Written by Mike Garden
I have spent many a night at the Elephant Hills Resort in Victoria Falls: Sometimes it was just for a weekend away from the big city; on others to attend a week-long, work-related conference. The most enjoyable times were, however, when we came up to play golf in our annual Nomads National tournament with some 200 fellow golfers, taking time out to chill and catch up with old or new business colleagues.
The one thing that I love to do here is wake up early and take a walk or run around the golf course situated right in front of the hotel. I did just that this morning, taking photos of the sunrise as well as the impala, waterbuck, warthog and kudu scattered all around the estate. The wildlife here is used to humans walking nearby, yet they always keep a wary eye, pausing every so often from their morning meal to see who or what is approaching.
The eighteen-hole golf course was originally designed by Gary Player to be the hardest in Africa. When the hotel was rebuilt in 1989, Roger Bayliss redesigned the course, together with Roy Jennings and Jumbo Thompson, to be more suitable for the social golfer. Grass was imported for the fairways and the greens, blending in very effectively with the natural flora and fauna. Local rules allow for the golf ball to be dropped out of piles of animal dung or sunken hoof marks. Retrieving the ball from water holes is not recommended due to the occasional crocodile taking up temporary residence every now and again!