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7 of the Best South African Experiences…

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This week’s blog is a guide to seven of the best South African golf experiences. South Africa has frequently been labelled ‘a world in one country’, and it is hardly difficult to see how or why with its fantastic capital city and unique provinces with their own distinct cultures and characteristics. The Western Cape, home to the capital city Cape Town, is known for its wine vineyards and Boulders Beach. Alternatively, the Eastern Cape is home to some of the best golf courses in the country, including both the Fancourt and the Oubaai golf courses. To truly experience the all stunning scenery that South Africa has to offer, then golfers should head to either Mpumalanga or Kwa Zulu Natal. However, the Rovos Rail experience normally steals centre stage as it enables all golfers to experience the best highlights of South African golf and culture. Yet whatever golfers choose to do, they are guaranteed to have an unforgettable golf escape in one of the world’s most diverse and captivating countries.

The Rovos Rail is one of the most sought-after golf experiences with options ranging from 48 hours to 15 days, spanning across South Africa’s key areas in a golf safari. The train accommodates just 76 people, and the guest rooms range from a comfortable 76 square feet to the lavish Royal Suites that measure out to 172 square feet. This golf safari does not just provide players with an opportunity to play some of the country’s best golf courses, but they can also enjoy some of the country’s key sites and attractions, so it would be an unforgettable experience for even non-golfers. The Rovos Rail offers travellers the perfect mix of both golf and safari experiences, including the Addo Elephant Park, the famous KWV Brandy Distillery, and the stunning Kruger National Park. This golf safari truly provides a one in a lifetime experience, and it is without a doubt one of the best experiences that South Africa has to offer. The Rovos Rail is the perfect option for all those that want to experience the country’s best golf without missing any of the culture or beauty in between. It offers all of its guests a luxury golf holiday experience with impeccable service, fantastic facilities, and most importantly, unbeatable golf.

Another excellent option for an unforgettable golf experience in South Africa is the Fancourt Hotel, a five-star luxury golf hotel set in the heart of the Western Cape. There are just 115 guest rooms at the Fancourt Hotel, meaning guests can enjoy an intimate and personalised stay while they experience some of the country’s best golf. The Fancourt is one of the best-known golf hotels in South Africa due to its two fantastic golf courses located on-site, the Montagu and the Outeniqua. The Fancourt Hotel and its two golf courses are situated on the Garden Route, meaning its guests and golfers will never find themselves without stunning panoramic views of some of South Africa’s most stunning landscapes. Both of the Fancourt golf courses were designed by Gary Player, so players are guaranteed an unforgettable round of golf. Guests will never find themselves short of things to do, even when they are taking a break from challenging the fairways at the local golf courses. They can make the most out of the Fancourt’s setting in the centre of the Garden Route with day excursions to its best sites, or they can take a trip to the Knysna Waterfront, one of the most beautiful areas in the Garden Route. Or alternatively, guests can make the most out of the hotel’s luxurious facilities, including a fantastic spa area or the hotel’s four swimming pools.

Another fantastic hotel located in the Western Cape is the Arabella Hotel and Spa with its beautiful setting overlooking a neighbouring lagoon and the well-known Arabella golf course, one of the best ranking golf courses in South Africa. The final 18th hole at the Arabella golf course has even been voted the best closing whole in the country, so its impeccable quality never goes unnoticed. The Arabella Hotel and Spa is the perfect luxury hotel for all those looking to fully indulge in the five-star relaxation and enjoy a well-deserved golfing getaway. The hotel is home to an excellent spa facility with a huge range of treatments and massages to ensure that all guests have their most relaxing golf holiday yet. Other leisure facilities include a fully-equipped fitness centre, tennis courts and a large outdoor swimming pool area. Even for a five-star hotel, the guest rooms are particularly spacious with modern décor and a bright interior. If its guests can tear themselves away from the hotel’s fantastic facilities, then they can make the most out of the Western Cape’s main attractions, including wine tasting, great white shark watching and the local national parks.

Despite the Pearl Valley Hotel being a relatively new addition to the great collection of luxury hotels in the Western Cape, it has already earnt itself a fantastic reputation for a five-star golf hotel. The hotel is situated in the Pearl Valley Golf and Country Estate which is also home to the prestigious Pearl Valley Golf Course, designed by the world-renowned golf architect Jack Nicklaus. The Pearl Valley Golf Course boasts a fantastic reputation, and its impeccable greens never go unnoticed; for three consecutive years, the golf course was awarded the Best Conditioned Golf Course in South Africa. Golfers can make the most out of the Pearl Valley’s stunning setting throughout their round here, as the holes wind through the neighbouring mountains, creating both an invigorating challenge and a beautiful landscape throughout. The hotel itself is set in the heart of three of best-known wine land routes in the Cape province, including Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, so a fantastic day excursion is never far from reach. Alternatively, the hotel offers its guests an excellent range of leisure facilities so they will never find themselves short of things to do, even if they do not fancy a round of golf. For a relaxing afternoon, guests can enjoy a cocktail in the sun around the outdoor swimming pool, or for the more active guest, they can take advantage of the 42 kilometres of mountain bike routes surrounding the hotel in the neighbouring vineyards.

Located just a forty-minute drive away from Cape Town in the heart of the Western Cape lies the Erinvale Estate Hotel. The hotel has just 57 guest rooms, meaning it is the perfect option for all those looking for great facilities with the perks of a boutique-style hotel. With a Gary Player-designed golf course on-site, an excellent spa facility and a great position located just a twenty-minute drive away from Stellenbosch, one of the most vibrant towns in the Western Cape, at the Erinvale Estate Hotel, guests are guaranteed an unforgettable stay. Guests here are in the perfect position to enjoy all of the fantastic experiences that the Western Cape has to offer, including olive picking, mountain biking, and of course, wine tasting at one of the many local vineyards. The guest rooms here offer its guests an unbeatably comfortable stay with modern décor and all of the amenities they could ever need. They are set around the hotel’s lush gardens and the courtyard with a large water fountain and a relaxing ambience. At the Erinvale Estate Hotel, players are guaranteed a relaxing stay so they are well rested to make the most out of the region’s best golf courses, including the Erinvale Golf Course. Players can enjoy a fantastically varied round of golf here with a contrasting front and back nine holes; the front nine are widely considered to be more challenging of the pair, but the back nine offers the best views across the False Bay.

The Western Cape is known for its beautiful beaches, huge nature parks and lush forests. At the five-star Oubaai Resort and Spa, guests are in the perfect position to make the most of all the Western Cape has to offer. The hotel is situated on the Garden Route which stretches from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean right up to the heights of the Outeniqua Mountains. With just one-hundred guest rooms, guests can enjoy a relaxing and personal stay to appreciate the resort’s impeccable service. There are 8 kilometres of hiking trails surrounding the resort, as well as a fitness centre, tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool, and an excellent spa centre, so guests will never find their days to have an empty itinerary. The resort is home to a signature restaurant, the Waterside Grill, with show cooking and al fresco dining on an outdoor terrace overlooking the neighbouring Oubaai Golf Club. The Oubaai Golf Club is home to a traditional links layout which boasts stunning views across the neighbouring Outeniqua Mountains. The Oubaai Golf Club is a consistent favourite amongst golfers in South Africa due to its forgiving landing areas and stunning backdrop views of the Indian Ocean. With a unique layout, a good mix of short and long par fours and threes and impeccable maintenance, it is fair to say that Ernie Els succeeded in creating one of the most sought-after golf courses in the whole of South Africa.

Last but not least is the Cascades at Sun City, a five-star resort situated in the Northern Province of South Africa. The Northern Province is known for the famous Sun City and the Kruger National Park, as well as some fantastic golf courses. Perfect for those with a nasty case of the winter blues, the Northern Province boasts the best climate with reliable warm weather and sunshine throughout the majority of the year. Furthermore, with some of the country’s best national parks, a golf holiday to the Northern Province of South Africa could easily be combined with a safari holiday to create a holiday of a lifetime. Out of the most popular five-star hotels, the Cascades at Sun City is the most suitable for families with a range of facilities and services for younger guests, as well as specialised family guest rooms. Its main outdoor swimming pool is set in a faux sandy beach area, and the hotel also has a fantastic range of restaurants so guests will never find themselves short of options for a relaxing evening meal. The hotel is conveniently located on the edge of the final 18th hole of the Gary Player Country Club, with a unique location next to an extinct volcano. With a classic parkland layout, beautiful views across the neighbouring Pilanesburg National Park and US PGA standard maintenance, it comes as no surprise that the Gary Player Country Club is consistently ranked in the Top 5 Golf Courses in South Africa.

Here at Golf Escapes, we have tailored a fantastic experiences package consisting of the best attractions of golf that South Africa has on offer. The package is 14 nights long with six rounds of golf at six of the best golf courses, including the Pearl Valley Golf Estates and the De Zalze Golf Estate. For an unforgettable golf escape set in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and South Africa’s famous Winelands, this package is an unbeatable option. South Africa truly has everything any golfer could ever wish for in a golf holiday; unbeatable golf courses, luxury hotels, stunning landscapes and rich history. The package’s grand finale includes seven nights in the five-star Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius, one of the most luxurious hotels we offer.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog on seven of South Africa’s best experiences. All seven of these options provide all golfers with the perfect opportunity to enjoy a golf holiday of a lifetime in one of the world’s most diverse countries. With a variety of regions and provinces, South Africa truly has something for anyone and everyone. The main beauty with a golf holiday in South Africa is that there is so much more to it than golf; a golf break can easily be combined with a safari experience. If you are still finding yourself unpersuaded, then give us a call on 01342 811777, and we will do our best to change your mind.

About the Author

Matt Standley

Role: Marketing Executive - Handicap: 15 - Home course: Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club - Favourite courses: Palmares, Aphrodite Hills, Quinta do Lago North, Monte Rei & La Manga Club South

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