The magnificent Mt Kenya snowcap peeks from a cloud on one end, and on another side, the Aberdare Ranges appear after a mostly flat escarpment. The Lodiaga Hills complete the view on the other side.
In just more than a yearâ€™s time this place will be an exclusive estate where owners will get a chance to live right next door to the big five and quite literary as such.
Mt Kenya Wildlife Estate is what will be referred to as an ideal holiday or retirement home. And this is a notion that many people seem to have bought into, seeing that most of the houses are already sold.
The estate is located approximately 15 kilometres from Nanyuki Town and will house 100 houses in a fenced compound. A clubhouse will have a bicycle and walking tracks.
Real estate in Kenya in the recent years has diversified to gated communities complete with shops and other amenities, but Mt Kenya offers the residents a chance to commune with nature in a protected environment. In the middle of the 100 acres of land will be a watering hole where residents can watch animals come to drink water, while relaxing in their balcony.
These, of course, are the small animals. The larger and more dangerous animals have been removed from the fenced area so residents are safe. A project of this kind has not been done before in the country.
Ryden International Managing Director Iain Illingworth says the project will be beneficial to both the investors and the conservancy. â€œThe project will raise funds for the Ol Pejeta Conservancy who is the majority shareholder,â€ said Illingworth.
Residents will also have the opportunity to go in and out of the conservancy for game drives albeit at a small fee. They will also enjoy a 60 per cent discount, which is extended to ten of their guests.
At Sh29.9 million for a three-bedroomed unit and Sh33 million for a five-bedroomed unit, I wonder whether the price is keeping Kenyans out of an opportunity to own a house.
Rose Thogo, a director at Ryden says that most of the houses have been bought by Kenyans. The estate will be constructed in three phases with the first phase of 31 houses expected to be completed in March next year. Of the three phases, each block will be constructed to have a view of Mt Kenya, Aberdares or Lodiaga Hills.
Rose says that the most impressive thing about the houses is the spaces within. She says the corridors are large to give it a relaxation feel of being on holiday.Â The three-bedroomed houses are 102 square metres (sqm) on the ground floor, 102sqm on the first floor and a total of 204sqm. The covered terrace is 32sqm.
Five-bedroomed houses are 131sqm on the ground floor, 127sqm on the first floor and a total of 258sqm. The terrace is covered 45sqm.
This, she adds, helps with relaxation. The conservancy will get money through the gate charges for residents and their guests. Every time one goes for a game drive, they will also pay a small fee that will go into the conservancy.
Residents will have the experience of bonding with nature while enjoying ultra-modern facilities in a secured environment. This is coupled with being able to watch animals drink from a watering hole right in the middle of the estate, while relaxing on their balcony. Investors can rent out their houses.
According to the plans, there will be no perimeter fence between houses. The middle section of the estate will not be cleared and will largely remain busy.
Just outside the estate is an elephant track, which they use on the way to a salt lick nearby.-Standard