By Jess Binns, Project Consultant Avril Elias, Property Coordinator Catherine de Vincenzo, Photography Chris Allan
There’s something so magical and grounding about the wilds of South Africa, where zebra and giraffe pass their time out in the open sun, silhouetted against the horizon as each day draws to a close.
For the owner of this large, but unassuming, home, this was the dream: to build a home in the heart of African wildlife. With an abundance of game and some of the most unforgettable inland views, a father and his three sons enjoy paradise on a daily basis.
Set on a 1 000ha KwaZulu-Natal game farm, this traditionally inspired farmhouse needed meticulous planning to ensure it did not impede on municipal and park restrictions. Overseeing and undertaking the work was a local construction firm. Alongside the owner, who was involved throughout the process, the construction firm dealt with wetlands buffer zone applications, environmental approvals and the challenge of no mains on site.
A number of highly engineered systems, such as hydronic underfloor heating and the water filtration system, are testimony to the self-sufficiency of the home. You will not find a geyser anywhere on site; heat pumps are used to effortlessly serve this 97m-long house.
With a masculine influence, you will find no clutter; the interior flavour is contemporary with a minimalist edge. The glass corridors allow the connection with the bush to remain intact. Natural light pours in from all angles; the double-glazed aluminium windows and doors keep even the largest rooms cosy in winter and cool in the summer months.
The exterior LED lighting brings the house to life at night, enhancing the green living wall at the entrance. The master bedroom and main living areas reveal the bones of this home by way of decorative exposed roof trusses, an honest form of architecture that brings depth to the interior design. The sheer scale of the home hits you as you enter the formal lounge. Giant pillars of stone cladding flank the room, adding grandeur and texture. The oversized abstract rug adds vibrancy and anchors the seating area.
Boys and their toys mean this home has everything required for entertaining. A large rim-flow pool with a spa bath and firepit alongside provides a great place for the boys to hang out with their friends of a weekend. And for the cooler months, there’s a whole room dedicated to entertaining indoors, which is partitioned from the main room by a glazed wall, so Dad can keep a distant eye on proceedings.
“You could say this home is the ultimate man cave, a boy’s paradise,” says the owner. “We have a dam here to fish in, and also a cricket net set up to one side of the house.”
With only a handful of houses in the park, this home allows you to experience privacy on another level. It’s a place where you get to experience nature at its best, where you really can get away from it all.