Grahame Field.

“Here is my summary of what it is like living here, the reasons for us choosing le Domaine as a place in which to live in our retirement and a summary of what facilities exist here.

Le Domaine is called a “Lifestyle Estate” and is not just for retirees. We have a number of younger families living here. The property is 35 hectares in extent and is divided into 15 villages (suburbs) and 4 apartment blocks, totaling nearly 700 residential units. These range from small apartments to stand alone homes which are owned on sectional title, or are sold on a “life rights” basis. The estate is now fully developed so there should be no need for future “special levies”.

Googling the Le Domaine web site gives one a very good idea of what the estate looks like from the air. Security is very well organised, I have never heard of anyone having a problem. There are extensive walkways throughout the estate, much of them following the waterways which connect the numerous dams.

Facilities include both outdoor swimming pools and one indoor “heated” pool, a bowling green and two tennis courts which are free for all residents to use. All gardens are maintained by the estate and residents are free to do their own bit of gardening within a metre of their unit’s walls. Only indigenous plants are allowed to be grown in the estate, roses, etc may only be grown in pots.

Our recreation centre has a restaurant provides very good food at reasonable rates, we have a bar, a snooker table, as well as table tennis tables. In the centre, we also have a hairdresser, and wellness salon (‘health Hydro’), a laundry, fully equipped gym and a cinema room where movies are shown on a regular basis. In the main centre, there is also a large screen which is used to show important local & overseas sporting events.

The estate also has frail care and supported living facility which is privately run and we have a Lodge with 5 apartments set aside to accommodate visiting families.

Le Domaine is a haven for wildlife and is a major attraction for birdlife hence no cats are permitted on the estate, but one is allowed to have one smallish dog.

There are braai facilities at two of the outside pools which residents are free to use

Indoor activities include bridge and canasta and there is a monthly musical show/jazz club and cinema show.

We have what we call a “Smart Village” facility which maintains our internet connection as well as our e-mail and DSTV bouquet at a total cost of R798 per month. One can however still receive the full DSTV service if one so wishes.

My wife and I purchased a 139 square metre unit comprising two and a half bedrooms(the half being used as a dressing room) 2 bathrooms and a double garage some 5 years ago and these units are currently being sold for around R2 million. Larger units, I understand, are going for around R3 to R 3.5million.

Our monthly levy is now around R3300 which includes the R798 paid to the Smart Village for their services. The estate runs a levy stabilisation fund which derives its income from the sale of units by residents where 20 percent of the profit on sale is deducted and paid into the fund.

In summary, I would just like to say that, considering the facilities available and all the activities that take place, I am not aware of any other estate that can match what we enjoy here.

Oh and not to forget the great Cotswold Downs golf course just over the road where senior members from outside get a really good deal.”

I trust that Grahame’s article will provide you with a good idea of someone who is really enjoying living in a retirement village.  I am very grateful to him for this contribution.

Barry Smith