The African Golf Collage with Rovos Rail
This panoramic nine-day Rovos Rail African Golf Collage in South Africa begins in either Pretoria winding its way to Cape Town, or in reverse.
The routing, golf options and touring options are exactly the same in both directions. The African Golf Collage includes activities to suit both keen golfers and non-golfers alike. So its ideal for couples who don’t share a common passion for golf and for non golfing train lovers.
On your first morning you will travel through the majestic Drakensberg escarpment on route to the Lowveld of the Kruger. Overnight, the train continues south to Hluhluwe. Then it makes its way south through the lush cane fields arriving in Durban in the late afternoon.
The train steadily ascends the scenic escarpment through the Valley of Thousand Hills on route past the Drakensberg to Bloemfontein. Afterwards you head to the Eastern Cape. With an early departure the train then travels to and through the spectacular Garden Route (through Mossel Bay and Riversdale) towards the scenic Cape Winelands. You pay at Fancourt and Oubaai. Your 10 day tour ends at Cape Town Rovos Rail Station.
Departure Dates for the Rovos Rail African Golf Collage (9 nights):
Pretoria to Cape Town:
20th – 29th May 2020, 28th October – 6th November 2020
19th – 28th May 2021, 27th – 05th November 2021
Cape Town to Pretoria:
11th – 20th November 2019
04th – 13th February 2020, 09th – 18th November 2020
08th – 17th November 2021
Depart from Pretoria at 10 am, Rovos Rail
The first leg traverses the majestic Drakensberg escarpment en route to the lowveld of Mpumalanga.
Rovos Rail’s unique nine-day safari through the heart of South Africa combines some beautiful African scenery, the best golf courses in the country with the glamour and excitement of the golden age of rail. This beautifully restored train comprises luxury coaches drawn by vintage-steam locomotives have been splendidly refurbished in Edwardian style with special attention to detail, comfort and luxury.
Morning Game drive in the Kruger National Park or Golf at Leopard Creek Golf Course, Rovos Rail
The next morning, golfing guests tee off early at one of South Africa’s finest courses, Leopard Creek (currently ranked number one in South Africa.)
Non-golfers receive an early wake up call to join a game drive through the spectacular Kruger National Park. After a 3-4 hour game drive, brunch will be served in the Rovos Rail dining car while the train winds its way southwards to KwaZulu Natal.
Leopard Creek – This ultra-exclusive world-class facility is the brainchild of magnate Johan Rupert and, as can be expected, no expense was spared. Bordered to the north and the west by the picturesque Crocodile River and the Kruger National Park, the course represents African golf at its best with indigenous bushveld bordering the immaculate fairways and greens. Innovative architectural and landscaping techniques ensure the course is naturally protected from animals, while lakes and small streams divert through the development to create scenic vistas and interesting golf strategies.
Signature hole: 13th – par 5 – 505m Here the green is right on the edge of the Crocodile River but 32 metres above the water level offering magnificent views up the river and into the Kruger Park.
Morning game drive in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve, Rovos Rail
Overnight, the train continues south to Hluhluwe, the oldest game reserve in Africa. Starting early once again, a wide variety of game can be seen on an early morning game drive (3-4 hours) through the scenic Hluhluwe Game Reserve. The Pride of Africa train departs mid morning and makes its way south through the lush cane fields and rolling hills of KwaZulu Natal, arriving in Durban in the late afternoon.
Golf at Durban Country Club Golf course or Visit Ardmore Ceramics in the Drakensberg, Rovos Rail
The following morning, the golfers enjoy an early morning tee off at Durban Beachwood Country Club at approx 7am is followed by a drive through the breathtaking Valley of a Thousand Hills to join the train at Lions River.
Meanwhile non-golfers enjoy a short tour of Durban before train steadily ascends the scenic escarpment through Pietermaritzburg and The Valley of Thousand Hills where you enjoy a visit to the famous Ardmore Ceramics Gallery. The train stays overnight near Ladismith.
Durban Country Club – Beachwood Golf Course
Originally designed by Sid & Jack Brews in 1930, Beachwood has always been famed for its narrow fairways, indigenous trees and immaculate conditioning. When it amalgamated with Durban Country Club in the late 1990s, Gary Player’s design team upgraded some of the holes while introducing additional hazards. The results are to be savoured as one plays a course with clever bunkering and water features with superb greens. The land follows rolling contours allowing fairways to follow natural valleys between high grassy banks, requiring precision shots and lay-ups.
Signature Hole: 6th – par 4 – 410m One of the most demanding holes you will find anywhere, the 6th is set high in the dunes and doglegs left with a stream, bush and water hazard to be negotiated en route to the green.
Spionkop Battlefield, Game Drive or golf
The following morning you have a choice of excursions – Non golfers will enjoy a battlefields tour of Spionkop, followed by a nature/game drive and lunch.
Spionkop has an 11 000 acre nature reserve, is the perfect base for exploring the berg, bush, birds and battlefields of the region.
Meanwhile golfers will transfer to the Champagne Sports Resort for 18 holes of golf. This course has a spectacular setting in the Drakensberg mountains.
Lunch is served back in the dining car as you head towards Bloemfontein.
Day at leisure
This is a little bit of ‘breathing’ day after an action-packed schedule of activities The train gently meanders through lovely South African farmland as it heads back to the coast.
Tour Addo Elephant Park or play golf at Humewood, Rovos Rail
Afterwards the journey continues southwards to Alicedale from where non-golfers enjoy a morning game drive in the ecologically diverse Addo Elephant Park. Alongside the thrill of close-up elephant encounters, Addo Elephant Park is now home to black rhino, lion, hippo, unique Cape buffalo and many species of antelope.
The golfers also disembark at Alicedale for a one hour transfer to Humewood Golf Course.
Humewood Golf Course
Situated on the sand dunes on the shores of Algoa Bay, this true links course is characterised by thick coastal bush, swales, humps and hollows. Although the fairways are wide and undulating in order to compensate for the strong winds, the rough that borders them is unforgiving. The holes are simple yet neat, the gulf greens are fast and firm, the few bunkers are well positioned with tough, steep faces and there are no water hazards.
Signature Hole: 13th – par 4 – 408m This hole runs uphill along a severely sloped fairway with a tough semi-blind approach to a tiny green hidden behind a mound with rough to the right, a bunker to the left and thick bush behind it.
After lunch, you all rejoin the train and experience the train being ‘turned around’ before it heads off on its journey to Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo.
Tour of the Little Karoo or golf at Fancourt, Rovos Rail
The golfers have an early departure from the train to take the Montagu pass to George for a round of golf at the famous Fancourt Country Estate – see below.
Meantime the non-golfers visit one of the ostrich farms in Oudtshoorn before enjoying the outstanding descent of the train down the Montagu Pass into George.
Everyone meets up at Fancourt to enjoy dinner at the Fancourt hotel before returning to the train for overnight.
Fancourt Country Club
Montagu Course • 6 714m • This course is exquisitely conditioned with a glorious parkland layout covering large tracts of varying terrain on rolling land. Mature trees, flowerbeds, shrubs and water hazards provide a colourful contrast.
Signature hole: 17th – par 3 – 190m This is scary for the average golfer with its long carry over water but the green is large and receptive so ignore it and go for the flag. If conservative, favour the left side of the green.
Outeniqua Course • 6 312m • Named after the mountain range overlooking the area, this parklands course is regarded as the easier one being more open in appearance, yet it has its share of challenges and risk-and-reward moments.
Signature hole: 14th – par 4 – 421m No surprise this is the toughest hole with its intimidating tee shot over water. If the flag is on the left of the green, play conservatively for the middle as there is water lurking at the back left.
Tour of Knysna or golf at Oubaai, Rovos Rail
The following morning non-golfers visit the natural paradise of Knysna and the lakes of the Garden Route while golfers test out Oubaai – Ernie Els’s first signature course in South Africa.
This region, between Mossel Bay and the Storms River, offers a spectacular coastline of dramatic headlands giving way to white sandy beaches. Behind the sand dunes lie placid lagoons and lakes, with a hinterland of soaring mountains, covered by indigenous rainforest, magnificent twisting passes, waterfalls and wooded ravines. The bustling resort town of Knysna with its beautiful lagoon is celebrated for its art galleries, woodcarvings and fresh oysters.
Oubaai Golf Club
In designing Oubaai, Ernie Els and his team have taken full advantage of the spectacular landscape with the support of Nicklaus Design. The philosophy is based on flexibility where concepts are moulded according to the landscape, not vice versa. With its special cliff-side location and high vantage point above rivers and valleys, the initial impression will be of large open fairways, superb directional and protective bunkers and large undulating greens, but be assured that despite the seeming freedom off the tee there is a strategy that requires intelligent positioning of each shot.
Signature Hole: 17th – par 3 – 132m With an elevated tee and breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean, the everchanging winds and undulating green guarded by four bunkers make this a tough little hole.
The train then travels the spectacular Garden Route through Mossel Bay to Riversdale.
Arrive in Cape Town in late afternoon
The next morning you enjoy some wonderful winelands scenery in the Hex River valley before taking a two hour tour to the KWV Brandy Distillery in Worcester. The Pride of Africa train continues through the winelands to end its magnificent journey in Cape Town at approx 5pm.