Nestled in a valley about 25km before Chipinge town you will find the picturesque New Year’s Gift Estate. (Latitude 20° 05’ 42” S and Longitude 32° 34’ 32” E). The majestic mountain range surrounding New Year’s Gift somehow lends a protective feeling to the estate which is well known for a certain ‘special energy’ and a sense of peace and tranquillity.
New Year’s Gift, an intensive conservation area, was first established in 1924. Early years concentrated mainly on Tea cultivation with 80ha of Coffee, SL28 and Caturra, following later. However, due to poor world prices and water shortages for irrigation these were stopped for a while.
Today there are 66.5 ha of mature and 67.47ha immature Coffee comprising of SL28, Catimor 129, Costa Rica and F6. An additional 40ha of Coffee will be planted later this season. Mature Macadamia cover over 166 ha, mainly Beaumont with about 30ha Integs, with another 67 ha immature Beaumont variety. By the end of the season the estate hopes to have 250ha Macadamias.
At an aver-age altitude of 785m our mean annual temperature is 20.5°C. Soils include loamy sand, sandy clay loams and sandy loam.
Rainfall is below average at only 600mm though the surrounding hills receive an average of 1200mm per year.
We hold Tanganda’s breeding herd of over 300 head of cattle as well as a small dairy. The cattle are supplementary fed in the winter months with silage, Rye grass and Rhodes grass.
The meandering Tanganda River supplies the water for irrigation which is gravity fed via a concrete furrow system into an underground pipe network throughout the estate. To ensure adequate water supplies a 60megalitre reservoir was constructed in 2013. The reservoir is again fed by the Tanganda River and when necessary water is gravity fed back into the irrigation system.
Excess water flows back into the Tanganda River with a pipe outlet to the neighbouring settlers providing them with a vital water source. A smaller river, the Waterfalls River, runs along the south side of the estate adjacent to the main road though this is currently not utilised.
The surrounding vegetation on the rough ground and on the hills is a tree savannah with a rich variety of tree and bush species. Our 1645ha of bushland provides sanctuary for abundant birdlife, Vervet Monkeys, baboons, guinea fowl, hares and even Blue Duiker. Over the past year there has been the occasional Leopard sighting.
Many varieties of indigenous trees can be seen, with the most dominant being the Mnondo (Julbernardia globiflora ). Other trees include the famous Baobab (Adansonia), White Thorn (Acacia polyacantha), Velvet Bush Willow (Combretum molle), Dwarf Red Combretum (Compretum platypetalum), Weeping Wattle (Peltophorum africanum), Wild Teak (Pericopsis angolensis), Camel’s Foot Tree (Piliostigma thonningii) and the Sausage Tree (Kigelia pinnata), to name just a few. There is also an assortment of exotic trees such as Eucalyptus, Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) and Pine Trees.
A wide variety of fruit trees can be found around the estate and in the villages, comprising mainly Paw Paw, Mango, Banana, Litchi, Avocado, Lemon and Guava.
Depending on the season New Years’ Gift offers employment to 500-630 workers. To this end the estate has various facilities available to employees.
Firstly the estate has its own Primary School with a small nursery school. The school caters for ECD A, ECD B and upwards to Grade 7. Over 430 children are currently enrolled in the school.
The children compete at district level and often at a regional level in Traditional Dancing, Singing, Percussion, Athletics and Chess. There is also a small library and books are made available not only to the children but to employees as well as the nearby cluster schools.
A small clinic serves not only the labour force of 500+ and their families but is a central clinic for surrounding villages. The Nurse in Charge takes excellent care of the community but should any patient require critical care they are transported directly to Chipinge Hospital.
For entertainment there is always the Beer Hall or sporting activities. Tanganda have an annual gala at which the five estates compete in Soccer, Netball, Volleyball, Tug-O-War and Darts. The Netball team won their section this year. Our soccer team, the New Year’s Gift Wolves have made Division 3 in the ZIFA league and play most weekends either at home or away games in the district. They are very enthusiastic and are often invited to participate in other local galas. Supporters are never in short supply.
All in all New Year’s Gift Estate together with its inhabitants are actually more than a community, we are one large family.