IFA HR enters wildlife hospitality
Dubai, August 27, 2007
IFA Hotels & Resorts (IFA HR) has bought a 50 per cent stake in a joint venture formed to acquire the Legend Golf & Safari Resort development.
The move signals IFA HR’s entry into the wildlife hospitality market in South Africa, said a statement.
The Legend development, to be officially launched in November, forms part of the 22,000 ha (220,000,000 sq m) Big Five Entabeni Safari Conservancy, situated in South Africa’s Limpopo Province. The total development cost is expected to exceed $411 million.
Talal Jassim Al-Bahar, chairman and managing director of IFA HR, stated: “In addition to being very pleased about our announcement regarding our new partners, we’re also very excited about our first Big Five Game Reserve investment in Southern Africa. As with all our investments, the Legend Golf & Safari Resort is an invaluable contributor to our set strategy to reach into the most beautiful corners of the globe.”
Legend is a truly unique world first, where the Big Five (lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards and black rhinoceros) roam freely on the savannah grasslands. Lying in the shadow of the imposing Hanglip mountain, the resort epitomises the unique lifestyle of the bush. The design and layout minimize impact on the surrounding natural resources, preserving the pristine bush environment whilst enhancing privacy, exclusivity and tranquillity.
Peet Cilliers, Legend group CEO, said: “The Legend Lodges, Hotels & Resorts Group welcomes the partnering with IFA Hotels & Resorts, an internationally acclaimed leader in the development of premier integrated mixed-use hotel and tourism projects and luxury leisure services.”
Located in the Waterberg, Limpopo Province, the resort will be a comfortable three-hour drive from Johannesburg. This exceptional residential estate is complimented by an 18-hole championship golf course with each hole endorsed by the signature of one of the world’s top professional golfers – 18 individual signatures, a world first. A state-of-the-art Golf Academy with a driving range will offer the avid golfer a range of products including professional training programs with virtual reality training facilities.
Other facilities of the resort include a Welcome Centre and Club House, offering a variety of boutique shops, dining options, entertainment and leisure activities for the whole family. The Club House affords golfers and patrons serviced dressing rooms and the exclusive founding members’ lounge, with all spaces naturally and logically emanating from the central courtyard which overlooks the 9th and 18th greens and the majestic Waterberg mountain range.
An internationally branded five-star hotel with a health spa and a wellness centre, as well as conference and recreational facilities for up to 2,500 delegates, add to its magnificence.
Cilliers stated that, with full development rights in place, the main construction of the golf course is nearing completion and the construction of the resort’s gate house is in progress. Bulk services have been completed in the estate’s first phase, which has already been sold out by private invitation. Selected investors will be able to acquire further stands, also by private invitation, before the official launch of the remaining phases.
The local community also stands to benefit by the establishment of the Legend Foundation, which will be involved in a variety of sports such as soccer, rugby, netball, hockey, tennis and cricket at the Fields of Legends complex, in conjunction with associated sports academies. Educational sports programs offered at these academies will assist in the training of talented youngsters from the Limpopo Province.
Al-Bahar concluded: “This acquisition is a continuation of our intention to invest in South Africa and Africa, a focus area of our set global expansion strategy. L