As golfers we have seen quite a few golf courses on the planet. One that will always stay with us is the Hans Merensky Country Club. This 18-hole golf course was founded in 1967 and is located in Phalaborwa on the western border of the Kruger National Park.
The course is named after Hans Merensky, a geologist born in 1871, gold digger, scientist and later conservationist and philanthropist, who made his fortune with platinum and the discovery of diamonds. After his death in 1952, a large part of his assets went to the Hans Merensky Trust with which he wanted to ensure that his agricultural, horticultural and forest projects would continue after his death.
The special thing about the Hans Merensky golf course
What makes the golf course so special for us is that the game also seems to be playing golf. Do not be surprised if your ball on the green is picked up by a monkey. Or that your ball is considered lost because it is just too close to a water hazard, where at that moment, two hippos seem to make life difficult. In addition to the animals mentioned, there are also giraffes, crocodiles and more than 200 species of birds on the golf course grounds.
Obviously, the golf course offers a good restaurant but also luxury accommodation for a reasonable price. Given the location right next to the Kruger National Park, this is a perfect start or end to a few days of game safari in the famous park.
There is also a protected natural park of 5,268 hectares named after Hans Merensky. We have not been there ourselves but we find the charm of a somewhat smaller park than the Kruger National Park also worth a recommendation. Zebra, wildebeest, warthog, giraffes, leopards, jackals and the spotted hyena can be found in this protected park. The park also includes a small museum with an exhibition about the culture of the Tsonga people.