More than two decades removed from apartheid and South Africa has taken up the place it deserves as one of Africa’s top tourist destinations. In fact, the country at “the end of the world” continues to win major international travel awards.
Reason #1: World-wide recognition as a golfing mecca!
Phenomenal golf courses provide a huge variety of golf experiences in diverse breath-taking scenery. South Africa has jumped on the golfing bandwagon and boasts some of the world’s finest courses.
The game’s rich history and impressive golf course developments provide an abundant selection of outstanding layouts, all different in design and geographical location. The natural beauty of the landscape including 3000 km of breathtaking coastline, its legendary scenic wonders, and its incredible terrain form the basis of these diverse courses.
Golf legend Gary Player has had a hand in developing some of the finest golf courses in his home country. Since its opening in 1979, the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City has been acknowledged as South Africa's premier championship test of golf and is home to the annual Nedbank Golf Challenge. Inspired by the famous links courses of the British Isles, The Links at Fancourt is considered a true masterpiece, which is currently ranked as the number one golf course in the country by Golf Digest South Africa, and 38th in Golf Digest US edition’s list of the world´s 100 greatest. Pearl Valley Golf Club, designed by Jack Nicklaus, is nestled between two famous wine making towns - Paarl and Franschhoek. Pinnacle Point Golf Course lies on the coast for breathtaking ocean views, and the multi-award-winning Legend Golf Course, situated in the heart of Entabeni Safari Conservancy, is a “world-in-one” Signature Course where each of the 18 holes have been designed by a world golfing legend, including Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk, and Sergio Garcia.
You will be carried away by the stunning views on these spectacular cliff-top ocean courses! You will be surrounded and wowed by free roaming wildlife such as lions, giraffes and zebras in the Kruger National Park and you will be challenged at excellent beautifully manicured championship courses and unique golf holes such as the Extreme 19!
Reason #2: Safari Adventure
South Africa is one of the best places in the world for viewing African wildlife; both on and off the golf course No trip to South Africa is complete without the most unique experience of a game drive. While a Big 5 safari experience can be found in almost any province in South Africa, the Kruger National Park in the Limpopo province is justifiably world famous. Prepare to be awed as you see a leopard dozing in the bough of a tree, spot a black rhino half-hidden in thick shrubs, find a pride of lions in the shade after a kill, or watch a large herd of elephants move soundlessly across the road – from semi-open 4WD vehicles, elephant backs and even on foot, accompanied by expert rangers.
In addition to the Krüger Park, there is a myriad of other fantastic game reserves and lodges throughout the country (many of them are malaria free areas!!) boasting an incredible array of species that are sure to leave you in awe as well.
Going on a golfing safari in South Africa literally implies encountering wildlife on the greens. It is par for the course to see impala or zebra grazing the fairways, giraffes nibbling the trees, warthogs rooting about in the rough, and most eye-widening of all, crocodiles and hippos in water hazards!
Don´t miss out on one of life’s great moments! Amazing South Africa should be on your Bucket List!
Reason #3: Food and Wine Experiences
In South Africa, world-class wines and delicious food will send your taste buds to nirvana!
Spending time in the Winelands after a fantastic round of golf, exploring the beautiful wine estates, sampling award-winning wines in cool cellars and on vine-covered patios, and enjoying some of the world’s best cuisine in its sumptuous restaurants.
The country´s culture of wine is renowned and dates to the mid-1600s when Jan van Riebeeck produced South Africa’s first recorded wine in Constantia Valley. Today there are several wine routes scattered throughout the country, wine festivals, wine estates and wine tasting to tempt the connoisseur.
South Africa´s food culture is unique as well, showing an emerging emphasis on local, handmade and organically grown ingredients. As its cuisine has a lot of outside influences from Europe, Asia and from colonialism times, you can taste a rich fusion of different flavors. In fact, you will find some of the tastiest meats in the world and venture outside of the typical beef and pork. Ostrich is found on many menus as is springbok and if you are lucky you might even get to enjoy Kudu. Life at its best, guaranteed!
Reason #4: Adventure
Lots of unique diverse experiences in addition to golf and a paradise for accompanying non-golfing partners.
Despite being the most modern African country, South Africa still offers many of the attractions that draw people to Africa. It is infused with vibrant culture and has the wild African bush at its back door. You will be fascinated by the rare mix of modern development, African culture, outdoor attractions, and untamed wildlife that you will find nowhere else in the world.
South Africa is recognized as the adventure capital of the world and with plenty of sunshine, mountains, sea and river and 130 fantastic adventures to choose from, South Africans tend to treat their country like a massive playground: hike to the top of Table Mountain; watch the whales in Hermanus; paraglide over Cape Town’s beaches; take a walking safari in the Krüger or Tsitsikamma Elephant Park; tour through the Cape Winelands; explore the forest canopy in the Garden Route or sign up for a shark cage-dive in Capetown, an adrenaline-fueled experience of a lifetime.
World-class spa treatments offered in numerous hotels are the perfect treat after a busy day both for golfers and accompanying non-golfing partners alike.
In South Africa you can experience the ultimate combination – you’re spoiled for choice, so pack it in!
Reason #5: Excellent air access and modern infrastructure
With a growing number of direct international flight connections, it is easier than ever to get to South Africa. South Africa welcomes a steady flow of international airlines and is becoming increasingly accessible to Africans, Europeans, Americans, Australian and Asians as more and more airlines offer direct flights to Cape Town and Johannesburg. The national carrier South African Airlines, having been recognized as Africa’s Best Airline during the Skytrax World Airline Awards for many years, has increased capacities and frequencies to developed destinations and opened more routes to emerging ones such as China, India and Brazil.
Do you know that you can travel from the east coast of the U.S. to South Africa in approximately 15 hours? Wake up for an early breakfast in New York and be in Cape Town in time for a late dinner.
South Africa also provides modern financial infrastructure. No problem using your Visa and MasterCard throughout the country and there are plenty ATMs to access money Best of all, no visa is required for American citizens – you simply need a passport.
Reason #6: The Best in Travel
South Africa is a top destination for value for money, ease of travel, friendly faces and no existing language barriers for traveling convenience. The currently extremely weak South African Rand is trading at around seven Rand for one dollar when it usually hovers between ten and eleven Rand. Stay in luxurious but still affordable places, play some fantastic golf for attractive green fee rates and enjoy a great meal and local vintage without the bitter aftertaste of an unreasonable bill. With such a strong currency conversion you can experience all the best that South Africa has to offer without spending as much as you would in another more expensive part of the world.
South Africa’s culture is a unique blend and melting pot of many fascinating people descending from African, Asian, and European groups forming one nation. Archbishop Desmond Tutu best described South Africa when he called it “the Rainbow Nation.” The Rainbow Nation celebrates all its African and immigrant cultures and is known for its friendliness across the country. Despite this vibrant diversity, English is one of the eleven official languages of South Africa and is spoken throughout the country, so no worries about language barriers! And English-speaking caddies add to the experience on the golf course so that you can enjoy your time on the course just a little bit more.
Are you ready to plan your ultimate golf holiday to South Africa? It´´´s high time to tick off amazing South Africa from your bucket list!