Things to Do in the Nine South African World Cup Cities
As the host country of the 2010 World Cup, thousands of people are going to experience South Africa for the first time. If you’re making the journey, why not plan an entire vacation out of it? Each of the nine host cities has plenty to offer besides the World Cup festivities. Below, three of each city’s top attractions are highlighted for your convenience.
As the judicial capital of South Africa - and the capital of the Free State province - Bloemfuntein is well known and popular with tourists. Three of its top attractions are:
The National Botanical Garden
Take in some of Mother Nature’s finest plants and flowers at this topnotch botanical garden.
Naval Hill and Franklin Game Reserve
Check out giraffes and other wildlife for free at this park that overlooks the city center.
Engage in a little retail therapy at this popular and ever-expanding mall.
Cape Town is the legislative capital of South Africa, its second-largest city and the southernmost city in Africa. Check out these three top attractions while there:
This massive mountain creates a dramatic backdrop for this eclectic city; ride a cable car to the top for phenomenal sights.
Learn more about South Africa’s apartheid past by visiting this island where several political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, were held.
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
This large shopping and entertainment center will keep you busy for hours on end.
The busy port of Durban is South Africa’s third largest city; Moses Mabida Stadium will host events during the 2010 World Cup. Try to include these three spots during your visit:
The Golden Mile
This long stretch of beaches along the Indian Ocean is a prime place to spend time while in Durban.
uShaka Marine World
The entire family will love this first-rate aquarium.
The art gallery in Durban’s City Hall is well worth a visit.
Often referred to as Jo’burg, Johannesburg is South Africa’s largest city. Key highlights include:
The Apartheid Museum
Learn more about South Africa’s dark history of apartheid in this world class museum.
Top of Africa
Take in the views from the top of Africa’s tallest building, Carlton Centre.
At Lion Park, you’ll not only get to see lions roaming around freely - you’ll have the opportunity to pet lion cubs, too!
Nelspruit is located in northeast South Africa and is the capital of the Mpumalanga province. Three top choices to enjoy during your visit include:
If shopping is your thing, you can’t do much better than Nelspruit’s popular Riverside Mall.
Surround yourself with friendly chimps at this fun, educational attraction.
Engage in some adults-only fun by trying your luck at the world-class Emnotweni Casino.
Located on South Africa’s Indian Ocean coast, Port Elizabeth is its fifth-largest city. Key attractions include:
A 19th century lighthouse is the main attraction at this well-maintained reserve.
Take your pick from four prime beaches - Humewood, Hobie, Wells State and Kings - when in Port Elizabeth.
This popular attraction is an oceanarium, museum and snake pit all rolled into one.
This northern South Africa city isn’t known for its tourist attractions, but you can still find worthwhile things to do there, including:
Polokwane Game Reserve
Take in some South African flora and fauna by exploring the Polokwane Game Reserve.
Hit the slots or try your hand at card games at Polokwane’s popular casino.
Polokwane Bird and Reptile Park
View some fascinating examples of local birds and reptiles at this conveniently located attraction.
Pretoria is located in northern South Africa and is its administrative capital. Top attractions include:
National Zoological Gardens
Also known simply as the zoo, this topnotch park boasts a vast array of reptiles, along with many large mammals.
National Cultural History Museum
Learn more about South Africa’s intriguing history at this fascinating museum.
Groenklouf Nature Reserve
A stop at Groenklouf Nature Reserve - the oldest in the world - is well worth it; antelopes and giraffes abound at this lovely place.
Despite being a host city during the 2010 World Cup, Rustenburg is a little off the beaten path for most visitors to South Africa. Attractions revolve around nature, and include:
Magaliesberg Canopy Tour
Take in majestic views from the canopies of towering trees at this thrilling attraction.
Kgaswane Mountain Reserve
Strap on your hiking boots and hit the trails at this pristine and scenic reserve.
Rustenburg Nature Reserve
Experience a slice of South Africa wildlife at this centrally located nature reserve.