Estate living, whether on luxury lifestyle, golf or equestrian estates, continues to gain popularity, as South Africans seek safer accommodation options.

Top-end residential estates have remained resilient against the backdrop of the country’s residential property market coming under strain in the past year, to outperform the general market.

“Residential estate living is on the rise, especially among the more affluent. We estimate that over 40% of South African high-net-worth-individuals live or have homes on residential estates,” says SA real estate adviser Basil Weinrich.

According to a New World Wealth report, estates with nice parks, birdlife, walks and trails have become more popular with consumers over the past year.

Taking into consideration factors like design and space, maintenance, security features, extra mural activities, scenery, communal gardens, parks and facilities including schools, hospitals, offices and shops, the research firm have compiled a list of the 10 most exclusive estates in the country.

READ MORE: SA’s most exclusive estates for the super-rich revealed

We list them below in no particular order.

Zimbali

Located 45km from Durban, Zimbali is a picturesque country estate that right on the beach. It boasts its own natural lagoon and forest and houses on the estate range from R5 million-R75 million.

Fancourt

Fancourt is located in George on the Garden Route and SA’s top golf estate, with three highly rated courses.

House prices on the estate range from R3 million-R50 million.

Val de Vie

Val de Vie is located in the winelands of Paarl. It is one of the most impressive and well-run equestrian estates in the country, boasting beautiful vineyards, polo fields, an equestrian centre, parks, lakes and mountain backdrops.

House and apartment prices on the estate range from R3 million-R50 million.

Steyn City

Steyn City, near Broadacres in Johannesburg, is considered to be the best designed estate in the country with vast amounts of parkland scattered between distinct residential neighbourhoods.

It also offers a nice mix of houses, townhouses and apartments and has set the bar in terms of design for future city-within-a-city type developments.

The communal areas, vegetation, nature and parklands there are particularly impressive, as is the bird life.

House and apartment prices on the estate range from R2 million-R35 million.

READ MORE: Estate living without the high price-tag

Waterfall Equestrian Estate

Said to be the most exclusive estate in the country, the Waterfall Equestrian Estate in Waterfall City is home to some of the most spectacular mansions in town, boasting massive stands.

House prices there range from R15 million to R100 million.

Pezula

Pezula is located in Knysna on the Garden Route. The views and scenery on the estate are very impressive, as is the golf course.

House prices there range from R5 million to R50 million.

Atlantic Beach

Atlantic Beach is the “hidden gem” of South African estates. Located between Blouberg and Melkbostrand in Cape Town, the estate features a top-rated golf course and lovely vegetation, views and scenery. It also operates as a wildlife sanctuary, with animals such as antelope living on the property.

House prices on the estate range from R2 million-R20 million.

Arabella

Located on the Bot River Lagoon, 45km west of Hermanus, Arabella is one of the most scenic estates in the country. Only a few of the plots have houses on them, and as a result, stands are limited.

House prices on the estate range from R3 million-R15 million.

Blair Atholl

Blair Atholl is a golf and equestrian estate situated near Lanseria in Johannesburg. Like Waterfall Equestrian Estate, it has relatively large stands, with some very impressive houses and gardens on the property.

House prices on the estate range from R10 million-R80 million.

Whalerock Ridge

Whalerock Ridge is located in Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route. The 100ha estate offers residents impressive views over the bay. The bottom gate of the estate is located approximately 100m from the beach.

House prices on the estate range from R3 million-R35 million.