Despite quickly becoming one of the most beloved golf courses on the planet, the Legend Golf & Safari Resort (LGSR) is enhancing its offering with a raft of new initiatives, including the opening of its new conference centre, the launch of an authentic African dining facility and the addition of an airstrip on site, meaning easier access to the property for guests.
Limpopo Golf Tourism Map
Famed for having longest par-three golf hole in the world, luxurious accommodation, the world’s first baby rhino orphanage and the ‘big five’ roaming free on its safari conservancy, the award winning Legend Golf & Safari Resort (LGSR) has helped place Limpopo on the golf tourism map.
While South Africa is established as a long-haul golf destination, traditionally golfers have ventured to the Garden Route to play.
That was until LGSR opened its signature 18-hole golf course in 2009, offering golfers the rare opportunity to play among wildlife habitats with rangers nearby to ensure safety at all times.
Designed by 18 of the world’s greatest male golfers, each hole has the vision of a great golfer at its heart.
A Par 72, which begins with South African designer Trevor Immelman, the list of signatures who have been honoured to design a hole reads like a who’s who of world golf: from Padraig Harrington and Justin Rose to Vijay Singh and Sergio Garcia.
“South Africa is all about magnificent scenery, abundant wildlife, amazing people and culture and great food and drink.
“And Limpopo is at the heart of the REAL Africa.
“It’s all about “Leaving the Ordinary Behind,” explained Pete Richardson, spokesperson for Legend Lodges.
In addition, the Extreme 19th, a par-three hole and measuring 400 metres from the foot of the mountain to the back of the green, has captured the attention of the golfing world.
Set high up on the impressive Hanglip Mountain, the hole – at the highest point in Southern Africa - is accessible only by helicopter and played to a green the shape of Africa 400 metres below.
As the award winning Legend Golf and Safari continues to attract worldwide attention, luring more international guests than ever, its owners continue to invest in new innovations in a bid to enhance guests’ experiences.
Innovative Legend Airstrip unveiled
A new 1.3 kilometre Legend Airstrip was unveiled in March, situated on the lower escarpment of Entabeni, next to the Legendary Signature Golf course.
The ambitious development, which shortens journey times to the property, is ideal for turbine operated aircraft such as the Kingair 90 and 200, Grand Caravan, Caravan208 or PC12.
A passenger lounge is in place to accommodate aircraft landing and departing at the new runway complete with a Meet & Greeter from Legend Lines.
Offering the ultimate in personalised service, the Legend reveals that the new runway has been popular with chief executives, golfers and families from America and Germany.
Flights can be chartered to suit clients’ individual needs or requests with packages for same day fly-inns, Safari fly-in, golf fly-inns, conference groups and family vacations available.
In order to maintain the serenity and beauty that Legend is famed for, and in keeping with the group’s environmentally friendly ethos, strict routing procedures have been put in place so as not to not disturb golfers on the course.
Attracting new markets
With new additions like this coming on stream, it is only natural that the property has been welcoming visitors from new markets in recent months.
“We are seeing more visitors from Asia, Australia and the US plus India and even Iran,” explains Pete Richardson.
“Ten years ago we would never have seen Iranians and Indians but today they are returning time after time,” he added.
Award recognition for Legend
Since Legend Golf and Safari Resort opened, the development has won numerous awards and most recently has been nominated as Africa’s Leading Golf Resort, Africa’s Leading Sports Resort, Africa’s Leading Tourism Development Project and South Africa’s Leading Golf Resort by the World Travel Awards.
Meanwhile the Entabeni Private Game Reserve has been nominated in the category of Africa’s Leading Safari Lodge and South Africa’s Leading Safari Lodge in 2012.
A vision is realised
Cilliers revealed: “We have a vision and a mission to create the finest Golf and Safari resort on planet earth.
“We have a plan which we are only a few years in to. People said we could not do any of the things we have done.
“We could not get 18 of the world’s most famous golfers to design one hole each and create a world class golf course.
“People said we could not build five star rooms in the bush in the way that we have done.
“People said we could not build a golf hole played from the top of a mountain to a green the shape of Africa in the heart of big five country,” Cilliers continued.
“People said we could not breed and release white lions into the wild; that we could not do all this without impacting on the environment.”
Cilliers went on to explain: “We believe we have enriched our environment and the lives of those who live there.
“We have created opportunities for our community and are striving to enrich our wildlife and their habitat in ways which will protect and preserve this very special part of Africa for generations to come.”
Tapping into social media
In coming months, new social media initiatives may be rolled out by the dedicated Legend team.
“As regards social media we have recently created a specialist department within our marketing division to specialise on this,” explains Cilliers.
“Our aim is to drive awareness and ease the booking process for tour operators, conference and event organisers and independent travellers alike.”
New conference centre and dining facilities
With the recent opening of its brand new Sofala Conference Centre, there will be more of a focus on events and MICE in coming months for the resort.
The new conference venue, which can seat up to 300 guests, also offers a Monomotapa Banqueting Hall.
Meanwhile foodies can take advantage of a traditional African dining experience out in the bush at the property’s latest function venue.
The newly-built, 460-seater Boma at the resort’s Wildlife & Cultural Centre hosts large groups of visitors. Sheltered by a thatched roof, the lantern-lit venue covers 750 square metres.
Results for the prestigious World Travel Awards Africa and Indian Ocean categories will be announced on September 26th 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya, so stay tuned to find out whether Legend triumphs this year.