We move further north this month in our search for the ideal places in South Africa to carve a piece of silver spray on dead calm water framed by a beautiful backdrop, and after our visit to Lac Du Soleil in the Western Cape (covered in our April issue), we were privileged to come across a hidden gem tucked away in the foothills outside Pietermaritzburg in Kwazulu Natal, Bird Valley Estate. Surrounded by lush green forests, Bird Valley Estate is the brainchild and lifelong dream site of Richard Alcock, a chartered accountant by profession and a slalom skier by devotion. He too kept his secret under wraps for many years until word started to spread and after the secret was eventually let out of the bag, Richard relented and opened up Bird Valley to fellow devotees of the silver spray.
Nestled at the foot of the Karkloof Mountain Range and beneath the second largest indigenous forest in South Africa, lies Bird Valley Estate. A short hour’s drive from Durban and a 25-minute drive from Pietermaritzburg, Bird Valley Estate has played host to various top water ski competition’s in the past four years, including the South African National Championships (2011 & 2012), All Africa Championships, Inter-Provincial Championships, and over eight standings list tournaments. This is more than any other water ski site in the country in the past eight years, making it South Africa’s premier competition water ski site.
USA Waterski Magazine’s top photographer and head coach at Water Ski Italy, Thomas Gustafson, visited Bird Valley Estate in 2010. Gustafson said the following about Bird Valley Estate: “Sometimes I’m lucky enough in my travels to stumble upon a hidden treasure. Bird Valley Estate is exactly that. This place is unlike anything I have ever seen.”
Numerous top skiers and coaches have skied at Bird Valley Estate in recent years, including Jimmy Siemers, Franck Desboyaux and Brooks Wilson. With glassy conditions on a near-daily basis and two slalom courses where one can have two boats running simultaneously with no wake back (rollers) from the second slalom course, this is truly a waterskier’s haven.
With only one ski site left for sale at R950 000, now is the time to grab an opportunity of a lifetime in KZN! Non-ski sites starts at R360 000. Give Richard Alcock a call on 082 903 5187 or visit birdvalleyestate.co.za for more information.