Author Archives: Kingma Ypie

About Eagle Eyes

Ypie Kingma (aka Eagle Eyes) was born and bred in The Netherlands. After graduating in International Business she lived, worked and played in Moscow, Russia for six years. When the financial crisis hit the country in 1998 she and her husband Erik relocated to Amsterdam for a short while before going on a new adventure to South Africa. They ran a very successful guesthouse in Knysna, at 'the bottom of Africa' where they since then started an inbound tour company specializing in tailor made individual or group (golf) tours, which can be self-drive or chauffeur-driven to the whole of South(ern) Africa, incl. accommodation, tee-off times, sightseeing, car rental, etc. Eagle Eyes (#EagleEyes): observations of a golfer, on anything golf and travel in South Africa. Personal stories, possibly biased but always honest. Because there is so much more than just golf!

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Euphoria Golf Estate & Hydro out of Liquidation

Euphoria Golf Estate & Hydro out of Liquidation

Euphoria Golf Estate & Hydro based in Limpopo has been purchased out of liquidation on the 15th April by Sampada Private Equity. Euphoria becomes the first and currently only black owned golf estate in South Africa.  Through its development, Euphoria will play a meaningful role in directly uplifting and changing the lives of people in Mookgophong and the greater Limpopo.

A further twenty million rand will be immediately invested into the Estate for general upgrades and maintenance. The main operations and estate will thus be closed for three months from the 1st June until the end of August. These refurbishments will take place on the clubhouse, the lodge rooms and all restaurants during this phase. The condition of the golf course will be significantly improved and will remain open for play with a limited half way house service.

The word Euphoria will remain in the name of the Estate although the full name and corporate identity will change. The re-launch is due to take place on the 1st September.

Bafedile Mafologele, CEO of Sampada Private Equity based in Johannesburg, was born and raised in Limpopo and is extremely excited about the purchase. “We see the huge potential in Euphoria growing and developing into one of the best estates in the country.  Through its growth, we are able to directly influence the lives of people, such as securing a bright future for the 30 current staff members at Euphoria.  As we develop and succeed, the Estate will create more and more opportunities and employment for the people of Limpopo and contribute towards uplifting our society.

Our firm targets investments with strong socio-economic benefits while generating sufficient returns for our investors and Euphoria fits perfectly into our investment model!”

Ian Leach, former CEO of Royal JHB & Kensington Golf Club and Euphoria Golf Estate & Hydro, will return as General Manager at Euphoria on the 1st May. Leach will work together with Kea Makoea who is Portfolio Manager at Sampada and recently elected as CEO of Euphoria Golf Estate & Hydro.

Further updates on Euphoria will be released during the next three months. For more information, please contact Kea Makoea on 011 318 0171 or  



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South Africa well represented at The Open 2015

Eight South Africans have qualified for the 2015 Open Championship!  They are Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Thomas Aiken, Branden Grace, George Coetzee, Retief Goosen and Jaco Van Zyl.  As I write this the 2nd round has yet again been suspended early this morning, due to high winds.  But at this point Branden Grace – after a great first day – sits in 25th position on -3, Retief Goosen and Charl Swartzel are tied 9th on 6 and Louis Oosthuizen is tied 4th on -7.

Louis Oosthuizen

Louis Oosthuizen winning The Open 2010.

‘King Louis’ as he is affectionately known, hails from Mosselbay, on the Garden Route, best known for the Pinnacle Point golf course.  He was runner-up in the 2012 Masters Tournament and the 2015 U.S. Open.  But he is here to defend his 2010 Open Championship.  Will he be able to hold the Claret Jug again this year?

Charl Schwartzel is currently playing on the PGA Tour, European Tour, and the Sunshine Tour.  He has won one major title which was the Masters in 2011.  He was born in Johannesburg, and when he is not playing on the tours, he resides in Pretoria, in the commercial heart of our country.  Most of our visitors land in neighboring Johannesburg, only to catch their next flight to the coast, or to get into their rental vehicle and move away from the Big City to visit the Big Five.  But actually Gauteng has some nice golfing experiences on offer as well….

Retief Goosen who was in the top ten in the Official World Golf Ranking for over 250 weeks between 2001 and 2007. Must admit, I did not know this either, but came across this ‘fun fact’ about ‘the Goose’ when surfing the next.  He was born in the Limpopo province, and although that is known by most visitors because of the Kruger National Park, again there are some fabulous golf courses in this part of the country! The Legend Golf & Safari Resort – with its famous ‘Extreme 19th’ – is probably the most well-known, alongside the Leopard Creek Golf Course, which for years has been the No. 1 golf course in South Africa.

Last but not least I want to mention Branden Grace.  He was born in Pretoria, but spent a lot of time on the Garden Route, where his parents still reside.  He was selected and later on graduated at the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation, which recognizes and helps nurture the careers of young golfers. He is still being sponsored by Fancourt, which is home to The Links at Fancourt, the current No.1 golf course in South Africa. Branden plays on both the European Tour and Sunshine Tour and in 2012 he became the first player in the history of the European Tour to win his first four European Tour events in the same year.

We wish all ‘our’ gents the best of luck! And fly that South African flag high!

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Addo Elephant National Park

Addo Elephant National Park

The history of the Addo Elephant National Park is relatively young and has undergone several phases before the park became what it is today: one of the highlights on any South African holiday, both for local as well as international visitors alike.

In the late 1700’s, when the first European settlers visited the area, their sightings of elephant, buffalo, lion, rhino and eland were often and varied.   Wildlife was in abundance, and it did not take long before especially the elephant hunt became popular and widespread, with a roaring ivory trade to go with it.

When the English in the 1800’s started settling in the greater Port Elizabeth area the land surrounding this growing city was not only used for hunting parties, but farmers also divided the land for agricultural use.  The game population came under severe pressure, as their natural habitat got smaller and smaller.  Combined with the increased social hunting and farmers shooting the wildlife off their land, the number of game started diminishing.

By 1853 the last rhino in the area was shot, and another 26 years later also the lion was exterminated.  The elephants in the area raided the farmers’ crops, and in 1919 government bowed for their demands to have all elephants killed…  It was 1919 when a Major Pretorius was contracted to kill the remaining elephants.  He did a thorough job and managed to shoot 114 elephants within a year after his contract started.  Only when 2 young calves were sold to a travelling circus did the public react, and the elephant hunt came to an end.  Sixteen elephants remained.

These 16 elephants found refuge on a Mr. Harvey’s land – who is nowadays remembered by his own ‘loop’ within the park.  By 1925 two substantial pieces of land, the Strathmore and the Mentone Forest Reserve were earmarked as elephant refuges, which – in 1931 – resulted in the proclamation of the actual Addo Elephant National Park.   By that time there were only 11 remaining of the original elephants which roamed the area.

Although this was a major achievement in the elephant conservation in the area, they were not safe as yet.  Fencing around the original park was not adequate, and the elephants kept on breaking out and destroying nearby farmers’ crops.  To the extent that in 1933 Mr. Trollope, who was the then Park Manager, started feeding the elephants to keep them within the boundaries of the park.  With certain feeding times visitors were then invited into the park to enjoy this spectacle.  The elephants got used to being fed at certain times of the day, and consequently started harassing the feeding trucks.  Furthermore they would no longer roam around the park, but rather stick to the feeding area, afraid as they were to miss out on the next feeding session.  The area got depleted; elephants got stressed and started becoming aggressive towards each other.  Slowly but surely the feeding sessions stopped, and this practice was abandoned altogether in 1975.

In the mean time other game species, as originally recorded in the area, were being protected byt the establishment of the park, in particular the Cape buffalo and the flightless dung beetle.  In 1957 eland was being reintroduced, followed by the Burchell’s zebra and warthog in 1996.  Last but not least the reintroduction of (Kalahari) lion into the Addo Elephant National Park was completed in 2003, together with the extension of the park to the more than 180,000ha it currently covers.

Click here to read about our visit to the Addo Elephant National Park.

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Elephants and us in Addo

Elephants and us in Addo

We were in the Addo Elephant National Park (in the Eastern Cape) today.  We had arrived late afternoon yesterday, too late to go into the actual park itself.  Not a problem whatsoever, as we were staying in one of the cozy, yet comfortable rondavels, overlooking the waterhole, in the Main Camp.  The Main Camp is near the Main Entrance into the park, with a restaurant, souvenir shop and mini supermarket for the folk like ourselves, who had booked self-catering, but then forgot to bring the milk…  Or firelighters, or torch.  Those basics one needs when going self-catering.

Our rondavel was one of 6 rondavels overlooking the waterhole, which was floodlit at night.  We could see where the elephant would come down through the bush, with clearly well-travelled elephants paths disappearing well into the bush.  We saw kudu and warthog, and different bird species, yet no elephant.

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On the South African bucket list of golf experiences

On the South African bucket list of golf experiences

Shall I tell you what I did today?  I played one of the most scenic and challenging golf courses South Africa has to offer: The Links at Fancourt on the Garden Route.  A course which should be on anybody’s bucket list of golf courses to play!

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