a weekend getaway, but recently it has attracted a lot more permanent residents. People wanting to get out of the city, avoid crime and traffic congestion have moved out to the peaceful surroundings of Hartbeespoort. Pecanwood Estate was always popular due to the Jack Nicklaus-designed 18-hole golf course and boating facilities on offer. However, with the growth of Pecanwood College many more people have made the move out here permanently. Direct access to the school makes it easy for kids to ride their bikes to school. It’s a safe, beautiful environment to raise kids.
What do you love about the area?
The heart of the Magaliesberg region lies in Hartbeespoort, where the sun shines day after day, the temperature is tropical most of the year and the palm trees sway in the luxurious well-maintained and stylish signature estates that dot the perimeter of the popular Hartbeespoort Dam. The surrounding countryside is predominantly bushveld and various established farms are sprinkled throughout the area. As there are schools, medical facilities and practioners, retail outlets, restaurants and a large variety of recreational activities to pursue, the area has become even more attractive to property buyers as a permanent residential location as well as a holiday/getaway destination.
Glenda Derksen: One On One Real Estate
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.