Last Saturday Peet Cilliers sat at the dinner table. He beamed excitement and satisfaction.
Cilliers, chief executive of Legend Lodges, Hotels & Resorts, had just seen his long-term vision become a reality.
The R3billion Legend Golf & Safari Resort in the Waterberg mountain range region of the Limpopo province was being launched to the media, investors and other important people from the province and around the globe.
Although South Africa is renowned for its beautiful golf resorts, the 18-hole Legend golf course is said to be the longest in Africa at 8km.
The 18 holes consist of two loops of nine holes with large putting greens designed for the delight of some of the professional golfers in the country.
"We invited 18 of the best golfers in the world to each design a hole to his specific talent and liking. Today we have a world class course that should attract the best to this region.
"We are excited that we are launching this unique product. It is a first for us in South Africa," Cilliers said.
The first hole of this "world-in-one" golf course was designed by South Africa's own Trevor Immelman. He was followed by other bests in the world before ending on the 18th hole with Retief Goosen, another South African great.
The second to the 17th hole were designed respectively by Thomas Bjorn (Denmark), Jim Furyk (US). Bernhard Langer (Germany), Michael Campbell (New Zealand), Colin Montgomerie (Scotland), Mike Weir (Canada), Camilo Villegas (Colombia), Justin Rose (England), Padraig Harrington (Ireland), Raphael Jaquelin (France), Ian Woosnam (Wales), Luke Donald (England), Robert Allenby (Australia), Vijay Singh (Fiji), Sergio Garcia (Spain), and KJ Choi (South Korea)
The golf course, according to Cilliers, should be fully operational towards the end of next year.
This new development is located at the Entabeni Safari Conservancy and is part of a joint venture between Legend Lodges, Hotels & Resorts, IFA Hotels & Resorts Ltd (IFA SA) and IFA Hotels & Resorts Kuwait (IFA Kuwait).
"As part of a wilderness conservancy policy supporting Africa's wildlife, the design and layout of the resort has been undertaken in such a manner as to minimise the impact on the natural resources and surroundings, preserving the pristine bushveld environment and ensuring that the resort remains one of the most eco-friendly in Africa," he added.
Some of the main facilities include a Welcome and Recreational Centre, offering guests a variety of restaurants and dining options, boutique shops, a theatre and various leisure activities including safari game drives to entertain the whole family.
One of the most talked about features of the golf course is its "Extreme 19th" hole, which is the longest Par 3 in the world. Set high up on the impressive Hangklip Mountain - accessible only by helicopter - golfers are invited to tee-off from the edge of the mountain to hit a hole-in-one on the additional 19th hole located at the bottom of the cliff. A hole-in-one earns the lucky golfer about R7million.
"We will offer this year-round when the course opens for play and golfers need only play this one hole for a chance to win the prize," says Cilliers.
A comfortable three-hour drive and short flight from Johannesburg, this malaria-free Big Five resort development will include an internationally branded five-star hotel, wellness centre and health spa with conferencing facilities for up to 2500 delegates.
The monumental architecture of the resort is based on Africa's old Kingdom of Monomotapa as the inspiration for the main buildings and housing estate, says Cilliers.
Select investors have bought stands within the resort's residential estate, with bulk services already completed in Phases One and Two.
Cilliers adds that the local community also stands to benefit by the creation of jobs and opportunities.
Bokala was a guest of Legend Lodges, Hotels & Resorts in Limpopo.