19 August 2022

10 Wonders in 18 Holes: Nature on the Golf Course at Apes Hill Barbados

Centuries-old trees. Mischievous monkeys clutching tiny blue babies. Orchards, majestic palm groves and agave patches. These are just a few of the wonders you’ll see while playing golf at Apes Hill Barbados.

Nature on the Golf Course

As Apes Hill Barbados prides itself on being a sustainability-focused golf course, it’s only natural that you can enjoy a wonderful ecosystem on the resort. Let’s explore ten of the wonders you’ll glimpse on our 18 hole championship golf course.

 

 

Barbados Green Monkeys

We mentioned green monkeys clutching blue babies. It’s true – newborns actually look blue in colour and if you have an eagle eye you can spot them cradled tightly to their mother’s chest. No visit to Barbados would be complete without a sighting of these quirky local residents. They are so iconic that you’ll see them travelling in troupes almost everywhere on the course route. You’ll get to know them and recognize the family members – frisky adolescents Barbados green monkeys are easily distinguished from the adults, who, as the name would suggest, tend to appear a dusty golden-green and take a more cautious approach to spectators. You’re sure to get plenty of photo-ops of these social primates, just be sure not to taunt them or they’ll taunt back. After all, monkey see monkey do.

 

 

The Grapefruit Tree: Barbadian Born and Bred

The grapefruit tree, also known as ‘citrus paradise’ or ‘forbidden fruit’, is one of the wonders that makes us proud to be Bajan. This hybrid is the offspring of the Sweet Orange and Shaddock, known for its relatively large orange fruit. Most importantly, it originated here in Barbados. When in season, these usually pink-fleshed fruits can be seen growing in clusters, similar to grapes, hence the name ‘grapefruit’. Enjoy these juicy fruits as breakfast in bed, sprinkled with a little sugar or even angostura bitters. 

 

Fun Fact: Did you know that grapefruit rind can be used to make a delicious marmalade?

 

 

The Scotland District: Barbados’ Rugged East Coast

When you imagine Barbados, you probably see white sand beaches first. From the front 9 of the golf course, that’s what you’ll see: the west coast’s perfect stretch of beach and sparkling Caribbean Sea. 

 

The rugged east coast however, or what locals call the Scotland District, is incredible to look at (especially from our elevated vantage point!) This area is a total contrast to the west, but equally spectacular. The Scotland District is home to Cattlewash and Bathsheba beaches, the “sleeping giant” (a clay and stone hillside under a sheet of grass and shrubs), swirling white caps of an unforgiving Atlantic ocean, coastal reef that exposes rock pools with fish and marine life at low tide, world class surfing, and impressive boulders that appear to have been chucked onto the beach like marbles being pitched. 

 

 

 

The Baobab Tree: Barbados’ Oldest and Biggest Trees

Baobab trees live for many centuries and two of the largest in the world grow here on the island. The oldest and by virtue the biggest lives in Queen’s Park, Bridgetown, and is more than 1,000 years old. You’ll know it when you see it. The baobab tree can be recognised by its extremely thick bulging trunk, and our Barbadian baobab trees have the thickest trunks in the Caribbean. We have our own ancient baobab growing here at Apes Hill Barbados – it’s a must for selfies.

 

Fun Fact: It would take your entire immediate family (about 15 adults) with arms spread out to get around the thousand-year-old baobab tree at Queen’s Park.

 

 

The Pride of Barbados: Our National Flower

The National Flower is the Pride of Barbados or Caesalpinia pulcherrima, a member of the pea family. Whilst the national flower is the red variety, carrying bright scarlet petals with yellow edges, Barbados boasts a wide array of colours, many of which can be seen scattered across the grounds of the Apes Hill golf course. Luckily this flower blooms year-round and will certainly be on show during your visit.

 

 

Spot The Bajan Butterfly

The silver spotted Flambeau butterfly is one of the more common species of butterfly to be found on the island. This butterfly can be distinguished from the other local species by its light reddish-brown colour which is edged with black. When these beautiful and fragile creatures close their wings, you can observe on the underside a pattern of silver spots and streaks. 

 

Fun Fact: Also known as the ‘Julia’ butterfly, the Spotted Flambeau is unpalatable to its predators.

 

 

Barbadian Orchids Growing Wild

Orchid aficionados know how delicate and varied orchid species are, and will be pleased to know that three species grow wild in Barbados. Two are of the terrestrial variety, one boasting bright orange tube shaped flowers, the other, the Ground Orchid, can carry lovely pinkish-purple flowers and may be found amongst rocky slopes. The third variety is a creamy-white fragrant orchid, the Eyelash orchid, which may be found on rocks and tree-trunks. If you’re a flower buff you’ll be happy to know that we also have many wildflowers growing to support the population of butterflies and bees at Apes Hill Barbados. 

 

 

Barbados’ Tiniest Hummingbird

The Antillean crested hummingbird is one of two species of hummingbird found in Barbados. It is the smaller of the two species and is one of the few hummingbirds which carry a crest. They are known to enjoy bougainvillea and hibiscus flowers and frequent the Apes Hill Barbados golf course.

 

Other interesting birds you’ll see are the white cattle egrets foraging for insects in the grass, walking like stiltmen on their long white legs. You’ll also catch a glimpse of ospreys, and the Green throated Carib. These birds can be enjoyed during your stay and hopefully inspire you to hit a birdie of your own.

 

Fun Fact: The nickname on-island for a hummingbird is ‘Dr. Booby’.

 

 

Set in Limestone: Barbadian Rock Formations and Caves

Scattered around the golf course are a number of large limestone formations which are like statues, reminders that the island of Barbados emerged from under the ocean. These rock formations don’t have formal names, but maybe as you spend time on the course you can come up with some friendly monikers of your own. There’s also a spectacular cave at the 16th hole complete with micro stalagmites and stalactites. This cave has geological significance and we recommend you take a moment to admire it. All in all, these backdrops and views stimulate the senses, making for a golfing experience unlike any other.

 

 

Barbados’ National Tree: Bearded Fig Trees

We saved the best for last. Before the British reached Barbados, the Bearded Fig Tree was so common on the coasts of the island that the Portuguese sailors named the island ‘Os Barbadoes’, translated as ‘Bearded Ones’. The trees sport long aerial roots hanging from the limbs, which have the appearance of a long wizened beard. Even though the boabab tree is very impressive in size and stature, the bearded fig tree is the core of who are, and that’s why it’s the National Tree of Barbados.

 

Fun Fact: The Bearded Fig Tree is featured on Barbados’ Coat of Arms.

 

 

Whether you’re here to golf, relax with your family, or have an island adventure, nature and sustainability reign supreme on our lovely golf course at Apes Hill Barbados. We are a community that offers an elevated experience that’s still down to earth. We encourage you to appreciate the incredible flora and fauna, take photos and make memories while you’re at Apes Hill Barbados.