Sundays River Valley and Colchester suburb focus

Private Property South Africa
Eleanor Douglas-Meyers

This beautiful area in the Eastern Cape is seeing a property boom as buyers are attracted by the spacious homes and vacant plots on which to build their dream home.

About the area

On the banks of the Sundays River lie quaint towns full of adventure and natural beauty, surrounded by some of the most impressive sand dunes in the country.

The Sundays River and Colchester areas are well known as holiday destinations. The towns have seen a boom in the residential property market and beautiful, spacious houses are surrounded by available plots and vacant land ready to be turned into homes and holiday accommodation.

Residents of this picturesque part of the Eastern Cape know that the sand dunes and river are not just for sandboarding and water-skiing – the favourite pastimes in the area – but also home to wildlife.

Animals ranging from bushbuck, grysbok and bush pig to meerkat, mongoose and mice, call the dunes (which can be traced back 100,000 years) home. The area is also teeming with birdlife and while a trip on the Sundays River would expose you to birds such as heron, ducks, weavers and kingfishers, the Colchester salt pans are home to flamingo and blue crane.

A stone’s throw from the Addo Elephant National Park, Colchester is well known as an animal lover’s paradise, but adrenaline junkies are also lining up for a visit.

Safaris, horse trails, sandboarding and water-skiing are popular pastimes along with zip-lining and canoeing. The Sundays River Valley is home to the longest duel zip line in Africa, which at 500m and speeds of 60km/h is not for the fainthearted.

The valley itself is a low-lying area along the Sundays River which stretches from Kirkwood to Colchester and is characterised by agricultural activities. In addition to citrus cultivation (hardly anyone leaves the area without some amazing organic fruit), game-related tourist attractions can be found throughout the valley.

The most beautiful time to visit the area is in October when the orange blossoms are out and beautiful white and green gems line the landscape.

A river which gives life to the towns, the Sundays is known as the fastest-flowing river in the country. The Khoisan people originally named it Nukakamma, which means grassy water because the river’s banks are always green and grassy despite the arid terrain that it runs through.

It’s the best place to work. Being surrounded by the wonders of nature, the relaxed vibe and the beauty of the river all make for a great experience.

Karl Botha, owner and operator, Sandboarding Sundays River

What to do:

  • Sandboarding Sundays River: They offer tours with all equipment provided for anyone aged four to 60. You can experience a cruise on the river and have your pick of activities from sandboarding, water-skiing and wakeboarding, to tubing and bodyboarding.

  • Schotia Safaris: Tour packages assist in getting you as close as possible to view rhino, hippo, giraffe and lion.

  • Addo Horse Trails: You can explore Addo Elephant National Park on horseback accompanied by a guide.

  • Adrenalin Addo: Family-friendly adventures which include canoe trips, hikes and the country’s longest zip line.

Top schools nearby:

  • Colchester UCC Primary and High School
  • Sundays River Primary School

Nearby medical facility:

  • Sundays Valley Provincial Hospital

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

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