Three courses planned for Kenyan development

 

By Robert J. Vasilak

For the Kalenjin people of western Kenya, the word sergoit translates as “good luck ahead.” And good luck is exactly what the developers of Sergoit Golf & Wildlife Resort are hoping comes their way.

The developers, a group led by Joshua Chepkwony, have staked out a claim on property in the Rift Valley where they aim to build more than 2,000 houses, a hotel with a conference center, a shopping mall, a hospital, schools, a private airstrip, and a variety of recreational amenities including a water park and three golf courses – an 18-hole track complemented by a pair of nine-hole layouts.

The community will take shape on 3,100 acres roughly 10 miles northeast of Eldoret, Kenya’s fifth-largest city (population: 220,000). It’ll be not just gated but fenced off from the surrounding countryside, as security is a primary concern among Kenya’s expanding middle class.

Chepkwony has said that Sergoit was inspired by the emergence of two similar safety-minded golf communities in suburban Nairobi, the nation’s capital: Thika Greens and Migaa, a community that’s taking shape of what was once a coffee plantation. Kenya’s government is trying to decongest its overcrowded and increasingly expensive cities, particularly Nairobi, and has encouraged the development of such “satellite cities.”

Sergoit will take shape some 200 miles northwest of Nairobi’s madding crowds. The site, a former ranch, is now a wildlife sanctuary that’s home to non-threatening species such as giraffes and antelopes. The golf courses – an 18-hole private course and two public nines, one of which will be designed especially for retirees – will be routed around the corridors used by the wildlife.

Chepkwony, the chairman of Jamii Telecommunications, hopes to complete Sergoit in 2016.

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.

 

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