Enjoy four of the Lowveld's best Golf courses, from the game-rich Hans Merenksy adjacent to the Kruger and close to the Tropic of Capricorn, to the Rangers' own well-kept "secret" course at Skukuza inside (and unfenced with) the Park. Watch out for unusual residents in the water features.
From there, enjoy a trip through the Park, game viewing en route, to Africa's most renowned course at Leopard Creek, a Gary Player designed special. By now you should be ready to face the competitive challenge from K2C's own home team at either Matumi or White River Country Club. Enjoy some real South African hospitality!
We shall be keeping the score - home versus away teams. Availability is year round but requires notice to arrange tee times to suit the schedule. Extensions are available to other excellent (and less well-known) local courses on the Mozambiquan border and into the Panorama Route.
Arrive at OR Tambo (Johannesburg International) Airport for an early morning flight to your first destination on the west of the Kruger, lasting no longer than an hour. Upon arrival, it is a short road transfer to your first course.
Stunningly located and equipped, the former Sports and Social Club for workers at the nearby Phalaborwa Mine, Hans Merensky Country Club is your first port of call.
The course consists of 18 holes with a par of 72 and is of Championship standard. It was designed by Bob Grimsdell. It encompasses a vast area of indigenous bush interspersed with tranquil pools and velvet greens.
The Hans Merensky Course is adjacent to the Kruger and enjoys frequent non-human visitors from the Park, which stretches along the entire length of the Estate's eastern boundary. Crocodile and hippo add spice to the normal "hazards" of a good game of golf. Wild game including elephant, lion, giraffe and a wide variety of antelope and bird life are often seen on the golf course and its surrounds.
The Resort offers 30 thatched chalets and 14 ensuite airconditioned rooms in the hotel. Additional facilities include floodlit tennis courts, squash courts, swimming pools, a gymnasium and a sauna. There are four restaurants: the elegant Leadwood (a la carte), the adjacent Leadwood Lapa (barbeques), the Pool Bar and Golf Clubhouse.
DAY TWO: Skukuza Golf Course
For many years one of Kruger's best-kept secrets, the Skukuza golf course was built in 1972 as a recreational facility for the Kruger National Park staff. It is now available to general visitors for the first time.
The Skukuza Golf Course is a magnificent 9-hole (18-tee) course situated within the world-renowned Park on the outskirts of Skukuza Restcamp. The rich wildlife sanctuary surrounding the golf course is home to the Big Five, a huge variety of birds and countless animals, which all conspire to provide the visitor with a harmonious close-to-nature golfing experience.
The course is a Par 72, and is 5,950m (6,450 yards) for men and 5,059m (5,480 yards) for women. Since the course is not fenced-in, uninvited spectators are a common sight, hippo, impala, warthog and baboons to mention but a few.
A unique feature is the siren that is sounded on sightings of leopard and lion on the course. This is a signal to clear the fairways.
The course offers the pleasure of challenge and adventure. For example hole 2 (par 3) has water on the left and to the back of the green. The signature hole (number 9, par 3) of about 150m is played across Lake Panic. Whilst the Skukuza Golf Course has no sand bunkers, 'aerial bunkers' abound because of the many trees found on the course.
The Clubhouse forms a very pleasant nineteenth hole venue for snacks and sundowners.
Overnight: Buhala Lodge
DAY THREE: Leopard Creek
Leopard Creek is home to the Sunshine Tour Championship. Ranked second in South Africa's courses in 2003, its exclusivity is reflected in its green fee.
The 18 hole course was designed by Gary Player, who is a partner in the enterprise. It enjoys stunning views over the Kruger from its home on the banks of the majestic Crocodile River near Malelane, outside Nelspruit.
Click here for an interactive map.
DAY FOUR: MATUMI COUNTRY CLUB
Your last day on a scheduled departure will feature a short (120km) transfer to Matumi Country Club in Nelspruit. The Club, with its spectacular backdrop of kopjes, boasts a well-established, attractive layout dating back to 1939.
Like Hans Merensky, the golf course is a Bob Grimsdell design but it has a curious history- it was a 9-holer for nearly 30 years before Grimsdell returned to complete a second nine in 1967-68. In the years that followed, the course was left largely untouched until 1998 when course designer Peter Matkovich led an extensive upgrade.
Nelspruit Golf Club is famous for hosting the annual Jock of the Bushveld Festival of Golf, considered the biggest amateur tournament of its kind in the world. Started in 1968, it has grown to the extent where some 800 amateurs from far and wide play more than 2,000 rounds during a week in May.
With a par of 71 and measuring 6,063 metres it is not long or overly difficult to play, but Nelspruit golf course has an unusual start to the front nine The dogleg-right first hole a tough opening hole- with lodges to the left and right an accurate tee shot is needed to find the fairway. You then face a daunting medium-to-long iron shot into a green surrounded by trees and bunkers to the right. There follow the second, a par 5, the third (par 3), the fourth (par 5) and the fifth (par 3), before closing off with four straight par 4s.
The back nine, save for the two par 3s on 13 and 17, is either played uphill or downhill, with the signature hole being the 498-metre 14th, the only par 5 on the back nine. From an elevated tee, a generous tree-lined fairway runs away gradually to a green surrounded by bunkers. There is the option of going for the green in two, but for high handicappers the safe bet is to lay up.
Straddling the sixth and 18th fairways at Nelspruit Golf Club is the biggest fig tree you are ever likely to see. If your ball lands anywhere near it, there is little chance of going for either green in two. Just imagine trying to play over, around or through a five-storey building spanning some 40 metres at its widest point.
For all its grandeur though, the fig is not the only tree golfers at Nelspruit have to worry about. Many other indigenous trees line the fairways, with more than 50 species having been recorded. Ask the Kruger2Canyons team!
Click here for the Players' Guide.
Overnight: WILL VARY BY TOUR
A day of relaxation prior to your return to Johannesburg....
"Golf is 20 percent mechanics and technique. The other 80 percent is philosophy, humor, tragedy, romance, melodrama, companionship, camaraderie, cussedness, and conversation."
EXTENSION - EXTREME NINETEENTH
Why not add an extension to the world's most extreme hole? The nineteenth at Legend Safari Course in Limpopo offers an as-yet unclaimed Million dollar prize for the first person to hit a hole-in-one.
There are reasons for this. It is a par three, 400m hole. However, the 400m is vertical distance. You need a helicopter to get there. And back.
The tee is set up on the majestic Hanglip Mountain and played to a green the shape of Africa some 400m below.
In a shoot-out with French star Raphael Jacquelin, 2008 Open Champion Padraig Harrington famously became the first person to make a Par 3 – but since then he has been joined by many others – just normal golfers enjoying the golfing experience of a lifetime.
Mention this to use if you would like to add it as an extension.