Track the Fynbos Fragrance to Humansdorp

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

The distinctive smell of the surrounding fynbos alerts travelers along the N2 toward Port Elizabeth and East London to turn down onto the straight and narrow road that leads to Humansdorp.

This neighbourhood borders closely onto a number of exclusive seaside areas, including Marina Martinique St Francisbay and Cape St Francis, as well as St Francis Links Golf Estate. Humansdorp’s unusual location - close to the sea but not quite at the sea - might be deceiving to some. While being central to a number of seaside suburbs, it offers a perfect service centre to both permanent residents and holidaymakers. Whether a family is in urgent need of a dentist, has car trouble, or simply needs to replenish household stocks, Humansdorp caters any number of needs.

This small Eastern Cape town is the centre of the district's light industry as well as dairy and wheat farming, and is part of the Kouga Local Municipality of the Cacadu District, with a population of close to 40 000 people. Established 161 years ago, Humansdorp was named after Mattys Human who donated the land for the building of a Dutch Reformed Church in the town. Today, its history can be traced in a number of historical buildings including the local museum, a school and an old watermill built in 1847. Of particular interest is the Market Square that was developed in 1861, that according to historical records became the resting place for oxen whose owners made long trips to the local church on Sundays. Evidence of a set of oxwagon tracks tells the story of the long journeys made by the Voortrekkers who in 1938 starting trekking through this district. More recently the town is popular with passers through who enjoy short stays at the shaded campsite, or at the Boutique Hotel.

This prime fynbos countryside offers those keen on trail walking to view the magnificent fauna and flora along the Boskloof Trail. While outdoors in this region, visitors can also experience the rich diversity of land tortoises, where approximately 100 different species of reptiles and amphibians have been recorded. Other outdoor areas to visit nearby are Boekenhoutskloof and Kabeljous river mouth, popular for watersports and fishing.

For those looking to stay longer, Humansdorp has more than 10 schools, catering for all ages. And when looking for property to buy or to rent, the good news is that property investments here have shown consistent growth with average freehold property prices here reaching its highest levels since 2004. During the past seven years, these property prices have shown remarkable growth, from R261 000 to current prices of R744 000, which exceeds levels reached during the property boom in 2007 and 2008 of R726 000 and R737 000 respectively. Average sectional scheme prices have not shown the same growth, which started at R105 000 in 2004, peaking at R520 000 in 2008, and declining to current average unit prices of R286 000.

When owning property in Humansdorp, residents are surrounded by a number of wealthier suburbs where average freehold property prices go up to R2-million at Marina Martinique and St Francis Links golf estate, R1.4-million at Wavecrest, and R1.1-million at Jeffreysbay

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