Caribbean Villas in Africa?

in Architecture+Designlast month (edited)

Way down south on the African East Coast in Kwazulu Natal, lies a secure private eco-estate in a lush tropical setting, dotted with unique Caribbean style villas.

The Indian Ocean forms the eastern border and the Umtamvuna River the southern border, which also is the boundary between Kwazulu Natal and the Eastern Cape.
This is a true paradise for nature lovers with scenic boardwalks through a conservation area down to the river estuary; a wooden jetty ideal for fishing or relaxing, watching the Egyptian Geese family as well as seeing the odd fish jumping out of the calm waters.

The beautifully designed villas offer spacious accommodation with all the home comforts plus a little extra luxuries.
Set among palm trees, wild bananas and other indigenous trees, this is a real birdwatchers' paradise.

The architects were obviously mandated by the developers to do their planning such that most of the indigenous trees are preserved and designed the buildings around that.

What I really love about this estate is the individual designs, unlike most others where each building is a carbon copy of the other.

Our time-share points give us the opportunity to book wherever and whenever we want, and this is one of our favourite resorts.

The villa in the photo below is divided into two living units.
We usually book the top level of this unit that has three full bedrooms plus a fourth loft bedroom with a view to die for; enough room to take friends or family along.

The enclosed turret right at the top is purely a decor addition and certainly gives the final touch to the building facade; interesting little tidbit - during medieval times turrets were used as a defensive position. Thank goodness they're purely required for aesthetics today!

I will give you a peek of the inside of our unit so please step inside; don't you just love the etched glass door?


We're still busy unpacking, but the architects thought of that when they planned the internal road network but the final design would have been done by civil engineers; there's a parking spot almost right outside our door for off-loading.

The spacious living room opens onto a balcony with a view, and an open plan kitchen to the side.


Steps leading up to the loft bedroom on the left hand side.


Our balcony with a view to the estuary and the ocean, BBQ waiting to do its job.
The whole ambience of this villa lends itself to leisure activities so loads of fun and laughter is always on the menu here!


We'll go for a quick walk along the boardwalk down to the river and the steel arches of the Umtamvuna River bridge come into view.


Looking east we see the Umtamvuna Estuary and the Indian Ocean in the distance.


The villas all stand gracious and serene and are painted in varying pastel shades with understated lattice work along the roof edges.

This is a quaint smaller freestanding single storey unit with one lock-up garage and a carport.


Most of the buildings have painted corrugated iron hipped roofs lending individual character to the units.
I had to ask hubby, who is an engineer with a keen interest in architecture, what this type of roof would be called; a very apt and descriptive word I think as these roofs indeed have many hips!


Another smaller unit a little further along the road with the garage to the left of the building.

The estate is water self-sufficient with high quality potable water; this became a necessity as the local authority down south does not provide a reliable water service. Rainwater harvesting tanks can be seen attached to many of the buildings, but blend in as they're painted in the same shade as each individual house.

Notice how all concrete reliefs are painted white in all the buildings to accentuate this edging, adding to the aesthetics.

A pretty two storey blue house with a wrap around balcony on the top floor with a single garage, likely designed by the architects for a private owner.


Another gorgeous house with an understated elegance that comes with a double garage.


There are many water ponds and small lakes around the estate, something the landscape designers would have placed strategically for aesthetic appeal; these gorgeous units are built right on a small lake which also attracts aquatic bird life.
There's an Egyptian Geese family resident here.


The buildings are beautifully reflected in the water.



Time for fishing on the jetty below the villas before the sun finally disappears over the horizon, and if anyone feels like a bit of nightlife, the casino is right across the waters beyond that hill.



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This has been my contribution to the
OCD Community Boost Contest #1: Highlighting Architecture & Design.
I hope you enjoyed seeing these gorgeous Caribbean style villas on the South Coast of Kwazulu Natal!

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Pleased to meet you @lizelle! Happy to warmly welcome you to the Architecture+Design Community! I'm thrilled to see your first post here because those Caribbean-style villas you've featured are incredibly stunning! Those marvelous houses are absolutely ideal for the perfect family getaway, leisure time with friends and peers, or lovers who just fancy a romantic escapade together. There's a sense of sophistication and exclusivity for guests who check-in this resort due to the unique architectural designs of each villa. My personal favorites are the houses suspended above the small lakes or water ponds as they provide an excellent atmosphere for meditation, relaxation, and serenity. Thank you so much for sharing your personal vacation/architectural tour of this remarkable estate!

Hi @storiesoferne, great meeting you as well! I was so excited to read about this community, will definitely be popping in more often;)
Those homes next to the water belong to private owners, they truly are sublime and would have the perfect ambience for meditation and relaxation; water always is soothing not so.
Thank you for visiting my blog and for the great comments, much appreciated 😊

Hello @lizelle , this is such a gorgeous property set in a charming community. The overall look is homely and welcoming, so is the arched glass main door that brings the light in to the foyer and the presence of trees and greenery well integrated into the development of the area. Everything about it is perfect for relaxation. I would love to teleport myself there now. Welcome to Architecture + Design Community :)

Thank you so very much @discoveringarni, I'm super excited to be have discovered the Architecture + Design Community!
This is one of our absolute favourite resorts, just like you I would love to teleport myself there right now;)
Looking forward to getting to know everyone here:)

It is a pleasure and we are glad to hear that 😊 Have a great day!

Thank you @discoveringarni, hope you had a great Wednesday too!

Those are very aesthetically appealing properties. Also the presence of rainwater harvesting tanks is great.
The pictures are lovely specially those reflective ones.
Keep posting, have a lovely week :)

Thank you so much @sahiba-rana, I just love the designs of this place and was very happy to see the rainwater harvesting tanks! We have installed them here at home as well but mainly use it for the garden.
Appreciate your warm response, a great week for you as well ;)

Holy moley! What a stunning destination for a getaway! Your photographs do an excellent job to showcase the ornate decore of the villas and surrounding structures! I can see why this is one of your favorite places to visit.

Where do I go to sign up and book a timeshare after travel restrictions lift? @lizelle

Thanks @ninahaskin, you're so right, it's just the perfect getaway! We can travel again but as we run a bnb, we're a bit stuck at the moment, not that we're complaining, we're truly thankful as the lockdowns were not good for business at all!
One can actually book directly with the resort on
Hope you get there one day, it's truly sublime🤩

Hey @lizelle Really appreciate the photographs and the carribbean classic architectural style showcased through those villas. the interior seems very warm and welcoming. That's a great post, keep flourishing. :)

Awe thank you so much for the encouragement @praditya, appreciate your comments! This place is really special, glad you enjoyed it:)

Hello greetings, seeing your publication in this community, I thought that perhaps you might be interested in this initiative that I am promoting a Challenge that is about "knowing our cities", if you want to see what it is about, you left the link

This is a great challenge, definitely going to show something of my city, thank you for sharing it with me;)

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Thank you dear mr @pinmapple:)

It's a wonderful place, the design is very sophisticated and cozy, I'm sure it was an incredible vacation.

You're so right, that's why we return to this place at least once a year, it really is fabulous! Thanks for popping in, appreciate your feedback 😊

great article, thanks for sharing! 😊

Thank you very much, I'm glad you enjoyed it 😊

Looks like we both submitted our very first contributions to the community on the same day :) Yours is fantastic, such a lovely accommodation in stunningly beautiful surroundings. Thanks for showing us around :)

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Beautiful private properties I would say and appealing to own one as well. Details are beautiful.

Oh I do love this spot, wild, serene and a little spoiled in what they offer. Takes one away from everyday life giving you a wonderful experience.

One of the larger ponds we witnessed a leguaan come out of the water obviously hunting the young goose, already a few weeks old at the time. Quite a large leguaan had the staff peering under the homes and undergrowth trying to track it down.

Well done with your Architecture and Design entry Lizelle.