We don’t speak golf… as a sport.
But when it comes to enjoying your favorite hobby on Safari, we are perfectly fluent.
Did you know Africa features an excellent 828 golf courses in 50 countries? Around 450 are located in South Africa with 50 in Nigeria and 21 in Zambia.
From Egypt to South Africa, finding a perfectly reasonable course for a spot of swing and search isn’t rocket science. Finding an incredible course? While you are on Safari? And keeping your travel companions happy while you play?
Well, you have come to the right place, sports fans!
Here are some of our favorite golf courses in Africa:
1. The Cascades at Soma Bay, Hurghada, Egypt
The first of several courses on our list designed by the incredible Gary Player. It is a spectacular links course with the desert framing the ubiquitous green fairways. Extensive water hazards include the Red Sea on five holes.
2. Mazagan Golf Club, El Jadida, Morocco
The number one golf course in Morocco was also designed by Gary Player. Stretching along the beach and dunes of the Atlantic Ocean which helpfully supplies winds blowing from the Atlantic to up the ante on the course.
3. Windhoek Golf & Country Club, Namibia
The best golf course in Namibia lies along 177 acres (72 hectares) of the beautiful Namibian bushveld. Lush fairways wind through trees and rough. Wetlands come into play with deep bunkers surrounding most greens.
4. Leopard Rock Golf Resort, Mutare, Zimbabwe
The premier golf course in Zimbabwe was designed by Peter Matkovich in lush subtropical surroundings and features superb bent grass USGA-standard greens. Lying in the foothills of the Leopard Hills you may expect serious elevation changes as well as water features, rocks, and ravines.
5. In Cape Town
If you are staying in Cape Town, you will be spoiled for choice, from the Steenberg Golf Club in the Constantia Winelands to the Arabella Golf Club in the Kogelberg Mountains.
Looking for a challenge? You must visit the waterlogged Jack Nicklaus course at Pearl Valley Golf & Country Estate, in the Cape Winelands.
6. Fancourt Links, George, Western Cape
In South Africa, Fancourt must be mentioned as it offers three courses (all designed by Gary Player) in the top 20 in the country. The world’s best players have played here, serious fans will remember the dramatic playoff between Tiger Woods and Ernie Els during the Presidents Cup of 2003 at The Links. Lying along South Africa’s Garden Route the walking-only inland course has plenty of ponds and wetlands lined with elaborate stone bulkheads and walking bridges.
Fancourt’s Montagu Course has been redesigned by David Mclay Kidd and features a parkland motif of flowers and water.
The beginner-friendly Outeniqua Course is also part of the Fancourt family.
7. Gary Player Golf Course, Sun City,
Augusta-fast putting surfaces, frequent elevation changes, five water hazards and a plethora of bunkers have tested the best in the business during the decades (it is considered the toughest course in the Southern Hemisphere by some), and you will love testing your stamina, accuracy and patience on the kikuyu fairways and bent-grass greens.
8. Lost City, Sun City
Fancy playing golf with Nile crocodiles? Just a usual Tuesday at the Lost City Golf Course. Also designed by Player the distinctive desert style course has fallow bunkers and multiple tees. Not counting the crocodiles, the Lost City Golf Course is an excellent choice for all level of golfers.
9. Zimbali Golf Course, Dolphin Coast, KwaZulu-Natal
Named after the isiZulu for ‘Valley of Flowers’ the course was designed by Tom Weiskopf with plenty to see and do on and off the greens. The best views can be had from the par-3 fifth tee.
10. Durban Country Club, KwaZulu-Natal
Just making the world’s top 100 golf courses the Durban Country Club boasts five opening holes along sand dunes on the Indian Ocean, at least eight world-class holes along the way and an impressive closing stretch.
11. Leopard Creek Country Club, adjacent to Kruger National Park
Golf in the wild may come with monkeys, buffalo, hippos and the odd lizard crossing a fairway. Bent grass greens and kikuyu fairways lie right across the Crocodile River from the Kruger National Park. The course was designed by Gary Player and Johann Rupert with extensive water features and bunkers.
12. Skukuza Golf Course, Kruger National Park
Established for the park personnel, this is a modest course by world-class standards but as it sits, unfenced in one of the world’s most renowned reserves it has to be mentioned. Caution is advised. Baboons, hippo, and the odd lion kill have been reported on the course.
13. Kruger Park Lodge Golf Course
A leisurely 9-hole course, again designed by Gary Player, is entirely surrounded by African Wilderness. Kikuyu fairways are framed by azaleas and bougainvillea… and the occasional crocodile, warthog, hippo, and co. Wide bunkers and water hazards might be considered a lesser challenge here.
14. Legend Golf & Safari Resort, Entabeni
Now. We can’t leave South Africa without discussing the ‘Extreme 19th Hole’. This 400-yard (365 m) par 3 starts with a helicopter ride to a mountain ledge and will challenge your attitude with heights as you have to swing hard enough to make your ball travel at least 230 yards (210 m) while perched on the edge of Hanglip Mountain.
It takes 30 seconds for the ball to reach its destination and a spotter with a walkie-talkie will report on whether your ball is in or out of play. There is $1 million waiting for the first golfer to hit a hole in one.
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