The Making of a World Class Golfing and Residential Development[pull_quote_center]Luxury living on private residential estates is becoming increasingly popular in East Africa and golf courses often form part of the facilities available to residents living on private estates. One of the most successful and fastest growing developments in East Africa is Vipingo Ridge, located 35km North of Mombasa in Kilifi County.[/pull_quote_center]
The Vipingo Ridge development has quite literally risen out of nothing but sisal and overgrown bush. The developers of the project felt there was a need for a world class residential and golfing estate on Kenya’s North coast. Initially the search was focused on beachfront land on the North Coast. When they visited the Vipingo area in 2004, they were initially looking at land in the area of Vipingo Beach.
The land here was extremely flat and it would have been difficult to create an interesting golf course and residential development. When they enquired on other land in the area, person showing them around quite literally pointed to the Ridge in the distance and informed them: “That Ridge is for sale”. After driving up through the old sisal plants that used to occupy the Ridge as part of the REA Vipingo sisal estate, the developers arrived at the top of the Ridge and were greeted by stunning views out towards the Indian Ocean. To the west were equally impressive views of the African bush. From that moment, the seeds for Vipingo Ridge were planted and the developers made the decision to purchase the 2500 acres that make up Vipingo Ridge.
Despite the natural beauty of the Ridge, it was always going to be a huge challenge to turn it from an overgrown sisal estate into functioning Golf course and residential estate.
There were no roads, no power and the only water available was from a large dam located to the west on the inland side of the development. This large dam was one of the unique features of the land that made it very suitable for a golf course. Many landowners with dreams of developing golf estates have found that the lack of water has made it impossible. A golf course can use up to 2,000,000 litres per day during the dry season.