Kigali Golf Resort & Villas
Rwanda is known as a safe and beautiful country that is increasingly appealing to tourists and visitors from around the world. Many of Rwanda’s visitors are from countries where championship golf courses and resort destinations are common. In a very bold move, the Government of Rwanda and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), with funding from the Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB), decided to build a destination to welcome these visitors, introduce a new sport, and build the capacity of local employees required to cater to the needs of a 5-star golf resort destination. Thus, Gary Player International was engaged to complete the design of the course, French companies Gregori and UGolf were engaged to maintain the course and golf operations at the highest levels, and a beautiful green urban escape was created in the heart of Rwanda’s capital city.
Karisimbi Partners’ Approach
As the tractors tore up the old 9-hole golf course and the professionals carefully shaped the new fairways and greens, Karisimbi Partners went to work creating the business plan and marketing positioning necessary to ensure such an initiative was successful. This destination was named Kigali Golf Resort & Villas, and the master plan surrounding the golf course was expanded to include 250+ luxury residential units and a 5-star boutique hotel. Our team visited some of the best courses on the African continent, to expand our vision for what might be translated to fit the Rwandan context. Strategic operating partners were identified and evaluated to help guide the new management team toward finding the international experts that could establish and maintain this ambitious project.
Before the strategic master plan was complete, five international golf course operators submitted proposals to play a leading role in creating a championship course in this emerging golf market. Selection was guided by evaluating the firm with the greatest capacity for maintaining 5-star standards and training young and new golf players. A 15-year financial model was created to project the return required by each contributing component of the resort (golf course, clubhouse, residential villas and boutique hotel) would play in sustaining this new high-end resort. The resulting master plan served to unify the various stakeholders responsible as well as attract future strategic partners and investors needed to complete the master plan in the expected timeframe.
“Karisimbi Business Partners is a good partner to have as you develop your business. The plan (they provided) will provide visibility on the strategic direction of the organization.”
– Josue Dushimimana, General Manager, RUGC
Following our initial work on the master plan for this ambitious project, Karisimbi Partners has been asked to lead a consortium of expert consultants in the development of a detailed feasibility study for the valley and wetlands surrounding the golf course. Already, the Kigali Golf Resort & Villas is the latest luxury tourism destination in Rwanda. It is also a beautiful urban illustration of development that elevates the natural environment and local capacity in Kigali.
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