One of the world’s best destinations for a luxury golf and lifestyle travel experience is South Africa. Any golf, wine, culture and adventure seeking traveler will check off all the right boxes when combining world-class golf with Cape Town, the Cape Winelands, the famous Garden Route, and finally a 3 – 4 day safari in Kruger National Park or Madikwe Game Reserve.
Couples travel is not only about creating new memories. It’s also about unwinding and reconnecting with one another. What better way to do that than on a seamless experience together that combines some of your favorite interests. From marquee golf and iconic sightseeing to wine tastings, safaris, rich culture and luxury accommodations with butler service, here are PerryGolf’s Top 5 golf vacations for couples.
Are you wondering where to take a golf trip in 2022?
As we approach 2022 with unprecedented pent-up demand for golf travel to the British Isles on the most famous of links courses, I thought it would be useful to provide some insight into alternatives that currently have better availability and deliver similarly memorable British golf experiences.
South Africa is a very young country filled with an enthusiastic and optimistic population…at least, that is the case for many of the people we encountered in the hospitality sector. Our trip provided a great overview of the nation; from a golf resort to a wine farm, a city experience, and finally safari. This trip does not feel rushed but moves along at a pleasant tempo.
We always try to learn from our trips and other than some very minor tweaks, this schedule works extremely well. The hotel experiences were all quite different but luxurious and memorable for different reasons. The golf courses were similarly challenging and enjoyable and showed off some of the finest golf experiences in Southern Africa.
Away from the golf experiences, South Africa provides an overall travel experience which is world-class, and at world-class value pricing. United Airlines has joined Delta as the only US-based airlines flying their own planes to South Africa. It is a destination better known to European travelers, but should be on everyone’s bucket list…in my humble opinion.
I cannot begin to quantify the added enjoyment from a compatible group of travelers. Our group was exceptional and an absolute joy to be part of. On a land-based tour like this, group size is also a significant consideration, and I am very confident we have found the sweet spot between 24 – 30 golfers. It is a large enough group so that travelers have flexibility yet small enough that the logistical movements can be handled in a comfortable environment.
Arrival into Skukuza Airport is unlike anything you will have normally experienced: your transfer is in a safari vehicle and between the airport and your accommodation, you will see any number of animals as we did with elephants and giraffes, amongst others.
Our arrival at Jock Safari Lodge and evening game drive on our first evening was hampered by a deluge, but like many things, there is a silver lining. The weather for the next three days was superb and due to the earlier rain, there was more animal activity as they came out to drink.
Our first full day on safari was truly Africa at its best for a safari loving golfer! We departed Jocks Lodge in our safari vehicles for the 50 minutes drive through the park to Leopard Creek, a Gary Player designed course on the edge of Kruger National Park. It also serves as host for the Alfred Dunhill Championship at the end of November. The course was in exceptional condition. The clubhouse is stunning and a great morning was had by all.
Returning to camp after golf entailed another animal viewing opportunity before a quick rest, and our evening safari drive later followed a wonderful dinner. No truer an expression than pictures speak a thousand words…the following selection came from our safari experiences in Kruger.
Our last full day in South Africa was enjoyed on safari…the day started with a 5am wake up call and finished with a delightful closing dinner for our group, with new friendships and future travel plans discussed…amidst much laughter and storytelling. The bar at Jock Safari Lodge overooking the dry riverbed is the ideal venue for gathering. Throughout our visit, their team provided excellent food and outstanding, friendly service, which only added to the convivial atmosphere.
Prior to departing for the airport and our homeward journey, our entire group enjoyed one final morning game drive, which was highlighted by lion sightings.
Remarkably, on the 60 minute journey back to the airport, our six-person vehicle saw the Big Five (cape buffalo, rhinoceros, lion, leopard and elephant)…it was a trip which was well documented with more photography, some of which I have shared…but as interesting as the images are, it truly only tells part of the experience!