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February 18, 2019

Chinese developer opts for indigeneous trees at its resort

An artist's impression of the Sultan Palace Resort.
An artist's impression of the Sultan Palace Resort.

SULTAN Palace Development, the Chinese real estate company, plans to start landscaping its inaugural Sh5 billion coastal holiday resort at Kikambala in Kilifi county with trees later this month.

 The company said it will plant trees on 15.5 acres of its 43-acre beachfront property, helping conserve the surrounding environment.

 The expansive garden will have a combination of indigenous and exotic shrubs, palms and trees –including some rare species – to support the tropical conditions and coastal architecture of the development.

“Many of our indigenous forests have been cut down for development. So, by trying to plant as many indigenous trees as possible, Sultan Palace is trying to replace some of the flora and fauna which has been lost,” general manager Liu Tiancai said. “The garden will create a micro-climate which is meant to positively contribute to the environmental conservation in general.”

Most of the trees will be sourced from a nursery that the upstart developer has set up.

Tiancai said only a selection of palms trees and shrubs which can withstand strong winds and other adverse oceanfront conditions will be planted.

“The trees and shrubs will act as a protection against any future invasion from the ocean such as from strong winds and floods,” he said. “The use of indigenous and water plants reduces the impact of the development on the environment vis-a-vis water usage.”

The developer has incorporated a mixture of Swahili and Arabic architecture in its upcoming villas and condos, which forms the first phase of the project. Most of them are undergoing final touches.

 A five-star hotel is planned in the second phase.

 The firm’s strategy is to cash in on the growing demand for holiday homes whose price was initially set at between Sh9.95 million to Sh29.95 million.

“A well-manicured property with appealing landscaping is often a selling point,” Tiancai said. “Often people tend to focus more on the inside but it is critical to note that first impressions, even from the outside, matter.”

Some of the rare tree species Sultan Palace will be planting include the Bamba Kofi and Mpingo [African Black Wood]. Both are under threat of extinction due to over-harvesting which has been declared illegal.

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