• In this time of global economic crisis, emerging countries are driving growth in the luxury sector.

    “More luxury goods will be flooding our African shores due to a rise in self-made African millionaires.” says Daniel Snyman, Regional Sales Manager (Africa, Mauritius & Seychelles) of Leopard Catamarans Private Sales and Moorings & Sunsail Charter Yacht Ownership. “Luxury catamarans are becoming a trend amongst African millionaires due to their reasonable price tags and luxurious sailing experience they offer.”

    According to the Knight Frank’s Wealth Report, the number of high networth individuals in Africa is set to double in the next ten years. So too will the demand for luxury goods rise exponentially. Recent enquiries and sales for multi-million rand catamarans by millionaires, especially dollar millionaires who play in the energy fields, reflect this trend. South Africa that has the continent’s most developed luxury retail sector, is driven by South Africa’s posse of dollar millionaires: Johannesburg alone is home to about 23 400 of them and boasts more than 60 % (about 71 000) of Africa’s millionaires.

    A study by Bain & Company during last year predicted that the total luxury goods revenue on the continent would hit R26.4 billion by end 2014 compared with 19.8 billion in 2011. Demand is rising in Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Namibia.

    Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing the world’s second-fastest economic growth, after the Asia-Pacific region – a leap in fortunes that is in stark contrast to widespread poverty and the rising cost of living. Luxury goods sales grew 35% between 2008 and 2013 and are predicted to climb by another 33% over the next five years, according to Euromonitor.

    Another interesting trend is the return of skilled young Africans to their African roots, leaving behind their highflying Fortune 500 positions in Europe to start giving back to Africa.  Leopard Catamarans has had a number of this type of clientele purchase luxury catamarans.

    Interior of the Leopard 48 Light 26. Source: Vivid LuxuryInterior of the Leopard 48 Light 26. Source: Vivid Luxury

    Focused on blue water performance and comfortable living one of the most popular catamaran models that is available in Africa is the award-winning Leopard 48. A design team of expert naval architects from Simons & Voogd and world-renowned builders Robertson and Caine were behind the construction of this 3 or 4-cabin aquatic masterpiece.

    Its contemporary interior features, that make it ideal for charter parties for up to 10, include a convertible saloon and oversized sliding glass doors providing panoramic views. Its new spacious layout lends itself to social ambiance and increased ventilation.

    Interior. Source: Vivid LuxuryInterior. Source: Vivid Luxury

    When it comes to navigating, the Leopard 48 features a raised helm station with a full range of Raymarine electronics as well as supplementary power from dual 54 horsepower engines– all combining to provide superior agility and speed on the water.

    “This new design, coupled with a front door that opens to a trampoline, has been a huge success and has increased the popularity of the entire Leopard line, including the Leopard 51 Powercat,” adds Snyman.

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    Maryanne Maina is A Kenyan luxury consultant in Africa. MBA participant in Luxury Brand. Management in Paris, France. This story originally appeared on her blog on April 24, 2015. To read more of her stories, follow her blog: maryannenjeri.wordpress.com