A Golf Safari with Rovos Rail
Another stunning luxury train journey from Rovos Rail is the delightful nine day Rovos Rail Golf Safari! This Rovos Rail Golf Safari travels through South Africa visiting some of the top golf courses and scenic delights
This golf trip will entertain the most discerning player. And at all of the golf venues there are a variety of optional excursions for non-playing guests…
This special journey commences in Pretoria and travels west to Sun City in the hills of the Pilanesberg for a day. Here you will enjoy one of South Africa’s top courses (or a game drive in the Pilanesberg for non-golfers). The next day is a day at leisure on the train as you head south to the Drakensberg Mountains. In the foothills of the imposing Drakensberg Mountains 18-holes await at the Champagne Sports Resort. Alternatively non-golfers can enjoy a guided tour of one of the most epic Boer war battles at Spioenkop. Followed by some arts and crafts shopping, or a walk at Champagne Castle.
Next you play one of South Africa’s finest courses, the Durban Country Club or Zimbali Golf Course. While non-playing guests enjoy a city tour of Durban. Followed by lunch at the Golf Club. Then it’s on to Zululand in northern KwaZulu Natal for game viewing in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve before the train heads for the Kingdom of Swaziland. You get to play a round of golf at the Royal Swazi Golf Club, while non-golfers visit the Ngwenya Glass Factory, lunch at Guava Galleries followed by a game drive in the Mkhaya Game Reserve before heading on to Malelane back in South Africa.
On the penultimate day, you play at Leopard Creek Golf Estate, rated South Africa’s top golf course. (If this is not available due to championship dates, you will play at the very well-regarded White River Golf Club.) Whilst non-golfers can enjoy an early morning game drive in the Kruger National Park. In the afternoon the train begins its scenic ascent up over the Drakensberg Escarpment before arriving in Pretoria on the following day.
The accommodation on the Rovos Rail golf safari
You can choose between three different compartment sizes, (all en suite):
Pullman suite (smallest compartment size with banquettes which are converted into beds),
Deluxe suite (more spacious with a permanent bed) or
Royal suite (even more spacious with bath in the en suite bathroom, and not just shower).
Set departure dates
2019: 3rd Oct – 11th Oct 2019, 14th – 22nd Nov 2019
2020: 29th Jan – 6th Feb 2020, 20th-28th Feb 2020, 26th Mar – 3rd Apr 2020, 1st – 9th Oct 2020, 12th – 20th Nov 2020
2021: 27th Jan – 04th Feb 2021, 18th-26th Feb 2021, 25th Mar – 02nd Apr 2021, 30th Sept – 08th Oct 2021, 19th-27th Nov 2021
Note: A second golf & train itinerary is on offer – The African Golf Collage begins in Cape Town and visits the famous Fancourt and Oubaai courses in the Garden Route, Humewood Golf Club in Port Elizabeth, via the Drakensberg foothills to Durban to play at Durban Country Club, a safari in Mhkaya Game Reserve in Swaziland before ending with the highlight of Leopard Creek in the Kruger area before heading to Pretoria.
Depart from Pretoria at 10am, Rovos Rail
The first leg of the journey takes you west to Sun City where you overnight.
18 Holes of golf at The Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, Rovos Rail
Today you enjoy a round of golf at either the Lost City course or the Gary Player course at Sun City, both consistently rated in the Top 10 of South Africa’s golf courses. Meanwhile non-golfers enjoy game drive in the Pilanesburg National Park and then join the golfers for lunch at the country club.
Lost City Golf Course
Some 10 years after the completion of the Gary Player Country Club, the popularity of Sun City demanded another course be built. Again the pro was commissioned, his challenge being to create a very different experience. The course defies being bracketed into any particular genre having touches of mountain, desert and even African parkland in its make-up. Here, the golfer can choose to tackle the course from its championship tees (suggested only for the longer hitting, single-figure handicappers), the standard markers or forward tees. Even playing the shortest route presents a great test as the approaches to the greens – clad in bent grass and protected by bunkers – demand careful judgment.
Signature Hole: 13th – par 3 A green in the shape of Africa bordered by a pond, home to several large crocodiles!
Day at Leisure on Rovos Rail
Today you can relax and enjoy a day at leisure as the train travels southwards towards the magnificent Drakensberg where the train rests overnight.
This is probably the least scenic of the nine days and so its a good time to chat to your fellow travellers or get stuck into your book, or indeed into the glorious food of Rovos Rail.
Tee off at Champagne Sports Resort in the Drakensberg Mountains, Rovos Rail
In the foothills of the imposing Drakensberg Mountains 18-holes await at the Champagne Sports Resort.
Alternatively non-golfers can enjoy either a guided tour of the battlefield of Spionkop followed by some shopping for crafts or perhaps a walk at Champagne Castle.
Champagne Sports Golf Course
Located in the beautiful Drakensberg area, this course has to be rated as one of the most scenically memorable golf layouts in South Africa. Designed by Hugh Baiocchi and Kevin Curren, it successfully blends the natural attributes of the terrain and the surrounding beauty with the modern demands of a quality course. It undulates up and around the contours of a valley that nestles under the dominant peaks of Champagne and Cathkin Peaks and incorporates several holes with blind tee shots. Professional and novice alike will appreciate the 84 well-appointed bunkers that line the fairways and greens. The quality of the greens is accredited to Trevor Livesey whose passion remains unabated. Though the drama of the mighty mountains dominates the eye, the course also enjoys gentle vistas where the lower hills create a kaleidoscope.
In the afternoon you set off for the coast and Durban where you overnight.
Tee off at Durban Golf Estate, Rovos Rail
This morning you play one of South Africa’s finest courses, the Durban Beachwood Country Club, while non-playing guests enjoy a city tour of Durban followed by lunch at the Golf Club.
Durban 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.
In the afternoon you head off for Hluhluwe Game Reserve.
Early morning Game drive in Hluhluwe Game Reserve, Rovos Rail
Today you have an early start for an early morning game drive in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve. A wide variety of game can be seen on an early morning game drive through the scenic Hluhluwe Game Reserve.
In the afternoon you continue north into the Kingdom of Swaziland.
18 holes of golf at Royal Swazi Golf Club, Rovos Rail
The next day is a round of golf at the Royal Swazi Golf Club.
Non-golfers visit the Ngwenya Glass Factory, lunch at Guava Galleries followed by a game drive in the Mkhaya Game Reserve.
Royal Swazi Golf Club
This spectacular championship course is one of the most scenic locations found in the world. Opened in 1966, it has been laid out on the slopes of the Lebombo Range that curves gently down into the valley. The first nine holes are comparatively level but the second nine fully exploits the mountainous terrain. Challenging features include lakes, gullies thick with vegetation, out-of-bound areas running close to fairways, swirling breezes, clusters of magnificent trees and indigenous plants and wickedly sited bunkers – one is so steep it requires steps to facilitate access.
Signature Hole: 6th – par 3 – 163m A wayward shot to the right is out of bounds, while one to the left is a lost ball.
The train returns to South Africa to stay overnight at Malelane on the southern border of the Kruger.
18 holes of golf at Leopard Creek, Kruger, Rovos Rail
Today you play 18 holes at Leopard Greek Golf Estate whilst non-golfers enjoy a 3-4 hour game drive in the world famous Kruger Park followed by lunch at Buhala Lodge. In the late afternoon you continue south overnight to the Kingdom of Swaziland.
Leopard Creek Golf Estate
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. Hazards take
a new dimension for much of the water is home to the magnificent creatures for which the river is named…crocodiles.
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.
In the afternoon you head through the scenic Drakensberg escarpment en route for Pretoria.
Return to Pretoria
After a final leisurely breakfast on the train, you arrive in Pretoria at approx 10am