The 2010 Football World Cup offers the perfect opportunity to combine football fever with a road trip around one of the world‚Äôs most beautifully diverse countries.
Online PR News – 08-February-2010 – – The 2010 World Cup in South Africa is steadily approaching with many matches already sold out. Travelers to South Africa for this momentous festival of football are making final arrangements, and accommodation, match tickets and rental cars are being snatched up by the minute. With all the activity it‚Äôs important, especially for independent travelers, to be organized, plan ahead and act fast. Fortunately there are excellent online services for making bookings and securing the things you‚Äôll need for your trip to South Africa.
The World Cup kicks off in June with 64 matches being played in ten stadiums hosted by nine cities across South Africa. There will also be fan zones ‚Äď specially demarcated areas with large screen televisions and other facilities ‚Äď spread throughout the country where games can be viewed in a festive environment. The whole of South Africa will be transformed into a haven for football fans.
Public transport is being beefed up in the country to smoothly get travelers from airports to accommodation, to zones and stadiums, and the after-parties that will ensue at South Africa‚Äôs fantastic variety of night-spots. But a rental car is still the best way to guarantee transportation, and also offers travelers the flexibility they need to see the sites when not enjoying the football.
The rental way
The World Cup in 2010 will be a showcase of what South Africa has to offer tourists, with stadiums scattered throughout the country‚Äôs nine provinces.
South Africa is a large country spanning 1.2 million square kilometres ‚Äď almost five times the size of the entire United Kingdom, stretching from the tropical KwaZulu Natal province on the east coast with the modern Durban stadium, to the world-famous and beautiful Cape Town on the south-western tip of the country with its Cape Town Stadium.
This massive, beautiful country offers savannah lands, deserts, lush forests, sprawling wine lands, large cities, rolling mountains ‚Äď and everything in-between. Flying is fast, but getting around for the 2010 World Cup is a perfect opportunity to road trip around South Africa in a rental car and make the most of your trip to see the country.
South Africa‚Äôs road network is extensive and covers most of the country. In fact, it is one of the most elaborate road networks in the world. One can drive from East to West or North to South in South Africa on tarred roads, making driving the perfect way to see the country.
Many rental companies operate in South Africa with a variety of cars available from small hatchbacks to large trucks, luxury sports cars and off-road vehicles perfect for the bush. Whatever kind of holiday you design as an independent traveler, and no matter what kind of terrain it will take you through, rental cars are available for couples, friends and families.
Cape Spirit currently offers fantastic World Cup special offers and it is possible to rent a car in South Africa over the World Cup from only R286 per day with unlimited usage in terms of kilometers. Perfect for maximizing your visit and seeing the sites.
There is a limited supply of rental cars available for 2010, however, and it is therefore vital that travellers book well in advance to avoid disappointment. So whether you need an economical and affordable KIA Picanto hatchback, or flexible and roomy 8-seater Quantum, booking as soon as possible will make sure that you get the vehicle you need.
Road trips in South Africa are likely to take you across a variety of terrains, especially if you plan on visiting the Kruger National Park or any of the country‚Äôs other nature reserves. A good vehicle for this kind of trip could be the Hyundai Tucson with large amounts of packing and seating space in a semi-offroad vehicle that can be rented over the World Cup for as little as R925 a day, with no excess and unlimited kilometers.
If your visit to South Africa will keep you mostly on the road, however, then you could rent an above-average saloon for about R388 per day.
See the sites
The Cape Town Stadium is situated in the beautiful Western Cape province, home of Cape Town ‚Äď the city voted by Telegraph readers in the UK as being the best travel destination on Earth. Cape Town is famous for Table Mountain, the dramatic Cape Point ‚Äď the southern most tip of civilization, beautiful national parks and pristine beaches. Cape Town has been described as a traveler‚Äôs heaven with bustling nightlife, modern city aspects, mountains, beaches and a plethora of activities for tourists.
Within driving range of Cape Town one could also explore the Cape wine-lands of Stellenbosch, or drive the Garden Route that will take you through breath-taking coastal scenery stretching from Mossel Bay to the Storms River mouth.
The beautiful Northern and Eastern Cape provinces are also within half a day‚Äôs drive of Cape Town with their own unique attractions.
It is in the Eastern Cape that we find the brand new Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, perched on the bank of the North End Lake in the serene Nelson Mandela Bay at the end of the Garden Route.
Port Elizabeth is popular for its swimming beaches and historical attractions across the Donkin Heritage Trail. From PE one can easily drive to Plettenberg Bay or Knysna ‚Äď a nature lover‚Äôs paradise ‚Äď and enjoy the lush forests, adventure activities and glorious beaches that these destinations offer.
In central South Africa Bloemfontein plays host to the Free State Stadium in the heart of the ‚Äúcity of roses‚ÄĚ. Bloemfontein is a feast for history buffs as the traditional judicial capital of South Africa.
About three hours away by road from Bloemfontein is South Africa‚Äôs busy Gauteng province, housing capital city Pretoria and the economic capital of Africa, Johannesburg.
Soccer City, Ellis Park and Loftus Versfeld are the three stadiums to be found in Gauteng and this area offers a large variety of activities for travelers. Historical and cultural centers, museums, theaters, hundreds of nightspots and dining experience dot the metropolis and travelers can combine the experience of large, sophisticated African cities with their rich and beautiful surroundings.
Less than an hour from the center of Johannesburg is the Cradle of Human Kind ‚Äď a world heritage site where the oldest human remains have been found. Explore caves, mountains and museums in the greater Magaliesburg area, or visit the Lion Park where one can meet Africa‚Äôs predators just outside of the city limits.
While in Johannesburg a trip to Soweto is recommended and tours are available that will take one through the township, visiting famous centers of the anti-Apartheid struggle and shebeens where travelers can enjoy a drink in true South African style. And then it‚Äôs off to Pretoria with the Herbert Baker-designed Union Buildings and other monuments. Pretoria is also famous for its many Jacaranda trees that bloom in spring, carpeting the city in purple flowers, and friendly residents.
To the North of Gauteng is Rustenburg with its Royal Bafokeng Stadium in the heart of South Africa‚Äôs famous mining territory, and a short drive away from Sun City ‚Äď the casino resort where travelers can experience lavish hotels, plenty of entertainment activities and the Valley of the Waves theme park. Golfers will find a paradise in Sun City with its Gary Player-designed golf courses. There are no shortage of golf courses in South Africa, with courses in the bush, on the coast and in the mountains.
Further north of Sun City is the Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane, capital of the beautiful Limpopo province with its unique Waterberg biosphere where travelers will find the ultimate nature-lovers paradise.
To the East of Gauteng is South Africa‚Äôs Mpumalanga province with the Nelspruit Mbombela stadium. Mpumalanga is famous for its dense forests and mountain streams where fly-fishing is the order of the day.
Mpumalanga is also home to the world famous Kruger National Park ‚Äď the largest game reserve in South Africa, covering almost 19000 square kilometers (about 7400 square miles) where travelers can view Africa‚Äôs ‚ÄėBig 5‚Äô animals; the elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard are among thousands of species that inhabit the park.
And then there is the Durban stadium in the heart of South Africa‚Äôs KwaZulu Natal province with its warm climate, tropical beaches and some of the most abundant and diverse marine wildlife on earth. Natal is the perfect place for a beach-holiday and also offers an inland paradise along the Drakensburg mountain range. This is the Kingdom of the Zulu and the secrets of this proud African tribe are waiting to be discovered on the east coast of South Africa.
These are just some of the many sites in close proximity to the ten stadiums that will host the 2010 World Cup matches in South Africa. The country truly is a travelers paradise and best experienced by road, allowing independent travelers to venture off the beaten track, engage with South Africa‚Äôs diverse cultures and pick up everything from African art to South African wine.
The early bird gets the worm and planning ahead will ensure that visitors to South Africa in 2010 have everything they need, including that vital rental car.
Readers can book a car in South Africa here.