April 2010 saw the formal launch in Nairobi of the Vipingo Ridge a golf resort development at Vipingo north of Mombasa. It is similar to Great Rift Lodge, and is situated on 2,500 acres carved off a sisal estate Rea Vipingo and comprises two world-class golf courses and the real estate villas, some still available to buy.
The development Chairman spoke (on behalf of other directors unable to attend because of the Iceland Ireland Volcano & flight shutdown) about plans to build two world-class golf courses here – one of which (Baobab) has been open since last year and played by many, the other will be ready in June. They were built through trying times including the 2007 election violence and the 2008-9 global credit crisis, but he says they never compromised in quality. The courses were designed by 1988 Kenya Open Champion David Jones.
On the first course, they had 250 parcels of land of which 190 have been sold, but now 60 remain and invited attendees to take them up. The remaining one acre plots range from 10 million (now ~$130k) to 20 million (now ~$260,000) depending on their location and the course views, and some two-acre ones are 21 million.
Villas range from 2-bedrooms (150m2) of about 20 million (now ~$260,000), 3 bedrooms (200m2) of about 25 million (now ~$325k) and 4-bedrooms (250m2) of about 28 million (~$363k), can be fully-furnished for rental purposes, and all are positioned on terraces to give views of the golf course and the (distant) sea. They are low-density of about 4 villas on one acre built in Swahili/Arabic design, and membership to the golf club and a private beach club is included.
Najib Balala the Kenya Minister for Tourism gave a speech outlining the government plans for expanding the tourism sector and where golf tourism fits in their Vision 2030, which has three resorts cities planned – Vipingo, Diani and Isiolo. He also mentioned his push within the government to have a dual carriageway road built from Mombasa to Malindi to take precedence over the upgrading of Malindi to an international airport while Mombasa airport remains under-utilized and this has been agreed to in principle. He said Vipingo will host the second Utalii College (which trains staff to work in the tourism /hospitality sector) and will also be inviting a developer to set up a hotel there to complement the college and the Vipingo resort area.
A round of golf (18 holes) at Vipingo costs $40 (~ksh3,000) plus caddy fees of $6 (~Ksh500)