Superior Homes Kenya CEO Shiv Arora talks about the firm’s new luxury housing project in Lukenya, Machakos County. Dubbed ‘Lukenya Wildlife Estate’, the 100-acre luxury project within Swara Plains Conservancy will comprise high-end residential houses and serviced plots.

What inspired Superior Homes Kenya (SHK) to start a housing project in a conservancy?

Being a market leader in open-plan gated communities in Kenya, a fairly foreign concept when SHK started developing its flagship project, wildlife estate living is equally a new concept that SHK considers to be aligned with its values of nature conservation and Lukenya  was ideal given the proximity to Greenpark in Athi River, as well as having likeminded conservationists in the Athi River, Lukenya area.

How is the balance going to be like when it comes to conservation and real estate?

The project is not located within the conservancy, but close, affording the residents a view of the wildlife moving freely within the conservancy and the neighbouring spaces. To deter the animals from invading the residential areas, we will have a sunken fence with an electric fence to serve this purpose.

What are the benefits of living in a wildlife estate?

If you are obsessed with tranquillity then this is the environment that you want to live in. Urban areas are often highly polluted places with fumes, chemicals, noise, but those who live in wildlife estates are away from the urban areas are surrounded by plants and wildlife, which means healthy living.

Living in a wildlife estate also means participating in sustainability and being a resident is an opportunity to help protect their natural environment from pollution and harm. Besides, wildlife estates play a further role in preserving the endangered species.

In addition, most wildlife estate advance sustainable living, often seen in the architectural designs in many homes. Some of the features, such as water conservation tanks and solar energy are top environmental features being added to the new homes being built.

It also increases the owner’s status since most people are looking to boost their social status. Most residents seek modern living features and are usually enticed by the idea of luxury. The society views the home as a reflection of a person’s status and estate properties offer residents a highclass lifestyle with many high-class amenities and perks, such as having access to a private club.

What are some of the factors to consider before buying property in a wildlife estate?

One has to be comfortable with the restrictions that come with this type of living. For instance, not having tarmac or cabro-paving, or masonry walls between the units.

What characterizes such properties?

The properties in a wildlife estate are clustered to ensure minimal impact to the natural environment.

How is the Machakos County property market looking like at the moment?

With the infrastructural growth, such as the expressway and expansion of Mombasa Road there is easy connectivity to areas, such as Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) and Westlands. The property market continues to boom and given the expansive undeveloped land here, developers are offering clients standalone houses with large gardens instead of apartments.

What challenges does the property market in Machakos County face?

Machakos County has experienced a fair share of land squatters causing jitters among investors when purchasing property in the area. Also, not unique to Machakos County, the cost of construction remains a challenge in the property market, which translates to higher house prices.

When you talk about luxury in the property market, what does it entail and which clientele is shifting towards this?

Luxury in the sense that is low density, lowest plot area is half-acre and the prescribed finish of houses is high end (extensive use of wood and minimal concrete use). Luxury living is no longer only a reserve of the upmarket areas but has grown to include bush living, especially for those who love the idea of becoming one with nature.