Another satellite city with golf planned for Kenya

A Kenyan government-sponsored business park is about to spark the development of another gated golf community in metropolitan Nairobi.

The 1,000-acre Iluluwe Golf Estate will take shape in the village of Malili, roughly 40 miles southeast of Nairobi and 15 miles west of the planned Konza Technology Park near Machakos. The 5,000-acre technology park, which is still looking for a private-sector developer, is expected to eventually provide jobs for 200,000 white-collar workers.

Those workers will have money in their pockets and an appetite for upscale houses, and Iluluwe aims to accommodate them. In addition to an 18-hole, championship-length golf course, the community will offer 2,000 housing units (villas, bungalows, cottages, and apartments), a shopping center, office space, a hotel with meeting space, a medical clinic, an equestrian center, a recreation center, eateries, parks, a lake, an organic garden, and even a police station.

If Iluluwe appears to be stocked with every amenity an aspiring home buyer could ask for, well, that’s the point. In increasing numbers, upwardly mobile Kenyans are gravitating to houses in self-sufficient communities that can serve as refuges from the uncertainties of crowded, fractious urban life. The nation’s developers believe that such communities are the wave of the future.

The rush to develop security-minded communities began with Vipingo Ridge in suburban Mombasa, which has an 18-hole course (along with a second 18 in planning) behind its 25-foot-high walls.

Today, at least four other similar “satellite cities” are being built in Kenya. Three are coming out of the ground within a short drive of Nairobi, the nation’s capital and the center of its wealth. Migaa is taking shape on a former coffee plantation. Thika Greens will spread over 1,135 acres and feature a Douw van der Merwe-designed 18-hole course. The 1,600-acre Aberdare Hills community will feature an 18-hole golf course designed by David Jones, the Irish architect who designed the course at Vipingo Ridge.

A fourth community, Sergoit Golf & Wildlife Resort, is taking shape in suburban Eldoret, the nation’s fifth-largest city. It’ll include an 18-hole golf course and two nine-hole tracks, not to mention a private air strip.

Iluluwe will be built on land owned by John Mutua, the owner of the Leisure Lodge Beach Resort in Mombasa. Leisure Lodge has an 18-hole golf course that was designed and built by Tommy Fjastad, who’s also been tapped to design a course for the Pangani Beach & Golf Resort in suburban Tanga, Tanzania.

Mutua hopes to break ground on Iluluwe’s golf course this month.

This story originally appeared in the World Edition of the Golf Course Report, in a slightly different form. For a sample copy of the World Edition, call 301/680-9460 or write to WorldEdition@aol.com.

Comments

Looks good on paper-but if the truth be told this is just another pipe-dream. Just like Tatu City in Juja and Konza City in Athi River this concept of so called luxury living is going nowhere fast. Let us check out the facts: How many Golf Clubs already exist in Eldoret? Where is the clientele with the money( and more importantly the sophistication) to live in Sergoit and work in Eldoret Town? Who is willing to invest in infrastructure (roads, banks, restaurants, fitness clubs, tennis clubs etc, ad infinitum) in a rural backyard were residents are unable to distinguish between a golf club and a walking stick? Who will supply fresh vegetables, fruits, processed foods (beef, dairy, poultry, fish) and all other stuff that go with the haute cuisine fit for gourmet restaurants and homes of the stinking rich? This is a backyard that knows only two crops wheat/barley and maize! Annemarie Mwalomet Chepkoilel River Wetland Trust Eldoret

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