Known as the sport of kings, Polo has seen a dramatic rise across Africa, particularly in Nigeria and South Africa. The sport is a symbol of sophistication, luxury, wealth and of course Royalty.
In South Africa alone there are 38 official Polo clubs with 450 affiliated players, with the first recorded game in South Africa taking place in 1874. Over the years a number of global luxury brands have supported the growth of the sport by sponsoring the flagship tournaments across the Polo season, namely BMW and Land Rover.
In Nigeria, millionaires have also embraced Polo as well, the Nigerian upper middle class is growing at a rapid rate and whilst the HNWI is also growing, uber wealthy Nigerians seek exclusive experiences which aren’t easily accessible to others. Many of these individuals are setting up their own teams and importing their own ponies which can cost as much as $30 000.
The Lagos Polo Club is the “official” home of Polo in Nigeria and with a high membership fee, it is extremely exclusive and reserved for captains of industry and successful entrepreneurs. The first recorded Polo game was played in the early 1900’s with the formation of the Lagos Polo Club which is set in an old British army Parade Ground.
3 of the best polo clubs in Africa
Lagos Polo Club, Lagos. Nigeria
Known as the premier Polo club in Nigeria set in the commercial heartbeat of the country, Lagos. With an exclusive membership the Lagos Polo club plays host to a number of polo tournaments such as the Veuve Cliquot Gold Cup and the Lagos MTN International Polo in what is an extensive Polo season calendar.
Val de Vie Estate, Paarl, Franschoek, South Africa
Set on the Paarl-Franschoek valley alongside the Berg River, this lovely estate boasts exclusive property development, winery and equestrian facilities for the Sport of Kings to be enjoyed surrounded by mountains and vineyards. Val de Vie plays host to the annual Veuve Cliquot Masters Polo.
Inanda Club, Inanda, Johannesburg South Africa
Having celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2014, Inanda Club is an exclusive polo club which plays host to the prestigious LandRover Africa Cup.
Images by Val de Vie and Lagos Polo Club