A three week extravaganza of South Africa's most glamorous greens, finest fairways and most desired destinations.
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Following your arrival at Cape Town International, you’ll have the opportunity of experiencing a few of Cape Town’s world-famous attractions under the direction of your experienced African Sky guide. The looming Table Mountain was first summited by António de Saldanha in 1503 when he named it ‘Taboa do Cabo’ or ‘Table of the Cape’. Send a postcard from the upper cable station post office, take a mountaintop walk along one of the established walkways or simply enjoy the fantastic panoramic views across the Cape Peninsula. During the cooler part of the day, enjoy a leisurely stroll through Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens under Skeleton Gorge. Established in 1913, these gardens attempt to provide a comprehensive display of the region’s indigenous flora and include an impressive Baobab Tree in the new greenhouse. The overnight accommodations are reached during the late afternoon.
The tour embarks shortly after breakfast in the direction of Arabella Golf Course near Kleinmond. Tracing the coast of the Cape, guests may delight in sightings of southern right whales if visiting between June and November. During this time, large pods travel north from the Southern Ocean to give birth in the waters of Walker Bay. We arrive at Arabella in the late morning, where your round of golf begins. Overlooking the Bot River Lagoon and the magnificent Kogelberg Mountains, Arabella is distinguished by its beautiful surroundings. En-route back to Cape Town, the golf tour makes a brief visit to the idyllic seaside town of Hermanus for a late lunch and strolling along the coast on well laid out pathways. During whale season, this is an ideal vantage point from which to view the southern right whale splashing about in Walker Bay.
After a delicious breakfast, guests will be taken on a breathtaking drive along Chapman's Peak. This drive hugs the near-vertical face of Chapman's Peak between Hout Bay and Noordhoek. Cut out of the face of the mountain between 1915 and 1922, the road was at the time regarded as a major feat of engineering. The road leads to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and Cape Point. In the nature reserve, you visit Cape Point where the stormy waters of the Atlantic are reputedly met by the calming influence of the Indian Ocean. On the return journey to Cape Town, you visit the towns of Simonstown and Muizenberg, which are set along the shores of the Indian side of the ocean. You will also visit Boulders Beach, an attractive secluded haven comprising a tumble of huge round boulders on a sandy shore. The boulders are an ideal vantage point for observing the antics of the colony of mainland-based African penguins.
Tee off is after breakfast on Erinvale Golf Course, an 18-hole championship course designed by Gary Player. Erinvale hosted the World Cup of Golf in 1996 and has gradually gained a reputation as one of the Cape’s finest courses. Superb views of the Hottentots-Holland Mountains make the setting of the course a scenic delight. The first nine are situated in a valley and feature quite a few hazards, but are relatively easy when compared with the second nine, stretched mostly over mountainous terrain that can be quite challenging. After some time for lunch and relaxation, we visit the adjacent Vergelegen Wine Estate, where some of South Africa’s finest wines may be sampled before returning to the hotel during the late afternoon.
Atlantic Beach Golf Course serves as the focus of this day of your golfing tour. Located near the West Coast seaside suburb of Melkbos, Atlantic Beach boasts some of the most breathtaking views of Table Mountain from any golf course in the vicinity of Cape Town. Rather open to the elements, remember to prepare for the challenge of the ever-present South-Easter wind, which can typically be managed with low running shots. Following your round at Atlantic Beach, the tour heads toward the historic Cape Winelands town of Franschhoek.
Situated in one of the Cape’s most picturesque valleys, the village of Franschhoek – ‘French Corner’ - owes its existence to a small group of French Huguenots who were settled here in the latter half of the 17th century and began working the Drakenstein Valley. Many of the settlers named their new farms after the areas in France from which they originated. La Motte, La Cotte, Cabriere, Provence, Chamonix, Dieu Donne, and La Dauphine were among some of the first established farms - most of which still retain their original buildings to this day. Time is devoted to exploring the village and its memorial to the Huguenots, set in a lovely garden, before visiting a wine estate in the valley. The valley is renowned internationally for the exceptional quality of wines produced by its fertile soils. Most noble cultivars and classic styles are on show here, from superb whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon, and Chenin Blanc, to rich reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, and Merlot.
First thing this morning you’ll be transferred to the Jack Nicklaus-designed Pearl Valley Golf Course in the Franschhoek-Paarl district, a 45-minute drive from Cape Town. Just a few kilometers down the road from the Pearl Valley entrance is where Nelson Mandela took his first steps to freedom in 1990. The course was a Malaysian development but in 2007 ownership passed to Leisurecorp, a Dubai World company. The clubhouse and course, the only one in South Africa managed by Troon Golf, the world’s largest golf management company.
Pearl Valley has one of the best-conditioned layouts in the southern hemisphere. This was Nicklaus’s second South African design, and the routing and shaping reflect his creative qualities. Nicklaus has succeeded in producing a visually pleasing layout where each hole is a separate entity. Water features, natural-looking mounding, rough grasses, indigenous vegetation, and pine trees create a sense of golfing isolation among the upmarket houses. Strategic and aesthetic bunkering from tee to green is a feature of Nicklaus designs, and Pearl Valley stands out as possibly the best-bunkered layout in South Africa. Every bunker presents constant challenges, hole after hole, their sandy presence forcing golfers to take brave routes that can be disastrous. Back tees stretch the course to 6,801 meters in length, making it a natural SA Open venue. Ernie Els scored 64 in the final round of the 2008 Open, but before that tournament, he had shot 77 three times, evidence of how difficult the course can be if you are not on your game. Following the round of golf, you are returned to your overnight accommodation, where the late afternoon is spent at leisure.
Guests enjoy an early breakfast before departing the Winelands for the magical green lure of the Garden Route. The scenic drive traverses the inland Overberg, passing through picturesque farmland and delightful countryside towns like Swellendam. The tour reaches the coastal city of Mossel Bay around lunchtime, after which guests will have the opportunity to visit the Diaz Museum, home to a life-size replica of the Diaz Caravel and a 500-year-old post office tree. The museum is named after Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Diaz, who became the first European to the sail around the southernmost tip of Africa in 1488. The tour arrives at the esteemed Fancourt Golf Estate in the late afternoon.
Today is devoted to playing one of the most elite golf courses in South Africa. The esteemed Fancourt Links Golf Course ripples over the green splendor of the Garden Route. A few minutes from the coastal city of George, the natural surroundings are some of the most picturesque in the country. The fairways and tees blend in cool-season grasses such as Kentucky Blue, Rye, and Fescue, while the greens are a dominant Bent. This Links-style course, the only one of its kind in the country, blends the surreal organic bloom of the environment with a rewarding play structure. Designed by the celebrated player and golfing architect Gary Player, Fancourt Links is one of South Africa’s most remarkable golf design and construction accomplishments. Course owner Hasso Plattner has stated that he wants to provide golfers with the most natural golf experience available, which is essentially 'what golf is all about'. Player’s design team spent months studying the classic links courses of Scotland and Ireland and then, armed with inspiration from the best that those countries had to offer, embarked on the ambitious task of recreating some of their finest holes to make a genuine links test on what was once an airfield.
The Outeniqua Mountains forms the barrier dividing the semi-arid interior from the lush coastal plain. Your tour crosses this barrier via the Outeniqua Pass to Oudtshoorn, the ostrich ‘capital’ of the world. First thing on today’s agenda is an early morning stop at Meerkat Adventures where we’ll enjoy a guided meerkat tour at the nearby De Zeekoe Reserve. Later we’ll visit the Cango Caves, lying in the foothills of the Swartberge. A great cave system and amongst the world’s largest, they are blessed with elaborate dripstone formations, the highest of which stands 12.6m tall. The caves extend to about 1600m into the limestone-rich hills and are truly an impressive sight. During the afternoon we pay a visit to the Cango Wildlife Ranch. Located on the outskirts of Oudtshoorn, the ranch was first established as a breeding farm for crocodiles in 1977 and is today one of the few locations where guests may book a crocodile cage-dive. Other animals you’ll see include cheetah, tiger, and pygmy hippo, to mention but a few. These endangered species are bred here to ensure the continued existence of these endangered animals and are used to educate the general public about the plight of these animals. After your visit here you’ll return to your overnight accommodations in the late afternoon.
After breakfast, the tour travels further down the coast for a visit to Pezula Golf Course, with its breathtaking views across the Indian Ocean. Perched on the Garden Route’s cliff-capped coastline, the links-style Pezula’s awe-inspiring position has been compared to California’s Pebble Beach and Gleneagles in the Scottish Highlands. Following your round at Pezula, the tour heads to the Knysna Lagoon where guests will board a ferry to the Featherbed Reserve on Knysna’s Western Head. This pristine slice of nature hosts blue duiker in its handsome indigenous forests and the endangered Knysna seahorse in its azure coastal waters. Enjoy lunch under a copse of ancient Milkwood trees before returning to your accommodations.
Tee of after breakfast on the Montagu course. Fancourt is one of the world’s leading golf estates, and Montagu has always been regarded as its premier resort course. To enhance its appeal it received a major makeover in 2004 by Scottish course architect David McLay Kidd, whose name is attached to a string of famous layouts in the US and Britain. McLay eliminated a weak opening hole, a short par four that threaded its way between houses and was a nightmare opening tee shot for nervous golfers. The course still resembles its predecessor, except that the greens have been modernized and new sets of hazards have been introduced. The Montagu is a glorious parkland layout, covering large tracts of varying terrain on rolling land. Its beauty is enhanced by mature trees, flower beds, shrubs and water hazards that provide a colorful contrast to the landscape.
After breakfast, guests are transferred to George Airport for a flight to O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Guests will be met by an African Sky guide and transferred to their luxurious accommodations in a Tuscan-style Boutique Hotel in Pretoria East. After some time for relaxation, guests are invited to enjoy a traditional South Africa BBQ with their hosts this evening.
ollowing a hearty breakfast, 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. The afternoon leads the golf tour east of Pretoria 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 surface 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.
Today your South African golf tour heads north-west toward the Sun City Resort. En route to Sun City, the tour stops at the Pilanesberg Game Reserve for your first safari experience. Pilanesberg is located in a transitional zone between the Kalahari and the Lowveld, providing an exciting overlap of animals and vegetation. Whether you are after sightings of the Big Five or are an avid birder, Pilanesberg offers a wealth of wildlife for safari enthusiasts. We arrive at The Palace of the Lost City in the late afternoon. A luxury room in this breathtaking structure will serve as the accommodation for this leg of your golf tour.
Sun City’s Gary Player Golf Course boasts the title: ‘toughest course in the Southern Hemisphere’. Designed with championships and tournaments in mind, the parklands-style course acts as an annual host to the Nedbank Golf Challenge and routinely takes professional golfers to task. Following a stimulating round of golf, the afternoon is spent at leisure. Sun City is known for its variety, ensuring that each visitor will find appropriate entertainment. Head off on a hike, speed down the waterslides of the Valley of the Waves, unwind with a cocktail beside the Royal Bath swimming pool or replace the outdoors with the mesmerizing chimes of the casino.
The Lost City Golf Course forms the centerpiece of the day's activities. The desert-style course is surrounded by the bushveld and roving hills of Pilanesberg. Another wild twist is the fact that the course is home some rather peculiar residents – a bask of Nile crocodiles! Be wary with wayward shots, as some water hazards may prove unapproachable. Enjoy the afternoon taking your pick of the resort’s most thrilling activities or leisure options.
After breakfast, guests are transferred back to O.R. Tambo International for a flight to flight to Nelspruit, where you’ll be met and transferred into the Kruger National Park en-route 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.
During the morning you will be transferred via the Malelane Gate of the Kruger National Park to Leopard Creek for a round on arguably the most prestigious golf course in South Africa. The sluggishly-flowing Crocodile River is all that separates the lush Leopard Creek course from the vast wilderness of the Kruger National Park. The estate occupies a remarkable site offering a stunning contrast between these two worlds and is South Africa’s most exclusive course. Leopard Creek was 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 evening 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. Following the round at Leopard Creek, guests are transferred back to the lodge where the late afternoon is spent at leisure.
Guests enjoy two game drives daily on these days accompanied by expert local rangers and trackers. The southern region of the Kruger National Park has long been regarded as the best part of the reserve for game viewing. The area supports an incredible diversity of wildlife, from animals as large as the African elephant to creatures as small as the Brant’s Climbing Mouse. Your informative rangers will provide guests with a wealth of information and wildlife sightings in the area are sure to be excellent. Particularly, the area supports a large population of leopard, as well as black and white rhino, buffalo and lion. Large herds of animals are often seen from the comfort of the lodge deck overlooking the dry riverbed. The nearby Crocodile River also supports a large number of hippo and crocodile and is a permanent water source, attracting high numbers of animals of every species. Sightings as you enjoy your game drives are sure to be excellent and most rewarding indeed.
The last day of your South African golf tour begins with a final safari in the Kruger National Park. Revel in the early morning bird song, the earthy scents of the veld and the golden sunrise that bursts through the bush. Following a delectable breakfast, guests are transferred to the airport for a flight back to O R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, where this unforgettable twenty one day golf tour comes to an end.
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