Travel bucket list idea:
Leopard Creek Golf Course
Malelane, Mpumalanga, South Africa|leopardcreek.co.za
South Africa’s most exclusive golf course is near Malelane in the heart of Mpumalanaga, on the southern edge of Kruger National Park. It’s commonly referred to as the Augusta of South Africa, and access is just as controlled: unless you’re a member, you can only play it by staying at one of the 15 game lodges in the area.
Once in, though, you’re in for an extraordinary round. The course itself, designed by Gary Player, is challenging enough, but what makes this place special are the occasional spectators – a snorting hippopotamus, a lion lying idly by the fence. Hit a pitch shot over lake full of crocodiles or hit a drive under the watchful gaze of a group of giraffes.
The signature hole is the par-five 13th, with a raised green alongside the Crocodile River and with magnificent views of Kruger: the course and clubhouse might have been built by humans, but this place belongs to the animals.
Getting there & doing it
The course is a four-hour drive from Johannesburg. You must book a tee time through whatever lodge you’re staying in.
When to do it
The course is open all year round, seven days a week. November through March is the high season when the weather is better, but the course is easy playable throughout the year.
Round-ups that include this experience