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Escape the rat race: Buy a business on the Garden Route

South Africa's Garden Route might just be the perfect place to live and work

Are you tired of the daily commute, the 9-5 and stressful city living? Do you crave the sound of waves crashing on a beach or beautiful birdsong? Or do you simply want a simpler life?

All of the above? Why not consider buying an established business in one of the world’s most wild and picturesque locations.

South Africa’s Garden Route has it all; from the atmospheric sub-tropical forests and stunning river valleys of the Outeniqua and Tsitsikama Mountains to its idyllic coastal lagoons and exquisite beaches.

With such a broad and captivating range of landscape and wildlife it’s not hard to see why tourists flock to this region to enjoy hiking its numerous adventure trails, surfing, canoeing or simply soaking up the sun on the beach.

The towns of the Garden route stretch for 200km along the Western Cape from Mossel Bay through Wilderness, Sedgefield, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley before reaching the forest hamlet of Storms River in the Eastern Cape.

The healthy tourist industry and a growing population make this area a relatively safe bet for business – so what are you waiting for?

Take a look at 10 top picks from our businesses for sale on the Garden Route:

1) Beauty Spa in guest estate

You’ll never be short of clients in this business; the spa is based at a popular guest house on the Garden Route.

Nestling in the forest, albeit with easy access from the main road, the estate would offer a truly tranquil and convenient working environment.

And with equipment and stock already in place and marketing covered by the guest house, this could be the most stress-free work move ever.

2)  Beautiful lodge on the Klein Karoo 

This luxurious and meticulously family-run lodge would offer another near seamless transition for a prospective new manager.

The 4-star property boasts 9 beautifully appointed rooms, a relaxing pool area as well as a garden jacuzzi.

The current owners claim that the personal touch and attention to detail are the key to their current success and that the efficiency of the existing systems would make the handover very easy.

And with 50 percent of the property’s land still undeveloped, this is a very promising opportunity.

3) Upmarket ladies boutique

This is a perfect ready made business for anyone passionate about clothes and perhaps looking for a career change.

The boutique is owner-managed and already has a healthy clientele, supported by the large local community as well as tourists.

Profitable and easy to run, this is a dream new business for a fashion lover/people person.

4)  Well established plant nursery with property

This business is a lot more than your standard plant nursery and will truly take you back to nature.

Established 20 years ago, the nursery is now a popular destination for family days out. Not only selling a wide range of plants and garden products, the property also houses a restaurant, a kiddie play-park, and animal ‘touch-farm’ and well as resident farm animals.

The business sits on 17ha of property with numerous houses providing rental income and, with a recently instated functions venue, there is huge scope for development.

And at the end of the day you have the stunning Outeniqua Mountains as the backdrop to your evening sundowner!

5) Unique little pizzeria

Everybody loves pizza so you can’t really go wrong with this well loved restaurant.

With a successful trading history of over 9 years and a ‘lovely clientele’, this could be a great family venture.

The pizzeria currently has seating for 60 and only operates at night. There is scope for extending to daytime trading in this easy to manage business.

6) Nursery school in prime position

With rising population rates and an increasing number of families becoming dual-income, nursery provision is a smart business move.

This nursery caters to babies from three weeks to 5 years old and has a great reputation in the local area, which offers high demand from young or recently married couples.

The business employs 10 staff members, is fully equipped and registered, meeting all statutory requirements as well as being conveniently close to local feeder schools.

7) Extraordinary gift and craft shop

This business is perfect for any arty-crafty type who wants to be their own boss, as well as achieving that all-important work-life balance.

Boasting ‘remarkable year on year growth’, the shop is located in a busy area and supports the local community by stocking a range of South African products.

Existing systems allow the owner plenty of free and flexible time.

8)  Interior decorating business

Creative and entrepreneurial folk will find this interiors business an attractive opportunity.

Currently functioning as a hobby for the owner, there is scope for growth and development.

The business offers up-cycling and re-upholstery as well as scatter cushions, paint and stencils. It has the sole agency on the Garden Route for high quality, decorative paint and runs popular workshops for the local community.

9) Kids play and party venue 

This popular kids’ venue is selling to someone wanting to ‘swap the concrete jungle and gym contract for fresh air and the more entertaining jungle gym!’

A fresh, modern environment with a children’s soft-play area and café/restaurant (complete with new pizza oven), this business model is a no-brainer – offering respite to worn out parents and hours of safe and contained fun for their kids.

Far more than just a restaurant, this growing business can accommodate as many ideas as the new owners can dream up.

10)  Unique property development opportunity

Here is an outstanding opportunity for a highly ambitious property developer who wants to live and work in paradise.

This 10ha eco-estate is situated in a bird sanctuary within the National Park and has building approval for 100 houses and an 80 suite hotel with a conference centre, restaurants and recreation areas.

The estate will be an oasis of healthy living with jogging tracks and exercise station built into the indigenous forest and sailing and water sports available on the property’s lake. The site is also only 20 minutes from all of the Garden Route’s most prestigious golf courses.

This land is the only in the area with hotel rights and, once developed, will offer the only hotel between Wilderness and Knysna and the only one in the whole Garden Route to offer North facing water views.

Haven’t found what you are looking for? Take a look at all our Garden Route businesses for sale here.

Nicky Tatley

About the author

Nicky contributes articles to all titles in the Dynamis stable, primarily, and and is a regular contributor to other business publications including Talk Business, and NuWire Investor.


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