It’s one of those unforgettable afternoons. A stormy sky is brewing, contrasting tones of grey with the freshest greens of cow-strewn pastures and rolling sugar cane. The rains had come, finally, and the land was bursting with new shoots of green all along the winding but spectacular road from Ballito to Karkloof via Wartburg – though landscapes pretty much unchanged over the years. Before long, the silvery waters of Albert Dam glisten in the distance and the Karkloof and Umgeni valleys come into focus. Here lies 1 000 hectares of pristine land, now available as 49 stands (20 to 33 hectares each), a project that has taken two years for visionary developer Fred Wörner, of Karkloof Safari Spa to realize.



Fred wanted to create an opportunity for like-minded investors to live among wildlife but to be built in such a way that ‘you won’t notice it when it’s complete’. A tall order, but he brought in a design driven architectural team of three: Andrew Makin of Design Workshop:sa (who designed world-renowned Singita Lebombo and Sweni), George Elphick of Elphick Proome Architects and Neil Hayes Hill, all of whom have come up with exceptional designs sympathetic to the natural beauty and magnificent views enjoyed from this retreat. Low slung and understated, their single-story buildings with walls of glass and use of natural materials will integrate into the landscape, ensuring that the reserve retains its value and natural beauty. Game will roam freely between the well-spaced residences and all 46kms of the all-weather shale roads within the property will be available for residents to utilize for game viewing routes, as well as mountain biking, walking and even trail running.

And the name? The Zulu word ‘is’ithunzi’ refers to presence, dignity, confidence, aura, power, spirit, essence, status, wellbeing and shadow… a good start! It also translates as ‘the shade of a spreading tree that gives shelter from the heat and sun’ – a cue for the architectural design of large overhangs that will cast deep shadows and give shade. And the ancient Sanskrit word ‘maha’ indicates a powerful connection with nature. So the name Mahathunzi combines the essence of the reserve’s quality – a pure paradise.

view in veld - concept (1280x304)


About twenty minutes’ drive from Pietermartizburg (with seven flights a day to Joburg), and an hour-and-a-half from Ballito, Mahathunzi offers endless opportunities for those who work in Pietermaritzburg or Joburg, live at the coast and want a weekend retreat, or have sons at Hilton College. Albert Falls is 2kms away, and who could forget… the Karkloof Spa is one of the world’s leading spa retreats. And for those interested in actually doing some work out here, fibre optic cables, water from boreholes and dams, as well as three-phase electricity are all sorted, of course. Stands are from R4million, excluding VAT.

For more information call Tim Johnson on 082 424 6202 or email on; or visit





Join Us!

Sign up for the Your Neighbourhood newsletter!