I went for my first game drive in a golf cart… on Phalaborwa’s Hans Merensky Estate… and saw giraffe for the first time as well as hippopotamus, crocodile, warthogs and impala in a matter of about 10 minutes on a golf course. Surely that says it all… where else in the world can you do that?
I’ve been longing to see a real giraffe since I arrived in Limpopo — more than lions or anything else — and I wasn’t disappointed. I was taken around by Mark Glanvill and no sooner had we come across a group of buck right in front of one of the houses on this spectacular golf estate…
… than we came across the first group of giraffe. It really was a matter of just turning my head to the right!
Hans Merensky Estate is to Phalaborwa what the V&A Waterfront is to Cape Town, but in some respects it is even more impressive because of its uniqueness. It started as facility for Palabora Mining’s staff but was sold because was not a core function of the company. The buyer turned it into a golf estate with a hotel and ±80 houses. A new investor is currently upgrading the whole facility. Their slogan is the apt “Golf in the Wild”.
So if you’re easily distracted while putting, this is not for you.
There was game everywhere. It was a spectacular drive around a golf course.
The Estate borders the Kruger Pational Park and there is a gate which is opened at night. Tracks in the morning show that lions do come through.
The only sour taste was being chased off the Estate by an officious manager who demanded the film from my Sony digital camera after trying to drag me into his argument with Mark! He claimed to have worked at Ferryman’s Tavern at the V&A Waterfront, but obviously learnt nothing about the importance of tourism.