Dwarsriviershoek Fynbos Farm

This proposal introduces and showcases a special and unique 11-hectare (110 000 m2) agriculturally zoned property in the Banhoek Valley in the Stellenbosch area. Indeed, the one holding that has the most historical significance for the Valley.

The property has only recently come to market and the owner has adopted the approach of direct engagement with prospective buyers via the proposal.

The Banhoek Valley

Despite its extraordinary natural beauty, the Banhoek Valley over the Helshoogte Pass outside Stellenbosch remains relatively unknown. Yet, few regions in South Africa can claim such a rich and fascinating history, from early settlers to modern farms in the present day.

In this valley, some of the first examples of early Dutch architecture and buildings are contrasted with the ultra-modern, enormously sophisticated wineries.

Videos in the area

Here are a few videos of neighbouring farms in the area.

Nestled between the beautiful towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, is a well-sought-after rural area and land very seldom comes on the market here. It is without doubt one of, if not the most picturesque area in the Stellenbosch surroundings with its beautiful mountain vistas and farm holdings.

The valley forms a small part of the Hottentots Mountains catchment area, accordingly, water is abundant and there is a crystal-clear perennial river flowing through the valley, namely the Banhoek River which is one of the crowning features of the valley.

The Jonkershoek nature reserve is also part of the valley and extends beyond the southern end of the property in question into the undeveloped part of the valley. Indeed, the farm is the last farm on the access road in the center of the valley and is nestled under the mountain ranges.

The area also showcases the breathtaking views of the Simonsberg mountain (so named for the founder of Stellenbosch) and the Groot Drakenstein mountains to the east towards Franschhoek.

A Brief History of the Holding

Between 1850 and 1914 the majority of the entire valley was owned by Arthur Cheverton Buller, a renowned horticulturist who was ultimately the first South African to export King Proteas to England. Of course, the Jonkershoek reserve is known for wild Proteas. A prominent feature in the valley is indeed the towering mountain head known as Bullerskop (Bullers head) so named by HASA (Heritage Association South Africa) in honour of Buller’s contribution to SA botany/horticulture and his role in the promotion of the Protea flower as the national plant of South Africa and the commercialisation thereof, having been the first.

Indeed, in the latter years of his life, he sold off large parts of his holdings in the valley, ultimately keeping one portion of land for himself. The 11-hectare holding now on offer is closest to and indeed nestled under Buller’s head and what he and his family deemed the most beautiful and private part of the valley for him to enjoy his retirement and later years.

Not only is the Manor House a heritage site due to the significance of Bullers’ contribution to SA heritage and botany. He also surrounded the house and holding with over 50 indigenous species of trees (a horticulturist and conservationist to the core) and continued growing his beloved King protea on the holding.

Sadly, or rather ironically, and in no small part thanks to Buller having shown commercial viability, protea production has now extended to other regions and the valley today has more vineyards than Protea crop, however, two hectares of King Protea remain on the property and a few other farmers in the valley still have a hectare or two of Protea, so signs of its heritage remain.

Ownership History

The current owner is the 3rd owner since Buller passed and prior title deeds reflect a sale in 1914, Buller’s final sale, 1971 and then then the sale to the current owner, Mrs FA Booysen in 1991. She has now owned it for 32 years.

Location in the Valley

Being the southernmost point in the valley and the last farm on the access road, the property is nestled under the famous Buller’s head it is indeed a sought-after, private location, with no thoroughfare on the holding, the only one in the entire valley. It is the last farm in the valley and the closest point to the bordering Jonkershoek Nature Reserve in the South.

Beyond its southern border, the valley extends in its natural form with indigenous Fynbos, rivers, streams, and mountains which make the valley a renowned hiking and biking trail administered by the Banhoek Conservancy.

The farm is completely private and secluded with a feeling of being at one with nature, yet central Stellenbosch is only a 20-minute drive away – approximately 13 kilometers.

The Property & Structures

The property, totaling 11 hectares, has 2,5 hectares of Olive orchids, the kalamata-eating olive, and roughly 2 hectares of proteas. That cultivated 4.5 hectares is on the hills at the top of the farm. The bottom western part and lower half of the northern boundary of the holding has 2 undeveloped hectares which have been assessed to be the best soil on the property. All existing crops are organic.

All agricultural consultants advise either vineyard or fruit to be planted there although it is a beautiful grassed area in its own right and could be a perfect location for stables and a horse paddock. With the abundance of water and continuous flow on the holding, a dam could be constructed there with various features such as paths, a nursery, tennis courts, and the like.

Needless to say, one could do a stunning wedding venue on those two hectares as the view of Buller’s head and the remaining valley can be viewed with a stunning amphitheater-like effect.

The surroundings of the Manor house are the heart and beauty of the farm in that AC Buller planted many trees and plants of a different variety that create a forest-like effect. Over 50 varieties of trees are on the holding and numerous indigenous plant species are showcased in a nearby Japanese garden. A fitting tribute to the Founder Buller and his Botanical History.

Zoned agriculturally, allowing for 7 structures within the holding of which 6 have been utilised, briefly summarised as follows:

A Manor House (near the northern entrance), a second house near the western boundary, and a cottage with a connecting studio (near the Manor House) The additional 3 structures are a barn, a flatlet, and workers’ quarters. The remaining footprint is available to be developed at the owner’s or new owner’s discretion.

Perhaps the sort after location above the orchids, at the top of the farm, offering the best views in the valley where the highest point on the farm on the eastern boundary you have a 360 degrees view of the valley and the best views in Stellenbosch and the famous Simonsberg mountain in the distance looking North. 


View the galleries below to get more information and images for each stucture.

2-Bedroom House

Workers' Quarters

Water Availability and Rights

Water is mostly natural rainwater from the Groot Drakenstein catchment area but it is also backed up (if needed) by the Theewaterskloof irrigation scheme in hot summer months. Water for domestic use is filtered. The property also has a borehole.

As it stands the holding is one of two holdings (the second being the immediate neighbor) who have right of water in the title deed (a material value add) from the Banhoek River and the property is the only one in the valley purely served by surface water from the river and has no municipal supply. Due to its unique location (the last farm in a southerly direction in the Banhoek Valley), the river inlet/catchment for the farm is the first one on the Banhoek River. The inlet that feeds the farm from the perennial river is located 1 kilometer upriver from the southern boundary. It is then gravity-fed to the reservoir located near the main house.

The flow is so constant that the overflow waterfall out of the reservoir is permanently flowing and is rerouted through the farm and back down to the river by furrows along its boundaries and one within the holding. From this reservoir, it is filtered and pumped to the top reservoir which in turn gravity feeds all the dwellings with fresh filtered natural spring water.

In addition to the river water, there is a borehole that is maintained regularly and tested but never used. It’s 100 meters deep and the water level is ten meters down, again showing the abundance of water even in the water table, again a result of the unique location (first farm closest to Nature Reserve).

Currently, the farm has a license for 78 million liters per annum at a cost of 2500 South African rands per annum but utilises a mere 20% of that for household and crop irrigation.

Access Rights

Due to the nature of the valley itself, a road exists for the farmers to the east of the river that essentially runs through the center of the valley much like the river. The holding, being the last farm on this road, has registered right of way servitude on such road, as all farms along that road do. The servitude road terminates at the main gate of the holding, hence the holding only one that has no thoroughfare, thereby promoting the exclusive nature of the holding. It is private and peaceful.

Additional Documents

Click the buttons below to download the relevant documents.


The property lends itself to be utilized for a family retreat for direct or extended family. Indeed, the current owner has utilized the farm for solely this purpose, primarily the holding must be seen as a canvas to either farm Proteas for export or small vineyard and olive harvesting.

Many concepts can be implemented, and it must be remembered that the 7 footprints can be redeveloped or upgraded to new structures such as houses for exclusive retreats by way of guesthouses. and branded as an exclusive getaway retreat.

Due to its historical significance (the first Proteas in Africa exported), it can be showcased as an agritourism destination offering accommodation. It is ideal to be developed as a wedding/event venue or even a conference destination.