Tucked away along the Eastern Cape coastline, this quiet and unassuming hamlet is actually a booming holiday haven which has in recent years attracted an increasing number of discerning holiday home owners.
Although you might have had to brush up on your geography to find it, Gonubie is in actual fact beautifully situated just south of Morgan’s Bay and approximately 20km north of East London. The coastal village’s unusual name is derived from the bramble berry that grows along the banks of the Gonubie river - ‘Qunube’ being the Xhosa vernacular.
The beach beckons as you enter the town and a stroll down the famous wooden boardwalk, built to protect the primary dunes, leads to a crystal clear tidal pool and Blue Flag swimming beach. Scuba diving in the pools and the warm waves of the Indian Ocean or simply taking in the superb natural scenery offers tranquillity at its best. In addition to the beach, a visit to the bird local sanctuary which boasts more than 160 species of birds, or a round of golf at the Gonubie Golf Course with its excellent facilities is a must for visitors and golfing enthusiasts.
The year 1933 proved to be one of the most significant in the town’s history. That was the year local resident Louis Rosenbaum bought Gonubie Park, which originally formed part of the 1900 acres that is now known as Gonubie Manor. This was to be the beginning of residential development in the town. Rosenbaum had the property surveyed and sold the plots for between £50 and £200. In his marketing campaign he is quoted as saying ‘strategically located, Gonubie Park Township will offer in a few years the finest example of “I could have bought at a third of that price!”’ And he was right.
According to statistics that have recently been released by Lightstone, there have been 261 transfers in that area in the last 12 months. The average price paid for a freehold property was R1 054-million and the sectional title average was R909 000.
Price averages have maintained excellent growth since 2004, when the average price paid for a freehold home was R407 000 and the sectional title average came in at R382 000. Overall sales value rose from R177-million in 2004 to R241-million in 2011. Although the second home market has flourished in recent years, so too has the number of those who have made the village their permanent home. In addition to a number of private schools situated in nearby East London, the village now boasts both a high and primary school. Apart from the natural beauty, one of the main attractions of living in the area is that no industrial development is planned, ensuring that this little piece of paradise remains just that.