Lake Elementaita is known worldwide as a perfect destination for bird watching and was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nation Education Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). One Tycoon is taking advantage of that by constructing 75 villas worth Ksh 1 billion on the shores of the Lake.
WoK highlights the story of Richard Mburu Kamau – the tycoon who owns the Great Pelican Lodge in Lake Elementaita.
Richard Mburu Kamau is a renowned Nakuru-based tycoon who owns the multi-million Great Pelican Lodge and Golf Resort situated on the shores of Lake Elementaita. The resort which sits on a 10 acre piece of land is a famous destination for both local and international tourists who visit the lake to view the over 450 bird species. It is equipped with modern conferencing facilities and well-manicured grounds for outdoor activities such as team building.
The resort has various amenities and things to do such as access to a swimming pool, nature walks, board games and kids’ activities. It has a local garden where fresh vegetables are sourced with meals served daily until 10 PM. It has a coffee house where you can enjoy a cup of coffee as well as sampling local beers, wines and fresh cocktails. You can also make an appointment with the hotel if you have a wedding and you will be granted a space to exchange vows just next to the lake.
Building Sh1 billion Villas
In 2016, the then Nakuru County governor Kinuthia Mbugua appealed to homeowners in the county to consider converting their houses into guest houses to take advantage of the increasing number of local and foreign tourists visiting the county. Mr. Richard Mburu Kamau was among the first individuals who heeded the governor’s call. In 2020, the Daily Nation reported that the tycoon was putting up 75 villas worth Ksh1 billion in the 10 acre piece of land of next to the Great Pelican Lodge and Golf Resort. The villas consist of two and three bedrooms that can be either rented, leased or bought.
“Those who buy the three-bedroom villas could earn up to minimum return of Ksh 300,000 a month as each room will be charged at Ksh 10,000 per day while those taking a two bedroom villa could pocket at least KS 200,000 per month,” the tycoon explained.
According to the local news outlet, the income could double during Peak season of July, August and December. Construction of the villas was being done by Springs Contractors and was estimated to take two years. H middle-and upper-middle-class income earners who are experiencing a major shift in lifestyle and diversifying their investment and want to spend their holidays away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
“Most of the middle class and upper-middle class in the country are opting for holidays not far away from the capital city and the nearest destination for them is Nakuru, which makes our project viable,” he explained.
The tycoon also has other investments in the tourism and hospitality sector in Maasai Mara game reserve.
In 2018 the tycoon found himself in crossroads after Spire Bank Limited through Garam Investments set in motion plans to auction the four-star resort. This was after the tycoon, through Pelican, failed to pay a Ksh82.3 million loan which he took between 2014 and 2015 as reported by Business Daily. Kamau moved to the Milimani Commercial Court seeking to bar the local bank and Garam Investments from advertising the auction. In his defense, he told the court that he fulfilled his obligations until when the hotel was hit by economic slowdown in the run-up to the controversial 2017 General elections. In his affidavit, the tycoon revealed that the hotel had regularized its accounts and resumed the loan repayment process. He obtained the order and both parties came to a consensus of the loan repayment process.