No less than nine South African cities will be hosting the matches of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup: Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban (Ethekwini), Bloemfontein (Mangaung), Port Elisabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay), Nelspruit, Polokwane, Pretoria (Tshwane) and Rustenburg. Furthermore, the games will be hosted in ten different stadiums.
Cape Town – Cape Town, embraced by Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, is often referred as the most beautiful city in the world. South Africa’s Mother City is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet, and not without reason: the scenery is stunning, the people super-friendly, and there are plenty of things to do and see, such as Robben Island, Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and of course Cape Town’s city centre. The 2010 soccer world cup matches will take place in the brand new Greenpoint Stadium, situated 500m from the Ocean shore.
Johannesburg – Johannesburg, Jozi, Joburg – there are very few cities that have so many nicknames as South Africa’s City of Gold. Being the country’s economic powerhouse, Johannesburg is more than a business hub: It is a cultural hub above all. Jozi for instance boasts countless interesting museums including the Apartheid Museum, and Constitution Hill. Soccer fans will love Johannesburg, as in 2010 this city will be hosting the opening match of the FIFA Soccer World Cup as well as the final match. The Joburg games will take place in Soccer City and Ellispark Stadium.
Durban – Durban, now officially called Ethekwini, is one of the most popular holiday destinations in South Africa, among foreign travelers and locals alike. Durban, the so-called gateway to the Zulu Kingdom, boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, and is surrounded by various game reserves and safari parks. In this part of the world, the climate is always tropical and it is expected that Durban or Ethekwini will become is a true tourist hot spot during the tournament. Do not forget the world cup takes place during South Africa’s winter. The 2010 matches, including one of the semi-finals, will take place in the brand new Durban stadium.
Bloemfontein – Situated in the heart of the Freestate province of South Africa, Bloemfontein or Mangaung is locally known as a quiet country town where nothing really happens. The 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup will certainly change this. Meaning “Place of the Cheetahs” in SeSotho, one of South Africa’s 11 official languages, Mangaung or Bloemfonteint is also called the City of Roses, due to the large rose garden in the city centre. This city, which harbors the court of appeals, has an old soccer tradition that goes back to the nineteenth century. The renovated Free State stadium has a capacity of 38,000 to 45,000 people and will be hosting various 2010 FIFA soccer world cup matches.
Port Elizabeth – Renamed Nelson Mandela Bay, in honor of the world’s most loved statesman, Port Elizabeth is known as ‘the Friendly City’. The coastal city is surrounded by some of South Africa’s most beautiful beaches, and is the largest city in the Eastern Cape. This province – which is formed by the former homelands the Transkei and Ciskei – has been the home of Nelson Mandela, former president Thabo Mbeki, freedom fighter Steve Biko, and Oliver Tambo – to name a few. It is expected that the world cup stadium of Port Elisabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay – the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium – will host the third and fourth place play-off.
Nelspruit – Situated right next to the Kruger National Park, one of the world’s most famous game and wildlife reserves, Nelspruit is one of the best places in South Africa to enjoy the 2010 FIFA soccer world cup, as there are plenty of opportunities to indulge in the best South Africa has to offer. Nelspruit is furthermore a good base for exploring the nearby Limpopo Trans-frontier Park, which incorporates the Kruger National Park (South Africa), Limpopo National Park (Mozambique) and Gonarezhou National Park (Zimbabwe). The matches for the 2010 Soccer World Cup will be held at the Mbombela stadium.
Polokwane – Described as a vibrant, busy and colourful city, Polokwane is surrounded by green hills and lush vegetation.Nature lovers will not be disappointed! It boast an incredible cultural diversity, as it is surrounded by three of South Africa’s neighbouring countries, namely Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Polokwane, which translates to ‘place of safety’, was previously known as Pietersburg, will be hosting various 2010 soccer world cup matches. The venue for the games will be the Peter Mokaba stadium, named after one of the renowned sons of the struggle and emancipation of South Africa against the apartheid regime.
Rustenburg – Surrounded by magnificent African bush veld, Nelspruit is situated in South Africa’s Northwest province and near the breathtaking Magaliesburg Mountains. The region is predominantly famous for its mineral wealth, and is home to some of the richest platinum mines in the world. Rustenburg is also famous for the Sun City resort, one of Africa’s busiest tourist destinations. It incorporates The Palace of the Lost City, the Valley of Waves and a 25-hectare jungle. It is also a popular concert venue among international stars. The city’s Royal Bafokeng stadium will be the venue of various soccer matches for the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup.
Pretoria (Tshwane) – Pretoria or Tshwane is South Africa’s administrative capital, and home to many foreign embassies thus call this city their home. It is also called the Jacaranda City, due to the hundreds of Jacaranda trees. In spring, Pretoria seems to covered under a carpet of purple flowers of the trees. It is at the Union Buildings where decisions are being made and where the inaugurations of presidents Nelson Mandela,Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma have taken place. From here, one has a beautiful view over the city. The matches for the 2010 soccer world cup will take place in the Tshwane’s Loftus Versfeld stadium is among the most established stadiums in South Africa.