Real estate company Dowgate Properties has opened its first Safari Centre highway service station in Naivasha.

The company has introduced a new servicing model for motorists and travellers. It will offer facilities from electric vehicle charging stations to children’s play areas, rest rooms, restaurants, and retail stores, right beside the highway.

The centre’s electric charging points are the first outside Nairobi and will make it possible for electric vehicles to drive from Nairobi to Kisumu and back. They will be able to charge their cars  each way at the Naivasha Safari Centre.

“Car ownership and travelling have changed completely in the last decade and are set to change even more as Kenyans, who now register seven times as many cars each year as they did 15 years ago, also begin to shift towards electric vehicles (EVs). All these trends have created demand for a new kind of service station for travellers on the country’s vastly expanded and upgraded highway network,” said James Hoddell, Founder and Director of Dowgate Properties.

The Naivasha Safari Centre is being anchored by supermarket Naivas and a wide range of eateries, including ArtCaffe, Chicken Inn, Creamy Inn, Galitos, and Pizza Inn. It also offers a car wash, pharmacy, children’s play areas and events, as well as an entirely new kind of designer-rest room, under Dowgate’s high-tech rest-room brand, Loo4U, a petrol station, curio shops and a Dr Mattress store.

Naivas has opened at the Safari Centre with plans to service some of the 400,000 local shoppers in and around Naivasha. An estimated 200,000 travellers a month who are expected to stop at the service centre.

The Safari Centre is the first of many, now at various stages of construction by Dowgate Properties, with the next due to be built on the Nairobi to Nyeri road at Makutano in Kirinyaga. With further electric charging stations at Makutano, the developer’s second centre will ensure it is possible to travel from Nairobi to the Mount Kenya region using an electric vehicle.