10 Reasons To Play South Africa
While South Africa doesn’t immediately come to mind as a golf destination, in many respects, it’s one of the world’s most complete places to play golf. When you combine its golf courses, wineries, safaris, dining and other elements, South Africa is the ideal destination to thoroughly enjoy the overall vacation experience. It’s perfect for couples trips and golfers seeking to expand their golf trip horizons.
Here are ten reasons you absolutely must play South Africa:
1. Spectacular Scenic Golf
South Africa has some of the most photogenic courses in the world. Enhancing the golf appeal are designers like Gary Player and Ronald Fream, who’ve capitalized on the magnificent scenery and terrain to fashion challenging and fun-to-play courses. The two main golf regions in South Africa are near Cape Town and the The Garden Route in the southern reaches of the country and Sun City near Johannesburg in the north. The Garden Route lies between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Sun City, South Africa’s answer to Las Vegas with glitzy high profile hotels and golf courses, is situated about a two-hour drive from Johannesburg. High on the must play list are Leopard Creek Country Club, Fancourt Links, Gary Player Country Club, Arabella Golf Club, Pinnacle Point, Pezula and Pearly Valley Golf Estate.
2. Wonderful Wines
South African wines are superb. Unbeknownst to many, South Africa has been making wine for more than 350 years. About 55% of the production is white and 45% is red. The top wineries are concentrated around Cape Town in celebrated areas such as Paarl, Stellenbosch and Worcester. South African golfers Ernie Els (Stellenbosch) and David Frost (Paarl) have highly successful wineries. Postcard beautiful, the Paarl and Stellenbosch wine valleys are some of the most scenic anywhere. Other notable wineries in the Cape Town region include Rust en Verde, Vergelegen and Mullineaux Family Wines.
3. Super Safaris
South Africa has safaris where you can see the Big 5 (elephant, leopard, buffalo, lion and rhino). Two of the best safari options are Kruger National Park and Pilanesberg Game Reserve.
4. Favorable Exchange Rate
Recently the U.S. Dollar (USD) has been very strong against the Rand making everything cheaper for American travelers. The Rand to the USD fluctuates regularly so keep a close eye on the exchange rate during your planning stages.
5. Awesome Accommodations
From multi-amenity resorts to luxury safari lodges, South Africa has a wide variety of accommodations choices, For on-site golf and luxurious amenities, two selections favored by Americans are Fancourt Resort on the Garden Route, which has three championship golf courses and spa and Arabella Hotel & Spa, a 5-star hotel with golf and spa located about an hour’s drive from Cape Town.
6. Delectable Dining
Many of the wineries have exceptional, highly acclaimed, on-site restaurants that add to the overall tour experience. Pairing South African wines with local cuisine is a sport unto itself. Steaks and seafood (lobster, oysters and mussels are popular) are prepared to perfection at fine dining restaurants. Excellent grilled steak or seafood delicacies accompanied by fresh local vegetables and fruit are available at just about any upscale restaurant. For those who want to sample some South African favorites, try the Springbok loin, grilled ostrich or Boerewors, a seasoned beef sausage.
7. Amazing Activities
Away from the fairways, the recreation menu includes river cruises, shark cage diving, ostrich riding, zip lining, horse safaris, kayaking, shopping for African artifacts and sightseeing in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Casinos operate in all metropolitan areas in South Africa. Sun City, the country’s answer to Las Vegas, located 125 miles from Johannesburg, is a resort area with serval casino hotels and golf courses such as Gary Player Golf Course and Lost City Golf Course.
9. Friendly People
South African’s are extremely proud of their country and very welcoming to visitors who’ve selected them over other destinations. From hotel clerks and pro shop assistants to taxi drivers and safari guides, you’ll feel accepted and appreciated. Safety for visitors is high on the priority list for South Africa’s tourism organizations.
10. Stunning Scenery
Beauty surrounds you in just about every part of the country. In the south, the phenomenal Garden Route with its ocean panoramas and scenic vineyards is inspiring. Other gorgeous areas include Kruger National Park, Blyde River Canyon Nature Preserve and the golden beaches in Durban. In addition, there are lots of sightseeing opportunities in Cape Town and Johannesburg.