Have you ever dreamed of going on an African safari, not to hunt the animals but to enjoy and photograph them in their natural habitat? Well, if you are super rich, you could actually live this experience every day, simply by purchasing a lot and building an eco-friendly home at Mahathunzi, a unique gated community concept in South Africa, about 300 miles south of Johannesburg (a one-hour flight to Pietermaritzburg, the nearest city). Other features in the area include Hilton College, Albert Falls Dam on the Umgeni River, and Karkloof Safari Spa. The developer of the latter is Fred Wörner, who came up with the idea for Mahathunzi.
|Click on image for enlarged view.|
The name "Mahathunzi" is a combination of the Sanskrit word "maya", meaning "powerful connection with nature", and the Zulu word "is'ithunzi", meaning "presence, dignity, confidence, aura, power, spirit, essence, status, well-being, and shadow". It also translates as "the shade of a spreading tree that gives shelter from the heat and sun".
|Mahathunzi homes will have large overhangs mimicking these local|
trees to give shade and cast shadows during the day.
According to the website, the goal of the Mahathunzi development is to create "an opportunity to live amongst the wildlife, with a minimal footprint on the landscape, and no change in land use". Located on 2,400 acres within a larger area of rehabilitated African terrain being used as a predator-free African wildlife reserve, each of the 49 home sites is envisioned as a "small farm" of 50 to 80 acres, with homes built in such a way as to be visually isolated from neighbors. The architecture of these homes will be contemporary and low-profile, designed to blend in with the landscape. Abundant windows and viewing decks as well as limited fencing will allow plenty of opportunity to see the free-roaming wildlife, which will include giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, and other species (about 283 bird species and 43 mammal species in all, plus numerous other types of fauna). More aggressive animals such as rhinos, hippos, and buffalo will be restricted to fenced-off areas on the reserve, to keep both them and humans safe. The high-security gated community will also keep residents safe, presumably from both non-human and human invaders.
About 28 miles of shale-covered roads will allow drivers, bikers, runners and walkers to get out and about to explore the area for more wildlife adventures. For those times when residents wish to take a break from nature and reconnect to the world of technology, their luxury homes (8,000-9,000 square feet) will be fully equipped with electricity and fiber optic cables. The cost for home site plots starts at about $300,000, and home prices will range from $750,000 to $4 million! Obviously this will be an exclusive community, and only the fabulously wealthy would be able to even consider living here, but what an amazing concept it is -- truly a fantasy home that most of us can only imagine in our wildest dreams!