The World Cup 2010 is set to open on June 11, 2010, and South Africa is gearing up for an influx of tourists from around the world. The event is a historic one for the country as it is the first World Cup in South Africa and also the first ever held on the African continent.
Along with other preparations, the official mascot for World Cup 2010 has been unveiled, named Zakumi. His name is a combination of "ZA," which stands for South Africa, and "kumi," which translates to 10 in multiple African languages. This cheerful leopard symbolizes the diversity, friendship, pride, and spirit of the country as it plays host to the first South Africa World Cup.
FIFA, soccer's international governing body, has named the nine host cities for the World Cup in South Africa, which are Cape Town, Durban, Nelspruit, Johannesburg, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria/Tshwane, Rustenburg, and Bloemfontein.
The stadiums where the competing teams will play their matches during the South Africa World Cup are at ten locations throughout the region. The designated stadiums are Soccer City in Johannesburg, Green Point in Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth, Durban Stadium, Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, Free Park Stadium in Bloemfontein, Royal Bafokeng in Rustenburg, Peter Mokaba in Polokwane, Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, and Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane/Pretoria. Of these, Green Point, Durban Stadium, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Mbombela Stadium, and Peter Mokaba Stadium were built specifically for World Cup 2010.
For fans planning to attend the World Cup in South Africa, it is never too early to start making travel and vacation plans. Vacation packages for the event are available through travel agents, but there are concerns about adequate accommodations near the host cities, and travelers might find that hotels in locations such as Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Nelspruit, and Port Elizabeth will be hard to come by, including cheap hotels and hostels.
Both airports that are already busy and those that handle significantly less traffic, such as Polokwane Airport, will see an influx of international travelers during World Cup 2010. Visitors may experience longer wait times at the airport, and transportation such as rental cars will be in high demand. Visitors are being encouraged to plan ahead and to schedule flights, transfers, accommodations, car rentals, or alternate transportation in advance.
Hotels in popular tourist areas, such as the Garden Route, are being suggested as possible accommodations by FIFA in South Africa, in which these hotels would be used by visitors to the tournament and bus transportation would be provided to the South Africa World Cup venues. Another option that has been suggested is for visitors to stay in the homes of local families, which would alleviate the hotel shortage and allow visitors to be nearer to the host cities and stadiums. A third suggested that has been made is for visitors to stay in a neighboring country, such as Zimbabwe, and travel into South Africa for the games.
Despite the accommodations and transportation issues facing the committee, FIFA expects the World Cup 2010 to be an enjoyable experience for visitors and the competing teams, as well as a success for the country of South Africa and the continent as a whole. The championship match, which will be held on July 11 in Johannesburg, is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Johannesburg (June 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24)
Cape Town (June 11, 14, 18, 21, 24)
Rustenburg (June 12, 15, 19, 22, 24)
Port Elizabeth (June 12, 15, 18, 21, 23)
Durban (June 13, 16, 19, 22, 25)
Polokwane (June 13, 17, 22, 24)
Pretoria (June 13, 16, 19, 23, 25)
Bleomfontein (June 14, 17, 20, 22, 25)
Nelspruit (June 16, 20, 23, 25)
Round of 16
June 26 (Rustenburg, Port Elizabeth)
June 27 (Johannesburg, Bloemfontein)
June 28 (Johannesburg, Durban)
June 29 (Cape Town, Pretoria)
July 2 (Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth)
July 3 (Johannesburg, Cape Town)
July 6 (Cape Town)
July 7 (Durban)
July 10 (Port Elizabeth)
July 11 (Johannesburg)