“Any nervous flyers among us?” asked the helicopter pilot as we took off to descend Hanglip Mountain. My sister yelled “NO!” which gave him the nod to take off and soar down over the cliff, followed by the most extreme acrobatics that gave us an incredible adrenalin rush. Firmly belted in, headphones on, and eyes closed, I thought the end had come at last.
We had just teed off the par-three Extreme 19th at the Entabeni Legends Golf Course in the Limpopo Provence of South Africa. Our party had taken off early in the morning in the game jeeps to the highest par-three in the world. The tee is located 430 meters on Hanglip Mountain and only accessible by helicopter. Leaving our clubs in the jeeps and armed with only our drivers, we were flown up in groups of four, and once assembled we were escorted to the tee box on the edge of the cliff.
It was the most awesome sight. We looked down on the postage-sized green below, shaped in the map of Africa and completely surrounded by a massive bunker. And we were meant to reach the fairway with one shot, let alone the green?
We were all given a quota of six balls, numbered and initialised, and the club professional gave us hints as to which direction to aim. The balls were followed and located by men on the fairway, who were armed with two-way radios relating to the pro as to where the balls landed. This experience was certainly a fantastic ice-breaker with lots of “oos” and “ahs”, cheers, and applause.
From our wild ride on the side of Hanglip Mountain we got mighty close to a friendly rhino who decided to scratch his tusks on the side of our safari car. That was enough to wake us all up! Getting so close to the animals and meeting the happy, smiley village children was so special. As was our visit to Nelson Mandela House — our guide Nic, a charming and friendly local, had a wonderful way of bring the history of South Africa to life. His caring attitude and thorough knowledge added much to the flavour of the tour.
A real treat towards the end of the tour was our stay at the Hyatt Hotel, Oubaii. Wow! Such a beautiful location, the hotel overlooks the ocean and from the balconies we had the most amazing views. We really felt pampered and the spa was a welcoming retreat after tackling the tough Ernie Els layout. It was a most rewarding, educational and enjoyable tour, where we made many friends that we look forward to travelling with again.
By Anna de Bondt