The site owner is allowed to build a private lodge according to reserve’s specifications in order to guarantee a standards level. Also, to guarantee a security of tenure on land that is collectively owned through a LL subsidiary called LL Farms, a lease is drawn between LL Farms and the site owner for an initial period of 99 years. The legal contract is available for consultation.
The amount to be invested must exceed a minimum of ~ US$ 200,000 which considering a building costs in the region of $1000 (or BWP 10,000) per square metre, equates to a 200 sq. m. lodge. To avoid having a lot of construction sites around the reserve, a site owner is required to build his or her lodge by early 2020. The lodge can accommodate four bedrooms, have a large game viewing deck, and even its own private waterhole. Lodges generally have a 300-350 square metre floor space + decking. They are generally south-facing with a natural airflow to try and keep it as cool as possible without using air conditioners. Local architects are familiar with the environment and so can use the existing rock formations, blend trees and vegetation in the design.
Once the building is erected, its owner is liable to levies for services rendered by the Reserve e.g. electricity, security, garden maintenance, waste removal, insurance etc. In the particular case of Daley’s Koppie, these costs should remain minimal, as the lodge is meant to be solar-powered. Note that one must count on 9 to 12 months to build a lodge, considering building can only start after the rain season (end March – early April).
Contractual documentation with regard to the Game Reserve
Each LL shareholder has to sign the prevalent PPM (Private Placement Memorandum) and the Wilderness Agreement (documents available in a password-protected area). This is applicable to a share transfer before the new owner is included in the Share Register. The Registrar can be consulted through the Company Secretary (GEICO (PTY) LTD, P.O.Box 1874, Gaborone, Botswana – Telephone: +267 3956455 – Fax: +267 3975378). Needless to say that Botswana was a British Protectorate until 1966 and thus the legal system is quite similar to the UK’s.
Shareholders’ Rights and Obligations
A private site owner can request permanent residency in Botswana and thus not be subject to the 3 month tourist visa. After a few years, he or she can also apply for citizenship. Fiscal residency in Botswana has a lot of advantages as well as there is no tax on foreign income…
As far as the reserve is concerned, the private site (“Diamond”) shareholder has the equivalent of 5 normal (“Gold”) shares hence it is possible to form a small syndicate i.e. share the lodge with its co-owners. While it is great to be able to enjoy a home away from home in the African bush, the truth is that very few can find the time to visit the reserve more than a couple of months each year. Please click here for more details rights and obligations of LL shareholders, and here for a general Investor FAQ.