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August 19, 2011

Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden

(6 days Garden Route)

D = dinner     B = bed/breakfast       L = lunch         G = golf           S = safari (ocean)

The Garden Route boasts some of the most scenic golf courses in the country. We will be visiting some of the premium courses on this tour. The Oubaai (Old Bay) course was designed by Ernie Els and offers amazing views of the Outeniqua mountains and Indian Ocean. The Simola Golf Estate is perched on the hills above the Knysna Lagoon, whilst the Pezula Golf Estate clings to the sea cliffs above Knysna. The Goose Valley Golf Estate, just outside Plettenberg Bay, is so close to the sea you can almost touch it.

Day 1: (overnight George)                             (DB)

Upon arrival at George airport you will be met by an Around the Green representative and transferred to your hotel. After checking in you will have the afternoon to relax (or you can schedule some practice time at the driving range). Dinner this evening will be enjoyed at the La Capannina restaurant in York Street.

Day 2: (overnight George)                             (BGB)

You are in for a real treat for round 1 on this trip. You will tackle the Oubaai Golf Estate, an Ernie Els signature course and his first offering in South Africa. The layout of the course is a traditional Links layout where veld grasses line the lush fairways. The course measures 6516m from the pro tee’s which is uniquely long for a Coastal course. Oubaai offers a wonderfully stimulating and enjoyable golfing experience.

After your round sit back and enjoy the wonder of the estate with a drink at the 19th hole, before returning to your hotel. This evening will be at your leisure.

Day 3:
(overnight Knysna)                             (BLDB)

After breakfast you depart for the Karroo town of Oudtshoorn. Your first stop will be the Safari Ostrich show farm. Here you will learn something about these strange two toed birds and maybe even get to ride on one. From the ostrich farm you make your way to the limestone formations of the Cango Caves. Lunch will be had before you enter the caves (just in case you get lost!).

After your caving experience you make your way to the Cango Wildlife Ranch, which has one of the many cheetah outreach programmes in Southern Africa. Their conservation program is funded by your visit, so PLEASE try and look past the zoo aspect. Once your tour is complete you may even choose to have an up close and personal experience with the fastest land animal.

Your travels today are complete when you arrive in the coastal town of Knysna (one of the many favourite towns of South African holiday makers). Dinner tonight is at 34° South (arguably the best seafood restaurant in town).

Day 4: (overnight Knysna)                             (BGB)

Round 2 is played at the Goose Valley Golf Estate. Originally a 9 hole course until the Gary Player Design Company created an 18 hole layout only 2km from Plettenberg Bay. The Keurbooms River nature reserve borders many of the holes that allow for spectacular views.

Set amongst the indigenous Fynbos, the course is in stunning condition 12 months of the year. It is built on pure sand with excellent drainage properties and uses recycled water from the Gans “Goose” River that meanders through the Estate. Golfers will experience breathtaking views of the lagoon, the ocean, the Tsitsikamma Mountains, trees and an abundance of animal and bird life.

Directly after your round you will go down to the beach where you embark on a boat trip to hopefully spot Southern Right and Humpbacked whales (weather permitting June – November), or seals and dolphins along the Robberg Peninsula. Upon returning to Knysna you can enjoy the evening at your leisure (if fine dining does not interest you tonight, we recommend the ribs at Oldie’s restaurant).

Day 5: (overnight Knysna)                             (BGDB)

The venue for round 3 is the Pezula Golf Estate. It is a tough test of golf requiring some competence in order to fully enjoy your experience. Expect some awkward lies on the sloping terrain and club selection is critical owing to the strategic design of the course amongst the Fynbos vegetation.

It is not a course that beginners will enjoy! This award-winning 18-hole course, designed by David Dale and Ronald Fream of GolfPlan USA, rates amongst the most scenic golf courses in the world. In 2001, just a few months after it opened, it was awarded Best New Golf Course in the country.

After your round you will return to your hotel to freshen up and change. A sunset cruise on the lagoon awaits you, and directly thereafter you will enjoy dinner at Cruise Cafe.

Day 6: (BG)

For your 4th and final round you make your way to the Simola Golf Club. The Golden Bear’s 18 hole championship course has been created to challenge the professional and inspire the amateur. Nicklaus’ aim was to create a golf course that would be a demanding test of skill for the accomplished golfer playing from the back tees. At the same time offer a challenging, yet enjoyable experience for the average or beginner who thinks his or her way around the course. He has certainly been successful with Simola.

After your round you leave this beautiful part of the country with a heavy heart as you make your way to George airport for your flight home.


May Your Drives be Long and Your Putts Few!

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