“A delicate balance is needed between man and the environment.”

With this in mind, Georg von dem Bussche - with a German university degree in forestry end extensive experience as an environmental consultant – was officially assigned as Schoongezicht’s environmental site agent.

During building operations, he is the professionalist in charge of environmental maintenance and has to ensure that everyone on-site complies with environmental rules. This implies that the labourers receive an awareness briefing, the fynbos is screened to protect it from the building operation, and an audit is conducted every three weeks until the building is completed.

Schoongezicht Estate's original vegetation assessment was done by Jan Vlok, a renowned fynbos and vegetation expert in the Southern Cape. Jan’s recommendations now form part of the agreement into which the estate enters with purchasers.

Every property owner is expected to comply with the requirement to maintain 25% of the erf in an entirely natural condition and to confine their garden planning to the list of indigenous trees, shrubs and flowers as recommended by landscape planner Diana Grant. The fact that Schoongezicht employs such eminent consultants shows the extent to which we invest time, money and talent in the estate and allows us to claim the title of “the leading ecological, indigenous estate in the area”.

There are three basic vegetation types at the estate: pure fynbos, “thicket” and the forest, which has about 32 different indigenous tree species. Thicket is often identified by the presence of the famous Bitou bush and it is fascinating to think that if this transition stage of flora development remains unburned, over time it will evolve into a forest.   

In such an environment it is understandable that a large variety of birds and some wildlife co-exist with humans. There are five dams on the property which create wetland zones for water birds and bushbuck. Islands in the water offer protection for area birds and the estate is a paradise for Knysna loeries. Bushbuck and duiker are regularly spotted by residents and, while there is evidence of caracal on the estate, these fit comfortably into the ecological balance and present no problem.

In the summer months, a two hour wander along the 1,8 km boardwalk offers an escape into pristine surroundings for locals and visitors to the area. The old indigenous forest with 150 year old milkwoodtrees and benches, which are placed at strategic points, enable you to enjoy nature at its best. It’s not often you will find such a wonderful space – so in harmony and so central.

In the interest of all Schoongezicht homeowners and residents, we are creating a unique estate which will ultimately, with its houses, gardens, water features, animal life and the stunning South African landscape, be a well balanced Mediterranean type settlement.