Every outing a game drive for the Campbells

Nestled in the bush within walking distance of Sardinia Bay's white sand dunes lies a tranquil haven where wildlife and humans live in perfect harmony.

It is from this paradise that Nigel Campbell reluctantly emerges every morning to leave for work.

Not that this erstwhile ship captain doesn't enjoy his job as technical head of Maritime Safety in Port Elizabeth, he'd just much rather spend his time at home.

Three years ago, when he turned 60, they celebrated the milestone somewhere deep in the Addo bushveld.

"Retirement plans came up in conversation and I said my ultimate retirement place would combine our greatest loves - nature and golf."

An impromptu visit to the Sardinia Bay Golf and Wildlife Estate revived that conversation and, amid inquisitive stares from the native four-legged community, they realised it was "a very special place".

The decision, he says, was made there and then and they moved into their new home - a mere five-minute drive from town along the country road - in July 2015.

"Where else can you wake up to springbok, eland and wildebeest roaming in your garden?" he asks rhetorically.

"My drive to work literally turns into a game drive from the moment I reverse out of my driveway."

The Campbells' home faces a magnificent "mountain" backdrop beyond the second green, a water hole and the fairway that brings them so much joy.

They feel fortunate to sip sundowners on their stoep surrounded by these views - totally unobstructed by walls, yet knowing they are in a safe environment.

"This is the lifestyle that many only dream of," says Nigel. Envious friends often remind them they live in paradise and he says he "cannot agree more".

His wife took up golf when their boys Duncan and Derek flew the coup.

"It is still hard to believe that we actually have a beautiful golf course in our back garden," says Mandi, who plays at least three rounds a week.

Nigel says the estate is rich in birdlife too.

"The variety is amazing. We have eagles, owls, heron, swallows and francolin - among other species.

"And watching guinea fowl with their young from our stoep is like watching a live comedy show."

Nigel says the estate offers a number of walking trails for bird and wildlife lovers but, apart from these tranquilities, it is the sense of community that has proven to be an unexpected perk.

"We have WhatsApp groups to make organising get-togethers and outings easier.

"We all share a love for golf and nature and camaraderie is inevitable with such solid common ground."

The Sardinia Bay Golf and Wildlife Estate, just down the country road from town, combines Nigel and Mandi Campbell's two greatest loves. Photo: Full Stop Communications

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