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South Africa Bushveld Golf Tour - Feb 2-19, 2018

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I am very happy to announce the details of our 2nd Big South African tour from 2-19 Feb 2018. This tour took a lot of time to construct, and is designed to be an adventure of a lifetime. We will be doing things and going places that will hopefully be even more awesome than our South African tour of last year.

Short Description:

The tour consists of two parts, with the first part of the tour arriving in JNB on 2 Feb 2018 and departing again on 14 Feb 2018. We will be staying in three locations (JNB, Sun City and The Legends Golf and Safari Resort) during these 12 days, and play 6 rounds of golf with an optional 3 rounds of extra golf.

The 2nd part of the tour extends for 5 days more near the Kruger National Park, where 1 round of golf is included, with a host of supplemental activities including an optional 2nd round of Golf at Leopard's Creek and if you choose, a round of golf at White River Country Club. This part of the tour will conclude with a flight back from Nelspruit to Jnb to make the connecting flights back on 19 Feb 2018. For the second part of the tour, we can accommodate a maximum of 20 rooms/couples, and allocation is on a first come first served basis.

Recommended flights for the journey from Bangkok to Johannesburg is on Kenya Airways, with flying time less than 15hrs in total and where business class tickets on the 787 Dreamliner is currently less than Thb 70,000 pp and economy class being less than Thb 30,000 pp. Alternatively, you can also fly on Emirates although tickets are a lot more expensive but you can include a stopover for a few days in Dubai on the way there or back. Flights can be booked through Outback at no extra charge to you. Persons joining us from other locations such as US, UK, Australia must consult with us about arrival times so that we can ensure a reliable transit facility from the airport to join the rest of our group.

Highlights of the tour:

- Arriving on 2nd Feb, we'll spend a couple of days (3 nights) in Johannesburg to recover from our flights, to have the first few really good meals, to have a bit of fun in the casino, and to play the spectacular Royal Jo'burg or Kensington courses, home of the South African and most recently Jo'Burg Open. We'll also be playing Dainfern, a beautiful residential course with some spectacular holes. Staying here also gives the ladies the one (and only) chance to get a bit of shopping in before we hit the bushveld.

 the palazzo montecasino

We'll be staying at the 3* Sunsquare hotel but for a little extra you can upgrade to the Palazzo 5* hotel in the same complex (picture)

Royal Joburg and Kensington

This year, the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club hosted the Sunshine Tour's Jo'burg Open


We will also be playing the beautiful estate course Dainfern during our short stay in Johannesburg.

- On 5 Feb, we hit the road to Sun City, a relatively short 2 hour drive to the north east, where we will stay for 6 nights. Sun City is a famous hotel resort, nestled between the hills of the Pilansberg game reserve and home to the very popular Gary Player Course, 3rd ranked in all of South Africa and host to the annual Nedbank Challenge which takes place every year in November. Apart from playing the Gary Player course and the Lost City course (home of the biggest crocodiles I've seen in my life), we included in the package a very very special 5 hour event starting at first light over the beautiful Pilansberg reserve. Hot Air Ballooning! Taking off at dawn and gliding in complete silence a few feet above ground and seeing wildlife and nature from above is truly exceptional experience and something you will cherish for the rest of your life. Included in the package is a round at Gary Player and the Lost City course, but there is also an optional day allocated to play each course a second time. The reason is that Gary Player is a walking only course, so maybe too much for some to do a 2nd time. Also, Sun City is a host to a wide range of restaurants, casino's, shows, a waterpark with wave pools, forest walks, game drives, and many other activities that will keep you and especially your partner very busy in between playing these fabulous courses, so maybe some guys want to spend more time with their partners than playing 4 rounds in 5 days! 


Whilst most of us will opt for the modest Cabana's hotel, those that want true 5* quality can upgrade to the The Palace at the Lost City

Gary Player course at Sun city

The Very famous Gary Player course at Sun city. Dont expect the crowd when you play there ;-)

Balloon 2

Hot Air Balloon over Pilansberg Nature Reserved - Included!

Lost City course

Eagle's view over the Lost City course - watch out for the crocs!

- On 11th Feb, we hit the road again on a rather lengthy 3 1/2 hour drive far north, to the Legends Golf and Safari Resort. Arriving there we will have a relaxing afternoon playing their short 10 hole Tribute Par 3 course. Next day, we'll play the 18 hole Signature course with a special finish. Ever heard of the worlds longest and highest par 3, with a helicopter trip required for you to go hit your 700yrd tee shot to a postage stamp size Africa green miles below? Well this is it, and we're going to do it! Just look at the photo's and you will see what I mean! Also, being this far away from the city life, it is also a good place to observe some of the clearest skies you can imagine at night time, with the milky way visibile with the naked eye. We will be joined by an astronomer on a night time adventure out here, and also visit a traditional African tribal farm where we will join them for a great cultural experience and enjoy an African tribal meal in the village. Speaking of meals, included in the package is all I mentioned here as well as half board with dinner and breakfast included every day at this resort. The last activity included in our trip to the Legends is an afternoon Bush Walk in the Game reserve. However for those guys that want to get another game of golf in before we leave for Kruger Park, you can opt for an afternoon round at the Signature golf course rather than the guided bush walk. 

Legend Golf and Safari Resort 

A view of the Signature course at Legends - note the elevated 19th tee in the distance ;-)

legend golf and safari resort golf

Helicopter trip to 19th tee box (included) - the green is rather large but only a postage stamp from here! Who's first on the tee?

Legends Astronomy

African sky on a clear night - a professional astromer with telescope to guide you on the heavens (included)

Pedi Cultural Tour

Cultural tour to a local African tribe village (included) - and food (apparantly)

- On Valentines day, those that selected the shortened trip will return to Johannesburg for their flights home, whilst the rest of us take on a rather lengthy 4 1/2 hour journey further east, to the Kruger National Park, where we will check in at the nearby Kwa Madwala Private Game Reserve and where we will stay in the wilderness at the Manyatta Rock Camp for the next 5 nights on a half board basis with breakfast and dinner included every day. This will be our base for the last leg of the African trip, and one of the highlights will be playing the 4th ranked course in South Africa, namely Leopards Creek, bordering the Kruger National Park. Leopards Creek is an exclusive member course, very hard to get into, home to the ALfred Dunhill Challenge on the European Tour. When you read about the write-ups, course designer Gary Player commented: "Dont be surprised if you line up for your shot and hear a hippo snort nearby, or see a Lion on the other side of the fence. It is truly unique" In this part of Africa, there is also a huge range of other activities to do, and I opted for our guests to select your own list of activities which we discuss further down. For those that still have any energy left at the end of all the activities offered, you can opt to play Leopards Creek a second time on the Sunday afternoon prior to our departure the next morning, but it is pricey to play this spectacular course as you see from the price quoted for the optional round!

Manyata Rock Camp

Your home for the next 5 nights - Manyata Rock Camp

Manyata Rock Camp 2

Base camp restaurant with a view over the private game reserve

Leopards Creek 

Leopards Creek Golf Course - Or should it be Giraffe's Neck? Either way - you will get distracted - just enjoy!

Blyderiver scenic tour

For those of you selecting the scenic tour as an option on 16 or 17 Feb - on a clear day you see Mozambique!

sudwala caves

Those wanting to explore Sudwala Caves on Day 16 - go spelunking

Kruger Game Drive

Game drive in one of the biggest game reserves in Africa - The Kruger National park - all day choice on 16 Feb

- As it goes, all good things come to an end, and on 19 Feb. we will fly back from Nelspruit airport to Johannesburg International where we will make our connections back home (Flight included in package cost)

Itinerary, Price and Package Options:

To see what is included in the standard package and what is optional for the first leg of our tour, please refer to the below table:

 Table for inclusions part 1

The package cost for the first leg of our tour (12 nights, 6 rounds golf) is Thb 113,000 for the primary traveller and Thb 28,100 for the non-golfing partner, excluding options as indicated.

To see what is included in the standard package and what is optional for the second leg of our tour, please refer to the below table:

Table for inclusions part 2 v2

The package cost for the second leg of our tour (5 nights, 1-2 rounds of golf, and other activities listed) is Thb 60,000 for the primary traveller and Thb 18,800 for the non-golfing partner, excluding options as indicated.

Things to know:

Flights: Recommended flights for everyone travelling from Thailand is Kenya Airways flight KQ887 and KQ760, departing 1am from Bangkok and arriving 10:55am in Johannesburg. Return flights KQ763 and KQ860, departing JNB at 17:40 and arriving next day at 1:30pm in Bangkok. It is preferable that you allow me to book the flights for you, but you can off course do the bookings yourself as well. Coming from other countries, please try and book the flights such that you arrive at about 11am in JNB on the 2nd, and depart after 4pm on the day of your return (whether 14th or 19th). You are of course at liberty to extend your trip as well based on your own schedule and agenda.

Weather and clothing: February is one of the hottest months in the year where we are going, but also prone to afternoon thunderstorms and potential rain despite it being a fairly arid part of the world. Due to the high elevation of the bushveld, daily temperatures fluctuate a lot, with a morning low in February of 17C going all the way up to 30C by midday. For those of you that have been on our last tour to the Cape where we got caught out by a cold front in early summer, that wont happen in this part of the world during February and it is a completely different climate system anyway. Rainy weather getting sucked in from the northern equatorial regions is the only potential damper on our journey, but the risk of that is fairly low and it wont be accompanied by cold weather either. Do bring a jumper or at least something warm - driving in an open Safari vehicle as we wil do at 5am in the morning and going onto a hot air balloon will be a bit nippy for especially our Thai partners! But after 10am it is bikini weather again!

Golf Competition: This is a holiday guys, and golf is a social part of this trip, so we will have a very simple format with everyone putting a bit of money into a pot and we pay out daily prizes, two's and some overall prizes. Overall prizes will be only for the 6 non optional rounds played during the first stage of the tour. Everyone will play from the same tee's, use handicap index and my aim is to enjoy the trip with you and not get bogged down by golf administrative functions. We'll enjoy the banter, keep things simple and winners buy a round or two for the boys! That's it!

Visa's and money: Thai Nationals and all Western Nations dont need visas for South Africa. Very important however, is that you have two full open pages in your passport (dont ask me why!), as without it, you will most likely be refused entry into South Africa. On money, South Africa's exchange companies are all rip off's, and changing to Rands before you go is not wise either! I would recommend that you go armed with only an ATM card, which gives you the best exchange rate. Dont take a lot of cash, either in Rands or in a foreign currency. In an emergency (if ure bank card doesnt work for example), we'll be there to help you out and you can return the money back to me in Thai baht during or after the trip. We do an account reconciliation afterwards anyway for any additional options or expense undertaken during the trip that is not part of the package you paid for.

Safety: Everywhere that we will be going has been carefully selected and we will be staying in safe, well protected areas throughout our journey. For those of you that havent been to South Africa and have security concerns, don't listen to the BS you hear on the media. Just use common sense, the same as you would when you do by going to the US or UK or most other countries nowadays. Keep your valuables locked in the safe, dont be flashy when ure out in public areas, etc. The biggest threat, and this is not a joke, is to keep your hotel windows closed when you are not there - lots of monkeys and other wild animals love to come into hotel rooms through open windows and pillage your belongings!

Transport: All local transport is included and we will be renting a large bus to cart us on the long haul journeys. Whilst we're staying in a location, local transport will be provided for our short journeys to the golf courses or on adventure trips by the resorts, and that is included in the package price or the package option quoted.

Medical: We will, at some places during our tour, be far away from big cities and will have to rely in cases of emergency on local services and doctors available (this is unavoidable). If you feel uncomfortable by being a few hours drive away from modern medical facilities, it is advisable that you take out medical insurance in addition to the regular emergency accident insurance provided under our Outback liability insurance policy to cover you for air evacuation coverage in case of an emergency. Secondly, people do ask about innoculations etc. Near the Kruger National park, the area is designated as a Malaria region and it is advisable that you do take the prescribed malaria medicine prior to your trip. If you see a doctor they will also advise you to take a bunch of other innoculations for things like Yellow Fever, etc. However, in my experience at least, that's not necessary but I leave it up to you to decide.

Next Steps:

If you want to join us on this trip, please send me an email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and I will send you a form that you need to complete to capture all the options and choices for this trip. Once I have received the form back, I will email you again and request that you deposit Thb 20,000 (single) or Thb 30,000 (double), which will confirm your name on the roster for this trip. Prior to the deposit being paid, you are not confirmed and allocation is strictly on a first come first served basis. Once we have reached the allocated quota of 20 primary travellers, you have to go on a waitlist. If you have paid a deposit and want to pull out later, the deposit is only refundable (less whatever the airlines or hotels require for name changes or ticket cancellations), provided we have the full contingent of 20 single/couples and if we can find a replacement for you.

Lastly, I know a lot of you will have questions even though I tried to be thorough in this write up. Don't be shy, just ask. We will (same as with the previous tour), also have pre-meeting or two at The Outback where everyone going and who is here can enjoy a drink together, meet each other and ask questions. 

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