A Sporting Introduction to South Africa
South Africa’s sporting prowess is legendary. While the country has perhaps been best known for its Rugby Union, with the Springboks being crowned World Champions on two occasions, its cricket team is currently the best in the world, and its passion for soccer resulted in the country being awarded the Soccer World Cup in 2010. Sport has been the main reason why some people have flown down to the south of the African continent over the years, but upon arrival they have found so much more than sport.
Rugby and Cricket
When South Africa beat New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup Final in 1995, everyone other than New Zealand seemed to celebrate with the hosts. It was an event that was televised around the world and gave impetus to the tourist trade in this special country.
My own first visit to the country was also motivated by sport, the West Indies cricket tour to South Africa four years later, to watch the Test Match at Newlands in Cape Town that is held around New Year each year. This is the height of the South African summer, and the climate, it has to be said, is excellent; even the moderating breezes around the coastline are welcome. On that trip, I managed to get across to the world-famous Kruger Park, staying in Johannesburg en route.
One of most memorable trips down there involved a visit to several wineries in the Western Cape, and anyone who bases themselves in Cape Town will find that they can join a tour a short distance inland to sample the fine wines that South Africa has to offer. It is obviously best to get a tour, because if you are sampling the wines you should not be driving.
South Africa may be your holiday of a lifetime. It is an excellent choice. You can do plenty of research online before deciding on your exact itinerary. There are hotel groups like Tsogo Sun Hotels that may have accommodations available in all the places you want to go. You don’t need a travel agent anymore; you can actually book all travel and accommodations online these days. Hotels in South Africa are excellent, and I speak from the experience of several subsequent visits – staying in a number of different places in South Africa, both inland as well as on the Indian Ocean coast.
The beauty of flying down to South Africa from Western Europe is that it is in a similar time zone, so you will not suffer from jet lag. You can travel overnight, and if you manage a few hours of sleep, you will be ready to begin your experience as soon as you have checked into your hotel. There will be plenty of local advice available if you haven’t fully decided on what to do first. I just hope you have enough time, because there is so much to see, as those people who initially traveled down simply for sport soon found out.
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