Sun-drenched days, exotic cuisines, majestic wildlife, and beautiful scenery are likely to spring to mind when you think of Africa. For those in the know however, itís the range of world-class championship golf courses that take centre stage. Africa is still a relatively well-kept secret on the golfing circuit, but with destination golfing holidays swinging into the spotlight itís time to put Africa, specifically Kenya and South Africa, onto this yearís travel itinerary. PGA Pros return year after year to enjoy the temperate climate, beautiful scenery and varied terrains and altitudes that Africa offers. Stay at leading golfing hotels and resorts which provide first-class comforts and are in close proximity to popular attractions to ensure that a golfing break in Africa is one the whole family can enjoy.
The Victorian styled Windsor Golf and Country Club has, for the past two decades, been voted as one of the finest golf courses in Nairobi. Designed to a championship level with hazards that include 73 bunkers, and prominently featured streams and lakes, it has a challenging appeal coupled with an intriguing ambiance due to Sykes monkeys that freely wander the springy greens. Windsor Golf and Country Club is a great choice for those requiring easy access to Nairobi for business or leisure.
Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club is set on the slopes of Africaís second largest mountain, with landscaped gardens that boast ornamental ponds and flowers. Notable hotel members over the years include Winston Churchill and Bing Crosby. The 9-hole manicured golf course provides a once-in-a-lifetime chance to play in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, as it is bisected by the Equator. The Safari Club has a heated outdoor pool that will soothe any strained muscles, while the wildlife sanctuary, maze, croquet lawn, mountain biking, and horse riding, will keep all ages happy.
The historic estate of Steenberg Hotel is often noted for providing one of the finest golfing experiences in the world; with a view of the surrounding winelands and the backdrop of the Steenberg Mountain range, itís easy to see why itís firmly wedged in the hearts of those who stay there. The halfway house is well stocked, the greens are well maintained, and they offer an ideal base for those who wish to explore Cape Townís attractions. The hotel is home to two award winning restaurants and offers free wine tastings to guests, as well as a daily return shuttle service to the popular V&A Waterfront.
Combining old world charm with first class comforts, Fancourt Golf Resort and Hotel is an enviable option for the savvy golfer who likes choices, as it is home to three Gary Player golf courses that have excellent conditions year-round. The Golf Academy has full-time teaching professionals available to help amateurs work on their shots, while seasoned pros need only choose which greens to hit first. Three on-site restaurants, a kids club, teen lounge, swimming pool, and tea lounge, will allow those holidaying with you to enjoy down-time after a day of exploring area attractions.
With the final 18th hole regarded as one of the best in Africa, the championship Arabella Hotel & Spa golf course is one that should appear on every golfers bucket list. Set on the banks of the Bot River Lagoon, and bordered by the Kogelberg Nature Reserve, visitors can expect challenging play and stunning scenery. The Jacuzzi, sauna, tennis court, indoor and outdoor pool, and steam room ensure you can relax after a day in the sun, while accommodation feature all the luxurious amenities you may require. Whale watching and the Knysna Oyster Festival can be enjoyed in season.
Ash Sofat is Chief Executive at Somak Holidays.