The Garden Route
The Garden Route is a popular and scenic stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa. It stretches from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River in the extreme western reach of the neighboring Eastern Cape. The name comes from the verdant and ecologically diverse vegetation encountered here and the numerous lagoons and lakes dotted along the coast. It includes towns such as Mossel Bay, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley; with George, the Garden Route’s largest city and main administrative centre.
Fancourt, South Africa’s premier leisure resort is situated in the heart of the Garden Route, seven kilometers from the George Airport. The resort is superbly landscaped on 613 hectares of lush countryside with the majestic Outeniqua Mountains as the perfect backdrop. Offering guests extraordinary leisure experiences, the resort is well suited to discerning travelers, avid golfers, and families.
Leisure activities on the resort include a Spa with an indoor heated Roman Bath, Kids Club, teen lounge, gymnasium, indoor heated and outdoor swimming pools. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy running/walking/cycling trails, bird watching and fishing on the estate. We also have four beautifully located tennis courts of which two are flood lit for your evening or early morning enjoyment.
The Manor House – a 5 star boutique hotel, the crown of the Fancourt estate, with eighteen suites including a Master Bedroom all offering personalized, butler-style service. As a National Monument, the Manor House presents a meticulous remodelling of its historical counterpart, the Blanco House, while encompassing the distinctive air of a world-class, 21st century destination.
Exquisitely furnished and decorated with sensual metallic finishes, the Manor House offers accommodation of uncompromising quality. Fusing old-world with new-world style, its design combines modern sophistication with its original wooden finishes. Its luxury amenities include the stately Monty Bar, the Manor House Library, a private swimming pool, and the Manor House Lounge which provides an elegant setting for afternoon teas. The Manor House also incorporates eco-friendly design features, providing a refreshing outlook on contemporary travel.
Golf at Fancourt
Fancourt embodies a flawless fusion of leisure and world-class golfing. With all three of its golf courses ranked among Golf Digest’s top 20 courses in the country, it boasts a proud legacy of sporting excellence. The Links, a privately owned club, is currently No. 1 in South Africa (Golf Digest Rankings 2014/15) and was ranked 34th in the world in 2014 by Golf Digest USA. The Montagu and Outeniqua golf courses are both ranked in the Top 20 in South Africa.
Fancourt’s golf courses were designed by a dynamic team spearheaded by Gary Player and the estate’s owner, Dr Hasso Plattner. Recently voted among the World’s 10 Best Golf Resorts on CNNGo, Fancourt has supplemented its courses with its own Golf Academy, practice facilities and every modern convenience, allowing golfers to immerse themselves in the five-star Fancourt experience.
The Links (Ranked No 1)
The Links at Fancourt was added in 2000, an awe-inspiring example of magnificent design and golf-course construction, about which designer Gary Player says:“I feel a genuine affinity for Fancourt having been involved from day one as a designer of the original golf courses, I experienced one of the greatest thrills of my golf career here when captaining the International Presidents Cup team against Jack Nicklaus’ American team, and it is the home of perhaps my greatest achievement as a golf course designer, The Links.”
The Links at Fancourt is without doubt the most impressive piece of golf design and construction ever in South Africa. Fancourt owner Dr Hasso Plattner, who took a very hands-on approach in the creation thereof, commissioned a golf course, which would not only be a thorough test for every golfer, but would also rank among the top courses in the world. Player’s design team spent months studying the classic links courses of Scotland and Ireland and then, armed with inspiration from the best that those countries had to offer, embarked on the ambitious task of recreating some of their finest holes to make a genuine links test on what was once an airfield.
Montague Golf Course
Montagu, named after the Montagu Pass in the Outeniqua Mountains surrounding Fancourt, has been ranked as the number-one golf course in South Africa in the past and is currently ranked as No. 6 (Golf Digest Rankings 2011). The exquisitely conditioned Montagu is at the heart of Fancourt, with its glorious parkland layout, covering large tracts of varying terrain on rolling land.
Its beauty is enhanced by mature trees, flower beds, shrubs and water hazards that provide a colourful contrast to the landscape. The warm-up area, featuring a full-length range and a chipping and bunker practice area, is available to all golfers before play. Golf carts are available for hire, weather permitting.
Outeniqua Golf Course
Ranked number 14 in South Africa by Golf Digest, Fancourt’s Outeniqua golf course presents an 18-hole parkland layout that is tailored to provide a laid-back golfing experience. The course provides for easier game play than its counterpart, the Montagu while offering its fair share of challenges and water hazards on as many as 11 of its holes. Designed by Gary Player and named after the mountain range that forms its breath-taking backdrop, the course is pristinely conditioned to accommodate a large volume of players. A detailed stroke saver takes golfers through the course, providing distance measurements and images that assist players with navigating the course. A warm-up area, featuring a full-length range and a chipping and bunker practice area, is available to golfers before play. Golf carts are available for hire, weather permitting.
Private day tour to Oudtshoorn
Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world. The world’s biggest bird is just one of the many attractions in this area of exceptional contrasts and natural beauty. Visit Cango Ostrich Farm for an easy guided walk through the farm and learn about these large birds. After lunch at the farm continue to Buffelsdrift where you will interact with Elephants. While feeding the elephants you will experience them up close and personal. You will find they may be huge, but are gentle as can be. You may feed them, touch them and take photos with them while our skilled elephant guides share their knowledge of these gentle giants with you. Afterwards they will even reward you with an elephant hug as a special goodbye.
Tour of Knysna
An incredible full day starting with a scenic drive through the heart of the beautiful garden route to Knysna. Enjoy lunch in Knysna waterfront followed by a boat cruise on Knysna lagoon and enjoy some shopping in Knysna before returning to Fancourt.
Animal Sanctuaries near Plettenberg Bay
Enjoy a scenic drive along the Garden Route to Plettenberg Bay where you will visit 2 animal sanctuaries
Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary is the world’s first free-roaming multi-specie primate sanctuary. It offers tours (monkey safaris) where guests can view the 500+ resident primates in their forest home, there is also a restaurant, souvenir store and viewing deck, and a 128 metre suspended canopy walk.
Birds of Eden is the world’s largest free-flight bird aviary (50 metres high, covering 23 000 square meters of forest). Birds of Eden houses more than 3,500 specimens of more than 280 species, with the main focus being African birds. The dome covers 2 km of boardwalks, an amphitheatre (maximum audience: 200), a restaurant, several ponds and dams and a souvenir store.
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The Links is currently voted number one in the country by Golf Digest South Africa, and as number 43 in Golf Digest US edition’s list of the world’s 100 greatest golf courses
Sculpted into what Gary Player has described as his greatest feat as a course designer, The Links is the golfing hallmark of the Fancourt estate. Featuring an undulating, windswept terrain and dune-style landscape, the course is the collaborative handiwork of golfing icon, Gary Player, course designer, Phil Jacobs and Fancourt’s owner, Dr Hasso Plattner.
The Links is currently voted number one in the country by Golf Digest South Africa, and as number 43 in Golf Digest US edition’s list of the world’s 100 greatest golf courses, that compared 464 courses from 18 countries around the globe. Transformed from an airfield into a piece of environmental and golfing heritage, The Links has hosted some of the most prestigious tournaments in the world, including the Presidents Cup (2003), the SA Open (2005) and the 2012 Volvo Golf Champions European Tour. Inspired by the famous links courses of the British Isles, The Links is considered a masterpiece and plays host to a range of global golfing legends including John Bland, Justin Rose, Retief Goosen, Branden Grace and Ernie Els.
Apart from its distinctive design, The Links has been lauded for its vital role in environmental sustainability and awarded a designation as a Certified Audubon Cooperation Sanctuary. This certification necessitated a degree of ecological value that includes wildlife and habitat management, outreach and education, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation and other environmental factors. A detailed stroke saver takes golfers through the course, providing distance measurements and images that assist players with navigating the course’s extensive rises and falls.