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South Africa


From left: Zebra among wild flowers; the Royal Swazi Spa


Club, Durban Country Club, and Royal Swazi Spa. Non-golfers are well looked-aſter too, with off-train excursions including a tour of the historic Batlefields Route of KwaZulu-Natal, visits to local craſt workshops, and game drives that take passengers to get up close up to everything from zebras to white rhino at Hluhluwe Game Reserve and Kruger Park. A further highlight on the Golf Safari is a round at Leopard


Creek Golf Club: this private members’ club is the most exclusive in the region, and is regularly voted one of the top two courses in the country. Travellers on the 10-day African Golf Collage tour get to


explore the game reserves and Leopard Creek, as well as selected courses in KwaZulu-Natal, before the train heads south, skirting the Drakensberg and desolate Karoo region on its journey towards the scenic Garden Route. Here the itinerary allows for players to tee off at the likes of


Humewood Golf Course, Oubaai and Fancourt, before the final leg wends its scenic way through the Cape winelands towards Cape Town. Which is where I’m headed, as our train ratles its


way slowly through the Karoo. Aſter dinner fellow guests retire to their compartments to let the rolling rock them to sleep, or setle in the lounge car to swap tales over a fine single malt. From the outdoor observation carriage the star-spangled desert skies point the way south. Our last morning, however, is the highlight and aſter a scenic


run through the Breede River valley, desert scrub is replaced by rows of trellised vineyards, the flat plains by jagged mountain peaks. The twisting and turning rails shoot us through the Nuwekloof Pass and, before long, the iconic Table Mountain appears through the summer haze. The original inhabitants of the Cape called it Hoerikwaggo


— ‘the mountain in the sea’ — and as the blue waters of Table Bay wink at us in welcome it’s hard not to see the truth in an ancient name. We’ve traversed 1,600-kilometres over three days, journeyed back in time and across the botom of a continent. Rail travel may not be the fastest way to get from A to B, but when offered the chance to be ensconced in the luxury confines of a Rovos Rail carriage with scheduled golf breaks, it’s an easy sell.


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IMAGES: GETTY; ROYAL SWAZI SUN


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