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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Watson

From City Life to Country Dreams: Our Journey to Highland Giants Estate

Updated: Jul 15

Hey there, and welcome to our blog!


I'm excited to share the story of how Ronald and I (Rebecca) traded city life for the peace and tranquility of the countryside.


Ronald and I both grew up in Johannesburg and met in 2002.

Just a month later, we moved in together—it was clear from the start that we were meant to be. Two months into our whirlwind romance, we started looking for a farm.

We wanted to spend quality time together without the constant buzz of corporate life.


For a year, we explored farms in Mpumalanga, each visit teaching us more about what we wanted and didn’t want.

Our initial dream was to start a trout hatchery, so having ample water was crucial.

Then we stumbled upon this farm, known back then as Bonaparte. At first glance, it wasn’t love at first sight. It was out of our price range, overrun with wattle trees, and the two tiny cottages were in pretty bad shape. We were at the tail end of a bad drought, but the fact that there was still a lot of water boded well. However, the dams were leaking and needed to be redone.

But something drew us back for a second look, and that's when we saw its hidden potential. We quickly realized that running a trout hatchery would be a tough (and maybe not so wise) endeavor. We began to see Bonaparte as a perfect spot for a guest farm—a diamond in the rough.


One of the reasons we chose this area was because Ronald's family regularly traveled here, so we knew we'd see family often. So, three months later, at the ages of 24 and 27, we packed up our lives, said goodbye to Johannesburg, and moved to the farm with our cats. It was the start of a whole new chapter for us, filled with the kind of adventure we had always dreamed about.


Thanks for joining us on this journey. We can't wait to share more stories from our life here at Highland Giants Estate.

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