The guide to property and lifestyle in Cowies Hill

Private Property South Africa

Cowies Hill, in Durban, is a beautiful suburb whose tree-lined streets attract buyers who want to be close to the office but don’t want to be a part of city life.

Cowies Hill, situated on what was once Buffelskop farm, owned by William Cowie, remains one of Durban’s most beautiful suburbs. Quiet, tree-lined streets and large stands featuring stately homes are the order of the day in this upmarket area of Durban. And while lower-lying areas of the city remain at the mercy of soaring humidity, the suburb’s elevated position and the fact that it's situated slightly inland means it offers its fortunate residents a slightly cooler climate.

Well-known to runners of the Comrades Marathon (who probably want to forget the first punishing hill of the up run to Pietermaritzburg), the suburb is close to a number of major arterial routes, including the M13, M19 and N3. There may not be any major shopping centres in the immediate vicinity, but the fact that The Pavilion Shopping Centre is just around the corner makes living in this pretty little spot even more desirable. The same can be said about schooling and although there aren't any educational facilities in the immediate vicinity, there are excellent schools available in nearby Westville and Durban.

Lightstone statistics indicate that the majority of Cowies Hill residents are there for the long haul with 56% of homeowners having lived in the area for 11 years or more. Forty-five percent of recent buyers are between the ages of 50 and 64.

Freehold properties dominate and 13 such homes were transferred from May 2015 – April 2016 for an average price of around R2,8m. Only one sectional title unit changed hands during the same period, selling for R2,1m.

This suburb has always attracted buyers who want to be close to the office, but don't want to be a part of city life. Cowies Hill more than delivers on this front with its large stands and hectares of lush, verdant sub-tropical flora.

We refer to Cowies Hill as our own little piece of paradise. It's a beautiful place to live.

Jenny Long, resident.

Best in food:

  • Woodcutter’s pub and grill
  • Chez Nous
  • Olive & Oil Cafe

Best attractions:

  • In addition to a plethora of restaurants, The Pavilion Shopping Centre also offers cinemas and a ten-pin bowling alley.
  • Take a dip on warm days at the Westville Swimming Pool.
  • It may be a bit of a drive (around 26km), but the Shongweni Farmers & Craft Market held every Saturday morning is well worth a visit. Warning: the market opens at 6am and it's highly recommended that those who wish to buy the delectable offerings get there early to avoid disappointment.

The best of nature:

  • Palmiet Nature Reserve is situated within the suburb.
  • Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, in Kloof, is also well worth a visit. Open every day, guided walks are available twice monthly.
  • Umgeni River Bird Park in Durban

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

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