In just a few short months, soccer fans will be flooding to South Africa in their thousands for the much anticipated FIFA Soccer World Cup games. Games will be hosted in South Africa’s leading cities, including the three most popular destinations – Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. For those who have not yet visited the country, it may seem a bit daunting – especially with the number of misconceptions that many visitors still have about South Africa.
To put your mind at rest, the first thing that you need to know about South Africa is that it is a developing country, and the only wild animals you will see are safely situated within game reserves. Much as many believe that elephants and lions roam the streets, you are much more likely to find Nigerian sunglasses sellers and Malawian wood carvers in South Africa’s cities than you are wildlife. Despite this, the country has a number of beautiful game parks and natural attractions that are counted amongst the world’s top highlights. With a varied environment that ranges from beaches to mountains, forests, lowvelds and highvelds, you can be sure that you will enjoy a taste of remote South African wilderness on your stay.
The three major soccer cities during the World Cup 2010 are as follows:
- Cape Town
Hailed as the Mother City for good reason, Cape Town is one of the world’s premier travel destinations. Each year, thousands of visitors flock to this cosmopolitan and trendy city to enjoy the finer things in life, from wine tasting at the myriad award-winning wine estates found throughout the city, to key attractions such as Table Mountain, Robben Island (where former president Nelson Mandela was incarcerated), Cape Point Nature Reserve, Bolders Beach, the V&A Waterfront, the Cape Winelands, the Garden Route, the Cape Town City Bowl, South African National Museum, Two Oceans Aquarium, beaches of Clifton, Camps Bay, Llandudno and many other fantastic things to see and do. There is also a vibrant nightlife, which is evident in the thriving Long Street and surrounds that offers a wide range of bars, restaurants and clubs to suit all tastes.
The City of Gold (fondly known as Egoli) offers a vibrant and pulsating city life, with the energy and glamour that one finds in big cities. A diverse culture, fascinating history and wide range of things to do ensure that a visit to Joburg is never boring, and offers the chance to see some of the country’s major historical landmarks including the developed township of Soweto, which is now one of the most successful townships in the world. Other highlights here include Zoo Lake, Sandton, arty and interesting Mellville, the Johannesburg CBD and a host of mining destinations that offer a glimpse int the city’s history and wealth.
For those who live for the beach, Durban is the perfect destination. Travellers can enjoy year-round perfect weather, with surfing, swimming, sun bathing and many other water sports on offer every day of the year. Durban has a diverse and fascinating culture, with a strong Indian influence to be found alongside the traditional Zulu culture. Enjoy a delicious bunny chow and take a rickshaw ride given by a Zulu warrior in full headdress, and you will get an idea what Durban is all about.
With games to be held in all major cities, World Cup fans will be able to get a taste for all regions of South Africa, ensuring a memorable travel experience all round.