Africa has 828 courses in 50 countries -- more than half are located in South Africa
Famous names have designed courses here including Gary Player, Peter Matkovich
Flamingo Golf Course in Tunisia is as much as $290 per round
Many green fees are included in price of a resort room
For a reputedly impoverished continent, Africa has a remarkable number of golf courses – 828 courses in 50 countries with a little more than half of those, 450, located in South Africa.
Egypt, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia and Zimbabwe are all gaining reputations as good destinations for a golf holiday.
There are 43 other countries in Africa with multiple courses (Nigeria has 50 and Zambia has 21) and it won’t be much longer before some of them join that list.
If you’re contemplating a golf holiday in Africa, here’s my list of the 10 best golf courses in Africa, in alphabetical order by country.
All are great courses and, with the exception of the Seychelles, there are plenty of other excellent courses in each country if you like variety.
1. The Cascades at Soma Bay, Hurghada, Egypt
This 6,991-yard, par-72 Gary Player design is a spectacular desert links course with lush green fairways, extensive water hazards, including the Red Sea on five holes, and a series of potentially problematic man-made lakes on four other holes.
Other hazards on this beautiful and challenging golf course include palm trees dotted around the fairways, strategically placed fairway bunkers on most holes, plenty of green-side bunkers, and, of course, the vast desert of sand that awaits you on every hole should you stray too far off line.
Other golf facilities available at the Cascades include a nine-hole par three course (also designed by Player), a wide range of the latest golf clubs to rent and a Golf Academy with a 60-bay driving range, several putting and pitching practice greens and a team of PGA professionals always on hand to sort your swing out.
Green fees at the Cascades course start from $96 a round.
The Cascades Golf & Country Club, Hurghada, P.O. Box 403, Soma Bay, Red Sea, Egypt; +20 65 3562 685
2. Heritage Golf Club, Bel Ombre, Mauritius
At present there are seven beautiful championship golf courses on Mauritius with another one scheduled to be built in the next two years.
The best of them is the Peter Matkovich-designed Heritage Golf Club course, which measures more than 7,000 yards, par 72 from the back tees.
Here, majestic views of the Indian Ocean shimmering in the sunshine are available from holes 1-5, 7-9 and 17-18, which rise up into the foothills of Bel Ombre in the south of the island.
Beautiful lakes test golfers on the seventh, ninth, 11th, 13th and 18th holes.
Strategically placed boulders and course signage on rocks also enhance the look of an already spectacular and challenging course, while a luxurious clubhouse awaits golfers after their rounds.
By using a lot of the space available and keeping many of the holes separate from each other, Matkovich has created a tremendous sense of freedom for the golfer, though wayward shots can easily be swallowed up by the lush vetiver grass that surrounds many fairways, or the mango, papaya and palm tree jungle that lines some holes.
The Heritage golf course also has some practice facilities including an excellent nine-hole, par-three course, a double-ended driving range and a superb short game area.
There are two all-inclusive luxury hotels, the Heritage Awali Golf & Spa Resort and the Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort, just across the road from the golf course.
Green fees at the Heritage Golf Club are free if you stay at either one of the above all-inclusive hotels, or $205 a round if you’re staying elsewhere.
Heritage Golf Clu, Domaine de Bel Ombre, Mauritius; +230 266 9777
3. Le Touessrok, Ile Aux Cerfs, Mauritius
Another beautiful course on Mauritius is Le Touessrok, situated on its own island at Ile Aux Cerfs on Mauritius’ east coast, and the only golf course I’ve played that’s not reachable by road, only by boat or helicopter.
This Bernhard Langer-designed course measures 7,115 yards, par 72 (from the back tees) and is a layout that has to played to be believed.
With several holes that run beside the white beaches and turquoise blue waters of the Indian Ocean, the whole course is a work of art, with a wide variety of exotic flora and fauna, including scarlet cardinals that flit around the golf course.
It’s also an extremely tough course, with black volcanic rock outcroppings coming into play on several holes, mangrove swamps on many others, water hazards to test your accuracy on 13 holes and strategic bunkers on many more.
Green fees are included in room rates for resort guests, but they must pay $32 per person for a cart (not compulsory). Outside visitor green fee in high season is Rs8700 ($281) including boat transfer and cart.