Today, the word “safari” is synonymous with wildlife. But it actually comes from the Arab word meaning journey, and one award-winning safari company is getting ballsy with it. For the first time in its 56-year history, Micato Safaris is offering a $53,000 custom golf safari called the Southern Africa Golf Spectacular. It tackles some of the continent’s most legendary courses and also includes African bush fairways where (spoiler alert) some of the hazards have tails and sharp teeth.
The 12-day trip starts in South Africa’s crown jewel, Cape Town, where guests will check into the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel & Spa, a five-star hotel and spa surrounded by vineyards. In between wine tastings and detoxifying mud wraps (in that order), they can practice putting and chipping on a green designed by Gary Player. Dubbed the Black Knight because he always wore noire, Player is one of South Africa’s greatest golfers of all time.
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Then it’s time to meet the most famous residents of nearby Simon’s Town. These “birdies” are Antarctic penguins that relocated to South Africa’s Boulders Beach. Next, guests will tee off at Steenberg Golf Club, where the challenging 14th hole boasts a 250-foot-long green, the longest in Africa. Next, you’ll tee off at the Royal Cape Golf Club, South Africa’s oldest championship golf course. Dating all the way back to 1885, this 18-hole par-72 course “where the pro’s play” is blessed with the dramatic background of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. While the fairways are flat, you’ll have to battle the same formidable winds that sank hundreds of ships off the coast of Cape Town.
The Franschhoek Valley, a utopia of vineyards dating back to the 17th century, is the setting for the next four days. Micato Safaris has arranged for guests to stay at the exclusive Delaire Graff Estate. This sprawling retreat, which produces its own award-winning wines, is owned by South Africa’s answer to Harry Winston: billionaire diamond titan Laurence Graff. When they’re not enjoying Delaire Graff’s esteemed art gallery—it includes more than 400 pieces from Graff’s private collection—and botanical garden (boasting more than 350 species), guests will be trying to stay out of the rough. They’ll play at the Jack Nicklaus–designed Pearl Valley, situated in the shadow of Simonsberg Mountain, and the Paarl Golf Club. Located on the Boschenmeer Estate, this 27-hole course frequently makes appearances on lists of the world’s top 100 courses.
Still, the highlight of Micato’s Golf Spectacular is trying to get a hole-in-one three hours north of Johannesburg at Legend Signature Golf Course. Its infamous 19th hole, deemed the most extreme hole on earth, is only accessible via helicopter. Golfers tee off from the top of a mountain overlooking a green in the shape of the African continent. The shot can take as much as 20 seconds to land on the target, which at 1,300 feet away, makes this hole the longest, and highest, par-3 in the world. That said, only two players in history have made birdie and scores as high as 20 aren’t uncommon.
The last two nights of the itinerary will be spent at Hanglip Mountain Lodge, which is located on the wildlife-rich Entabeni Private Game Reserve. In fact, with the help of guides, guests will have nearly a 99 percent chance of seeing Africa’s Big Five. Whether or not they see any eagles on their trip, however, is entirely up to them.
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