Raptors View is a 1100ha Wildlife Estate which offers owners the opportunity to live in the bushveld with a variety of game and birdlife, maintain privacy and has excellent security. The estate has 305 one hectare stands and is a low impact estate, affording privacy from neighbours and has undeveloped wilderness areas for the game and walking. The estate is secure with both electric fencing and security guards controlling access.
The estate is well stocked with plains game such as Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Kudu, Nyala, Impala, Duiker, Waterbuck and Warthog. Smaller animals like duiker, jackal and a variety of birds are also abundant. Frequent visits from nocturnal creatures like porcupine, civet, badger, aardvark and genet, also occur. The Estate has three dams and the perennial Sandspruit River runs through it.
THE APPEAL OF RAPTORS VIEW WILDLIFE ESTATE
Raptors View appeals to a variety of people, from pensioners looking for a quiet, secure spot, holiday makers and also to families who have relocated to live in Hoedspruit. The estate is very family friendly with plains game only, enabling kids to cycle to a friend’s house or for families to go walking. Southern Cross Schools, a nature-based school is also located at the entrance of the estate, making it a popular choice for parents. The lifestyle afforded by the estate is truly special. There are a number of walking/ cycling trails on the estate varying in distance from 2,8km to 4,5km. The Buffalo and Lion trails intersect, and two dams and a bird hide can be found on these trails. The Aardvark trail offers three different routes of varying lengths. The trails are well marked and provide lovely views and game viewing opportunities along the way.
Raptors View has 24-hour security with gate guards present at the main access gate. There is a separate gate entrance for contractors which is operational during the day and also manned by security personnel. Residents access the estate using an access card while visitors use a “tap” system to enter. This involves keying in an owner’s house number which then connects a call to the owner’s cell phone. The owner needs to open the boom by pressing 9 on their cell phone. Contractors are fingerprinted and background checks are done on them for security purposes. All contractors are photographed and have access cards with their photos displayed. Security is very good with guards patrolling the fences daily to check for any breaches. The home owner’s and tenants are also all on a bulk SMS system whereby any mass communication is sent.
Raptors View has dirt roads which are well maintained by the estate staff. The estate is laid out in three distinctive phases. Water is supplied by the Hoedspruit Municipality and electricity by Eskom with underground cables for maintaining aesthetics. The estate has its own water storage facility, providing water for up to 3 days if necessary. Fiber optic cables are currently being installed to allow for high speed internet. Road signs and street names are designed to fit in, in the bush environment. Roads are named after South African Raptors, like Bataleur and Black Kite. The estate is fenced with electric fencing.
GAME MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION
Raptors View Wildlife Estate is not a “Big 5” estate but rather contains a variety of plains game which are not dangerous to people. This means that homeowners are free to walk or cycle on the estate which allows for a more active lifestyle and more time spent in nature and outdoors.
There is an estate manager who is in charge of the daily running of the estate which includes infrastructure such as roads, security, water and wildlife management.
Wildlife numbers are monitored and annual game counts are done, as well as the impact of people living in the estate is also assessed. There are a number of predators that come and go on the estate including leopard and wild dog which help with controlling the game population. They are seen, but tend to have little interest in people. A feeding program is implemented from time to time in cases of drought.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
Architectural guidelines are in place to create a uniform appearance with a small number of colours allowed for painting of the outside of the houses and only thatch is allowed for roofs. Only indigenous plant and tree species are allowed.
Ownership is full title. There is a home owner’s association which every owner must become a member of. There is also a board of directors.
There is a no pet policy in place and this is monitored and checked. Should an owner be in breach of this policy, they will be fined and will have to remove the pet in question.
Commercial operations are not allowed. Houses can be rented out, but for a minimum of a month at a time. No short-term rentals are allowed.