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Golf safaris in Africa: when golfing embraces wildlife

Aberdare Country Club – Nyeri, Kenya

  • 9-hole golf course (Par 72).
  • The club is nestled on the slopes of Mweiga Hill, only a two hour drive from the buzz of capital city Nairobi.
  • 1300-acre wildlife sanctuary: share the fairways with friendly warthogs, giraffes, zebras, gazelles and peacocks.
  • Superb views of Mt Kenya and the Aberdares.
  • Other activities include game walks (in the Aberdare National Park), night drives, fishing and horse riding.

Arabella Country Club – Western Cape, South Africa

  • 18-hole golf course (Par 72).
  • Designed by Peter Matkovich and host to the Nelson Mandela Invitational since 2003.
  • Ranked among the top 100 best courses in the world (outside the US).
  • The course is embraced by the majestic Kogelberg Mountains and overlooks the country’s largest natural lagoon; the Bot River Lagoon!
  • The region is rich in its biodiversity, and is well-known for its whales (Hermanus), white sharks, seals, bird colonies and even the Big 5.
  • Additional activities: kayaking, quad bike rides, horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking.

Elephant Hills Resort and Golf Course – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

  • 18-hole championship golf course (Par 72), designed by Gary Player.
  • The Elephant Hills Hotel is set on a small hilltop, and provides superb panoramic views of the Zambezi river and spray of the Vic Falls.

  • What I also love about the resort is its waterhole, which attracts plentiful game from the surroundings.
  • On the golf course, wild animals have the right of way. In other words, do not be surprised if you bump into an elephant or a curious warthog. These little guys are everywhere! 😉
  • All in all, a must-visit for golfing enthusiasts and nature lovers!

Fancourt Links Golf Club – George, South Africa

  • 18-hole golf course (Par 72).
  • Extremely picturesque location (part of the Garden Route), at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains.
  • Gary Player designed course, possibly the most difficult in the country.
  • Part of the Fancourt Hotel & Country Club Estate, South Africa’s premier golf resort. The estate also includes the Outeniqua and Montagu golf courses.
  • Host to the President’s Cup in November 2003.

Gary Player Country Club – North West Province, South Africa

  • 18-hole golf course (Par 72) next to Sun City, continually ranked number one in South Africa.
  • One of the longest courses in the world.

  • Home to the Nedbank Million Dollar Golf Challenge since 1981.
  • Cuts through the African bushveld, giving it an extra special “safari feel” whilst playing. Watch out for local baboon troops! 🙂
  • Right next to big game area: Pilanesberg National Park.

NB: If you enjoy this golf course, you should also consider the Lost City Country Club. It also has a typical arid bushveld feel, and the short 13 th hole is played over a crocodile-infested waterhole. In other words, if your ball hits the water…consider it to be lost! 😉

Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort – Lake Naivasha, Kenya

  • 18-hole championship golf course (Par 72).
  • Be on the look out for “unusual” hippo encounters, strolling languidly across the fairway of the 12th hole.
  • Perched along the side of the Eburru Escarpment, the domain overlooks one of the most stunning views in all of Africa and dominates the sparkling waters of Lake Naivasha.
  • Perfect stopover on a safari trip to the Maasai Mara and Western Kenya.
  • Walking and horse riding safaris in the Eburru forests and alongside volcanic lakes. The perfect outdoors adventure for birders and nature lovers!

Hans Merensky Golf Course -Limpopo Province, South Africa

  • 18-hole championship golf course (Par 72), designed by Bob Grimsdell.
  • Unique bushveld atmosphere. Local permanent residents include giraffes, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, etc.
  • Voted best walking course in the country.
  • Other activities: Safari cruises, daily visits to the Kruger park and the various wild animal rehabilitation centres.

Hermanus Golf Club – Western Cape, South Africa

  • 18-hole golf course (Par 73; Bob Grimsdell Design).
  • Breathtaking scenery with views of the nearby sea and a backdrop of the mountains.
  • Whale spotting opportunities whilst playing and naughty baboons crossing the fairways.

Legend Golf & Safari Resort – Limpopo Province, South Africa

  • Unique “world in one” 18-hole signature golf course (Par 72). Each hole was uniquely designed by a world golfing legend.

  • The resort is situated within the 22,000 hectare Entabeni Safari Conservancy, in the malaria-free Big Five Waterberg area.
  • The design and layout of the course was done in such a way that it minimizes the impact upon its environment, making it one of a kind in Africa.
  • Home to the most talked about and most unique Par 3 in the world: the Extreme 19th!

The Extreme 19th hole is one of a kind. In fact, it is the longest (310 yards) and highest (640 yards) Par 3 in the world. Tee-off from the Hanglip Mountain, an impressive 400 m drop dome only accessible by helicopter! 🙂 The green is also unmistakable: it is shaped as the African continent. The person who gets a hole in one wins a remarkable prize money of 1 million US dollars! 😉

Leopard Creek Golf Course – Mpumalanga, South Africa

  • 18-hole golf course (Par 72) designed by Gary Player.
  • On the southern border of the Kruger National Park, Leopard Creek presents a rare opportunity to play golf surrounded by the bushveld.
  • Innovative landscaping techniques prevent the big game to have access to the course, yet local residents include hippos, crocs and occasional leopards.

Livingstone Royal Golf and Country Club – Livingstone, Zambia

  • 18-hole golf course (Par 72).
  • Set next to the Zambezi river and bordering the famous Victoria Falls.
  • Close proximity to various activities including game drives (Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park), Elephant-Back safaris, boat cruises on the Zambezi, whitewater rafting, micro lighting, helicopter rides over the Falls, etc.

Nakuru Golf Club – Nakuru, Kenya

  • 18-hole golf course (Par 73).
  • On the slopes of the Menengai Crater, it is the only highland course in Kenya. One can admire the coral pink flamingos of the nearby lake (Lake Nakuru), and the distant Rift Vally escarpments.
  • Best view of the spectacle on the 8th and 18th holes.

Rossmund Desert Golf Course – Swakopmund, Namibia

  • 18-hole golf course (Par 72) that lies at the dry riverbed of the Swakop River, in the middle of the Namib desert.
  • One of only five all-grass desert golf courses in the world.
  • Resident springbok of the Namib and morning duets of the desert shrike are a daily treat for the eyes and senses.

Sabi River Golf Club – Hazyview (Mpumalanga), South Africa

  • 18-hole course (Par 74).
  • Rated among the top 10 golf courses in South Africa.
  • Big game country: watch out for hippos and crocs in the main dam, next to holes number 14 and 15. 😉

Skukuza Golf Course – Mpumalanga, South Africa

  • 9 holes, 18 tees (Par 72).
  • Rich wildlife and bird life sanctuary along the Kruger (near Skukuza Rest Camp), which enables a harmonious close-to-nature golfing experience.
  • Some of the resident spectators include giraffe, impala, warthog, hippo, baboon and more.

One Response to Golf safaris in Africa: when golfing embraces wildlife

  1. Kenya safaris July 12, 2010 at 7:38 am #

    Windsor Golf & Country Club is also a decent golf location in Kenya, featuring an 18-hole championship course.

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