A world-class golfing expedition that couples green grandeur with some of the country's top accommodations and destinations.
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Guests arrive at Cape Town International Airport and are collected by their African Sky guide. First stop - Table Mountain. The rotating cable car to the top offers 360-degree views of the mountain’s sheer sandstone rock face, Cape Town’s city bowl and the never-ending stretch of the Atlantic Ocean. Feet back on the ground, we head to the Castle of Good Hope, established as a replenishing station by the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century. The castle is home to a museum offering historical insight into the life and times of South Africa’s first European settlers. Guests are dropped off at their overnight accommodation in the late afternoon after an exciting first day in the Mother City.
Today play is on Arabella not far from the seaside town of Hermanus – known for its excellent land-based whale-watching, Arabella is the region’s only golf resort. Course designer Peter Matkovich embraced the lagoon by having the finishing holes on each nine-run alongside its wide and gentle waters, making for spectacular golf terrain. The course features generous playing corridors with white bunker sand framing the greens. Nevertheless, it’s a challenging test for the good player, even more so when the wind blows during the summer. The course has troubled the professionals in recent years. The tougher holes come on early, at the inland 3rd, 4th, and 6th, all exacting par fours in terms of length and difficulty. The 9th and 16th are shortish par fours where you can risk all with your driver or play cautiously. The round ends with a par three, the 17th, edging the lagoon, and a long curving par following the shoreline, where a sinuous bunker in the only barrier preventing your golf ball from disappearing into the wetland. Before returning to Cape Town your tour stops in the charming seaside town of Hermanus for a late lunch.
Some time is then spent in Walker Bay visiting various vantage points from where whales may potentially be spotted. The tour makes it's way back to Cape Town after a memorable day.
Prior to European arrival the Khoikhoi peoples were the dominant tribe in the area and farmed the Cape Peninsula and surrounds extensively, later trading with the first Europeans as they attempted to circumnavigate the southern tip of Africa. Portuguese seafarers were the first to make contact with these indigenous southern African peoples but the Dutch were the first to establish a permanent settlement here. Our full day itinerary includes scenic cliff-side mountain passes, idyllic seaside settlements, and fynbos ecosystems as we trace the Peninsula en-route to the Cape’s popular attractions. Our morning departure will see us traveling on a circular route. The little African Penguins at Boulders Beach are world famous and even featured on Animal Planet in a regular documentary. Here they go about their daily affairs, blissfully unruffled by the many human eyes observing their every move. Similarly, the Chacma Baboons will keep a close eye on you as you visit the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and make your way to the lighthouse where panoramic ocean views may be enjoyed. Chapman’s Peak Drive traces the steep west coast mountainside as it snakes its way along the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Watch out for the bronze leopard as it keeps an ever-watchful eye over Hout Bay, a memorial to the many animals that once inhabited the mountains dominating the Cape Peninsula. An exhilarating day of sightseeing sees us return to the city during the late afternoon.
After breakfast, we make our way to Somerset West for a round at Erinvale. Nestled at the foot of the Helderberg Mountains, the prestigious Erinvale Golf course has played host to the President’s Cup and the South African Open in years past. Unlike many of the other golf courses in the Cape Town area, this Gary Player-designed parklands course is blissfully South-Easter wind-free. Following a satisfying round at Erinvale and some time for lunch, the tour makes its way to Vergelegen, one of the grandest wine estates in the country. Vergelegen has been producing quality wines for over three hundred years, and while there you’ll enjoy an introduction to winemaking and will have the opportunity to sample some of South Africa's finest wines. Thereafter your tour returns to the overnight accommodation.
The morning is devoted to playing the beautiful coastal Atlantic Beach Golf Course with its picture-perfect view of Table Mountain. The links course is plagued by regular bouts of wind from the notorious South-Easter, but golfers who prove up for the challenge will find the course most rewarding. Following your round at Atlantic Beach and some time for lunch, we visit The Motor Museum at L'Ormarins estate outside Franschhoek en route to the overnight accommodation. The museum is home to more than 220 vehicles including an 1898 Beeston motor tricycle and a sought-after 2003 Ferrari Enzo. Several recognizable brands such as Aston Martin, Maserati, Ferrari, and Porsche are exhibited, as well as several lesser-known collectibles like the Humberette (1914), Moretti 750, Bugatti Type 23 and the French-produced Le Zebre - inappropriately named after the African equid to which it bears no resemblance!
The day is dedicated to exploring the town of Stellenbosch and the wine route that surrounds it. The town is the oldest in South Africa after Cape Town. Oak-lined streets along water furrows complement the many fine examples of elegant Cape Dutch, Victorian and Georgian architecture which are on display. Some time is devoted to exploring the town before venturing into the surrounding Winelands. The Stellenbosch Wine Route is the oldest, largest and probably the most visited of the southwest Cape's wine routes. Many of the estates are very old. Their gabled, whitewashed Cape Dutch homesteads, rolling vineyards, and shade-dappled grounds are beautiful beyond measure. You will visit two of these fine estates where the art of winemaking in South Africa is experienced first-hand. A large variety of wines can be sampled, ensuring that you are almost certain to find a wine that will appeal to your palette.
A morning surrounded by spectacular Cape Winelands mountain scenery is followed by a transfer to Cape Town airport, where you'll board a flight to Johannesburg. On arrival, you'll be met by your guide. From Johannesburg, we'll travel to South Africa’s capital, Pretoria. In springtime, the city’s streets explode into a proliferation of purple as the Jacaranda trees burst into blossom. This phenomenon has earned Pretoria the affectionate nickname of the ‘Jacaranda City’. Highlights of your city tour include a stop at the Union Buildings, home to the presidential offices and government headquarters. Designed by celebrated British architect Sir Herbert Baker, the Buildings enjoy arresting views of the capital. Later you’ll be transferred to the five-star Castello Di Monte. Built in a Tuscan style, this luxury accommodation is located on a hilltop in the affluent suburb of Waterkloof Ridge and enjoys superb views of the city of Pretoria, including the Union Buildings on the opposite side of the valley and the granite Voortrekker Monument to the west. Creature comforts at Castello include fully stocked minibars, satellite television, underfloor heating, air-conditioning, tea and coffee on demand and a selection of local newspapers. The upper roof deck is the perfect location to unwind and enjoy an African sunset with your beverage of choice. Included in your stay as African Sky guests is a full course dinner.
During the morning, a short drive brings guests to the Silver Lakes Golf Course on the outskirts of Pretoria’s eastern suburbs. The course is surrounded by a beautiful splash of ‘lakes’ for which the estate is named. The par three 9th hole is a particular gem, situated on a spectacular island green. Upon completion of the round and some time allocated to lunch, a visit is made to the town of Cullinan, where the world's largest diamond was discovered in 1905. This great diamond weighed in at an incredible 3 106 carats in the rough. It was transformed by the Asscher Brothers in Amsterdam to the magnificent stones which grace the British Crown Jewels today. A tour of the mine provides visitors with insight regarding the process of how these precious stones are formed under great pressure and heat. The visit to Cullinan Diamond Mine is followed by a transfer back to your overnight accommodation.
After breakfast, your tour travels west toward the Sun City Resort, home to two of South Africa’s finest courses both designed by golf legend Gary Player. En route to Sun City, you will enjoy a visit to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. This conservation area is located in a unique transitional zone between the where the Kalahari and Lowveld biomes meet, creating what is known as ‘bushveld’. The park which is 55 000 hectares in extent, stretches over the crater of a long-extinct volcano, now covered in camel thorn, camphor bush, marula trees, and mountain aloes. Your African Sky guide conducts a game drive in this malaria-free wilderness, where sightings of rare antelope such as roan or tsessebe, or the 'Big Five', as well as the rare black and white Rhino, are possible. located. Thereafter a short drive leads to Sun City.
A morning round on the Gary Player Golf Course may prove the highlight of your golf tour in South Africa. This prestigious course has been home to the yearly Nedbank Sun City Golf Challenge since 1981. The course runs over 7000 meters from the championship tees and enjoys magnificent views of the Pilanesberg Mountains. The afternoon is enjoyed at leisure, with a wide variety of entertainment options to keep guests busy. Hike through the resort’s leagues of man-made forests, enjoy the waterpark spoils of the Valley of the Waves or head to the casino and try your hand at a game of poker.
The Lost City Golf Course may not be as well-known as the Gary Player Golf Course, but it certainly provides its own intrigues, a water hazard hosting a few dozen crocodiles, for one! The desert-style course enjoys striking views of the Palace of the Lost City and the surrounding bushveld-strewn mountains. Enjoy your leisure time exploring the resort throughout the remainder of the afternoon.
During the morning guests are transferred to O.R. Tambo Airport near Johannesburg for a flight to Nelspruit. On arrival, you’ll be met and transferred to Lukimbi Safari Lodge. This five-star safari lodge is located along the banks of the non-perennial Lwakahle stream, a tributary of the nearby Crocodile River. The lodge occupies a very exclusive 37,000-acre (14,973 hectares) private concession in the game-rich southern region of this world-famous national park. The nearby Crocodile River is a permanent source of water throughout the year, thereby ensuring a constant wildlife presence in the region. The region supports an abundance of ‘Big 5’ animals as well as numerous plains game species such as impala, giraffe, waterbuck, zebra, and warthog, to mention but a few. After enjoying a short rest in your luxury suite you’ll depart on your first game drive on an open 4x4 vehicle into this wilderness area, under the guidance of Lukimbi’s expert tracker and ranger.
It's off to an early start as guests are transferred from Lukimbi via the Malelane Gate of the Kruger National Park, for a round of golf on the illustrious Leopard Creek Golf Course. The sluggishly-flowing Crocodile River is all that separates the lush Leopard Creek course and the estate that surrounds it from the vast wilderness of the Kruger National Park. The estate occupies a remarkable site offering a stunning contrast between these two worlds and Leopard Creek is South Africa’s most exclusive course. It is the dream golfing locale of wealthy businessman Johann Rupert. Utilizing the expertise of both Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, the course was specifically designed to blend in with its surroundings. Here the term ‘water hazard’ takes on a whole new meaning as many of the water features are inhabited by hippos, and the adjacent Crocodile River is precisely what its name implies. Sightings of antelope, buffalo, and elephant are commonplace, sometimes even on the course. Resident giraffe often enjoys an amble past the clubhouse. This course makes a stern test of golf for both amateurs and professionals alike. Leopard Creek offers perhaps the finest golfing experience to be had in Africa, making it a notable addition to the worlds’ most celebrated courses. During the afternoon, you are transferred back to Lukimbi.
The day is devoted to two open 4X4 game drives in the company of an experienced ranger and tracker. This region is a paradise for the wildlife enthusiast, with close to 150 different mammal species, ranging from Brant's climbing mouse weighing no more than a few grams to the mighty African elephant which can weigh up to 7 000kg. The unique insight and knowledge of the ranger are sure to add to your experience and understanding of the habits and behaviors of the different species which you will encounter on this day.
Following a final game drive in the world-renowned wilderness of Kruger, guests enjoy a scrumptious breakfast before being transferred to the airport for a flight to O.R. Tambo International where an unforgettable golf tour comes to an end.
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