New York, NY (PRWEB) May 13, 2011
While South Africa has become famous for soccer, or “football,” thanks to last year’s World Cup, it is golf that reigns in many locals’ hearts. With the recent victory of 2011 Masters’ champion Charl Schwartzel, the triumph of 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, and the emergence of star-on-the-rise Kelli Shean, South African golf is once again at the helm of the sports world. And as the success of this new generation of players draws more attention to the country, a new breed of courses that challenge and delight the avid golfer have earned tremendous acclaim for presenting a variety of terrain and difficulty amongst some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery. Now, Micato Safaris introduces an African adventure that will capture the heart of golf enthusiasts everywhere -- an itinerary that provides what one might consider a more “proper” balance of play on the greens with play in the wild.
The 12-day journey includes:
Days 1-3 Arrive in Cape Town and enjoy the elegant Edwardian detail of a spacious room at the five-star Cellars-Hohenort, idyllically situated amidst nine acres of gardens and vineyards. Amenities include a spa, salon, and Virgin gym access. Here guests can refresh their chipping and putting skills on a green designed by South African golf legend Gary Player.
Steenberg Golf Club, a recent addition from designer Peter Matkovich lauded as one of the country’s three best courses, is the perfect introduction to South African golf. Sculpted into the base of the Constantiaberg Mountains, Steenberg sits on the oldest estate winery in the Cape Peninsula, and golfers will encounter both stunning mountain views and lush wetlands as they drive their way down broad fairways to wide greens. Steenberg’s signature 7th hole is reminiscent of the legendary island green of 17 at TPC Sawgrass, but this “more forgiving” par 3 is instead a peninsula with a sloping green enveloped by sand.
While in Cape Town, travellers will visit the Franschhoek valley, South Africa’s home to more than 40 vineyards and a 300-year tradition of winemaking. A tour of the breathtaking Cape Peninsula takes guests to Cape Point for a view of the union of two oceans, historic Simon’s Town with its charming Victorian architecture, the penguin colony at Boulders Beach, and Kalk Bay where traditions run deep, and the locals are as colorful as their brightly-toned fishing boats.
Days 4-6 The three championship courses and five-star resort of Fancourt are the next stop, where guests will play either Montagu or Outeniqua, two of the finest showcases of the spectacular geographical diversity in South African golf. Gary Player designed Fancourt’s two parkland courses, as well as the Scottish-style third course, The Links. Fancourt hosts the only TaylorMade Performance Lab in the Southern Hemisphere, which provides unparalleled swing analysis and custom fitting with motion-capture technology previously only available to PGA Tour professionals.
A day tour of the port of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay introduces travellers to the picturesque charms of this warm-water estuary port, where they will also enjoy a morning at the Pezula Championship Golf Course. Reminiscent of Pebble Beach, Pezula provides breathtaking views of the pristine Southern Cape landscape, from craggy coastline cliffs to the Indian Ocean.
Days 7-9 The centerpiece of this golf and safari adventure lies in Northern South Africa at the Legend Golf & Safari Resort. At the exclusive Hanglip Lodge, guests will stay in one of 10 suites, each with an open-air plan that leads to a private sun deck overlooking the wetlands and plains of the lower Entabeni Safari Conservancy. Legend provides personal and intimate opportunities for safari viewing on foot, horseback, or by vehicle, where one can view rhinoceros, hippopotamus, lion, and the region’s largest leopards.
The Legend Signature Course provides one of golf’s truly unforgettable experiences, as each hole’s design was contributed by 18 of the world’s top professionals, reflecting both their personality and playing strengths. South Africans Trevor Immelman and Retief Goosen bookend your round, with challenges from Justin Rose, Padraig Harrington, Vijay Singh, and Sergio Garcia in between.
Next, golfers are off to the Extreme 19, the highest and longest par-3 in the world. Not for the faint of heart, the mountaintop tee box is accessible only by helicopter at more than 1,400 feet in the air. At a distance of 1,300 feet, a tee shot will take 20 seconds to land on a green shaped like the African continent, outlined by a continuous bunker. Once completed, guests’ scores will be recorded on the Legend leaderboard, where only two players have made birdie and scores as high as 20 have been recorded. Bring an extra ball -- or three!
Days 10-11 One of the seven natural wonders of the world, no words can prepare the visitor for the scale and splendor of the mighty cascade of Victoria Falls. Here guests can comfortably establish themselves in the fabulous Royal Livingstone Hotel, recently ranked the number 10 Lodge and Resort in Africa/Middle East by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine.
Two days in Vic Falls allow for ample opportunities to leisurely tour the Falls and its network of rainforest trails. Travellers also may board a helicopter for the "Flight of Angels" view of the falls from above, or be hypnotized by a spectacular sunset on a Zambezi river cruise.
Guests’ final 18 holes are at the historic Livingstone Royal Golf and Country Club, founded in 1908. A classic parkland layout conveys a true feeling of the history of African golf. As you walk the course’s wide fairways, soaking in the serene display of flora, keep watch for the mist of the Falls rising above the tree line. Ahh, perfection!
Day 12 Fly to Johannesburg and depart.
Micato Safaris' South African Grand Golf Safari is priced from $15,995 per person, based on double occupancy. (Rate excludes international airfare.) For more information, visit http://www.micato.com or call 1-800-MICATO-1.
About Micato Safaris
Jane and Felix Pinto founded Micato Safaris in Kenya in 1966, and the company has been providing the most luxurious and personalized African safaris to sophisticated travelers ever since. Winning the coveted Travel+Leisure “World’s Best Tour Operator & Safari Outfitter” award for an unprecedented seven years, Micato prides itself on providing exceptional service throughout every stage of the tour experience.