Who wouldn’t want to live in a region that finds in its landscape places to call the ‘Wilderness’ or the ‘Garden of Eden’? Or what about ‘pezula’, which means ‘high up with the gods’, this particular location occupying 612 breathtaking hectares and 4km of pristine coastline comprising the Pezula Private Estate, and just a 20-minute drive from the little country town of Knysna in the Western Cape.
Just seven and a half kilometres from the centre of Knysna, Pezula House, at the heart of Pezula Private Estate, sits on the crest of a low hill with jaw-dropping views across the fynbos to the Indian Ocean.
It’s an idyllic setting easily viewed from the south-facing garden and an astonishing lap pool that juts out into the landscape allowing swimmers a ringside view of it from the water. Down below, and hidden from view even from this hilltop eyrie, tiny Noetzie beach is a place to swim, fish and scramble about on the rocks. The Noetzie River enters the sea here – ‘noetzie’ is a Khoikhoi word meaning black water – its mouth dominated by three historic castles featuring crenellations, battlements and thick, quarried stone walls.
By contrast there’s nothing old world about Pezula House. In fact its design is uncompromisingly contemporary. A long terrace room is on axis with the swimming pool, its glass walls able to slide away on three sides providing a massive space in which to entertain or just relax.
At the heart of the property, a garden courtyard featuring structured planting and an ornamental pool, is enclosed on four sides by living areas arranged in a series of pavilions, those on the west side opening onto a smaller, private courtyard. Across the property, on both east and west sides, the en suite bedrooms have private decks overlooking the fynbos. The main house, guest studio and cottage all make the most of the views, bringing the landscape into the spacious interiors via massive windows and a range of natural finishes designed to incorporate the surrounding location.
As you might imagine, there’s more than just a luxury of space here. While the finishes reflect the infinite magnificence of this African location, freestanding baths are carefully positioned so that the bather can soak up the view, beds arranged so that at night you fall asleep to the sound of the ocean below, while the light, white modern interiors invite a barefoot lifestyle unrestricted by clutter. That in itself is a luxury worth coveting. The south-facing living room has a fireplace alongside which wide steps lead up to the kitchen-dining area dominated by a pitched roof, a mezzanine office reached by a spiral stair and, again, those ocean views. An added bonus of the property is that you’re unlikely to be disturbed by the neighbours. Pezula Private Estate is one of the lowest density projects in South Africa and its plots vary in size from 3 000m² to 33 000m².
To really make the most of the contemporary lifestyle, this property also features a wine cellar and a gym. Who doesn’t want to workout while watching the sun rise over the Indian Ocean? Sportsmen, this could be your house. It’s adjacent to both award-winning Pezula Championship Golf Course and the Conrad Resort Hotel & Spa, and is part of the Knysna Coastal Conservancy, which offers hiking in pristine indigenous forest and rehabilitated coastal fynbos. It doesn’t really get any better than that.