Did you know?
Sakabula is the Zulu name for the long-tailed widow bird found in the grasslands of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
A visit to Sakabula Golf Club near Howick in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal offers way more than 18 holes of great golf. Set on the Sakabula Country Estate, the clubhouse enjoys panoramic views over the course, and four tee boxes lie a stone’s throw away.
An enclosed verandah and large lounge with a roaring winter provide a welcome haven for golfers and spectators taking refuge from the cold or watching major sporting events on the large-screen television.
The course is an 18-hole, par-73 course featuring two distinct sets of nine holes. The first nine follow an undulating valley with stunning views over the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg mountains – a World Heritage Site. The second nine holes wind along a stream and wetland interspersed with a number of dams. Each of the nine holes presents the golfer with different challenges; a full 18 gives the satisfaction of playing on two completely different golf courses.
In 1995 Gerrie de Jong consolidated 12 farms in the Merrivale area outside of Howick, which later gave rise to Sakabula Country Estate. The central topography of the estate lent itself to golf course design so, following intensive study of European and US courses, Gerrie began construction of the golf course and clubhouse, which opened in 1997.
Being located 15 minutes from Pietermaritzburg, 60 minutes from Durban and 45 minutes from Mooi River makes it accessible to golfers across KwaZulu-Natal. Over the years Sakabula has grown in renown as a testing course set in a relaxed rural environment.
The course is fully fenced and, although there are no caddies, 30 motorised golf carts are available for hire.
Noteworthy features along the course include an indigenous paperbark thorn tree on the 14th green; a long, uphill 500-metre par five at the fifth and a robot on the 10th hole tee that is reset to green by the golfer as he leaves an area unsighted from the tee box.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Sakabula Golf Course
Tel:+27 (0)33 330 6751
How to get here
Sakabula Golf Club is in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands near Merrivale, a suburb of Howick, 20 minutes' drive from Pietermaritzburg and an hour's drive from Durban. From the Johannesburg/Durban N3, take Exit 99 towards Underberg. Once on the R617 travel for 1km and find the main entrance on the left.
Best time to visit
All year round, but cooler days and cozy nights around the fire make a winter visit extra special.
Tours to do
Howick Museum and Howick Falls; Celtiskloof Nursery; the uKhahlamba World Heritage Site; Midmar Dam.
Self-drive is recommended.
What will it cost
Around R10 for nine holes or R150 for 18 holes.
What to pack
Golf kit. Golf carts may be hired at the club, but there are no caddies available.
Where to stay
Sakabula Golf Club has teamed with the Hilton Hotel and the Fern Hill Hotel to offer golf and accommodation at reduced rates.