South Africa Travel Guide: Tips for the World Cup

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Johannesburg Soccer CityThis weekend kicks off the much anticpated South Africa World Cup 2010. Between cheering on your home team and dancing to Shakira’s Waka Waka, here’s a list of some South Africa vacation must-sees and restaurants favored by locals and in-the-know travelers.

Johannesburg – With Soccer City the undisputed hub of the South Africa World Cup, Jo’burg is definitely the center of action this weekend with the World Cup kick off game between South Africa and Mexico. If you can get away from the intoxicating excitement of the World Cup matches, Johannesburg has plenty more to offer off the field.

The Birdcage in Parkwood - For an incredible relaxing escape, head to The Birdcage is one of the city’s most tranquil hideaways, tucked into a lush garden. Perfect for a chill-out breakfast to start the day, The Birdcage offers an ecelectic menu mixing vegetarian and meets in startling flavors.

Burnside’s in Craighall - The recently renovated restaurant is a perfect lunch spot before heading out to the afternoon game. Owned by brother-sister pair Jessica and Dylan, the gourmet cuisine is prepared with effortless style and truly amazing flavors. Burnside’s is the place to go to have a leisurely meal, sipping fine wines from the Cape Winelands and generally just enjoying the moment – International crowds, hyped up World Cup fever and amazing food.

Must-See Spots in and around Johannesburg – Lions Park, Cradle of Humankind and Drakensburg Mountains for an outdoor adventure.
Durban World Cup 2010 Stadium
Durban: As host of the first World Cup matches for Group D with Germany, Australia, Serbia and Ghana, the crowds will descend on KwaZulu Natal‘s cosmopolitan capital Durban on June 13. And first things first, head to the Florida Rd., Durban‘s fashionable boulevard in the bohemian chic Morningside district that’s home to the city’s elegant eateries and boutiques.

Harvey’s – Regarded as one of the finest restaurants in Durban and even in all of Africa, the award-winning Harvey’s Restaurant has recently reopened after a rejuvenating facelift, offeringa new, modern style but the same attention to detail an innovative menu that they are famous for. “I change the menu every six weeks or so, to keep the menu alive. I believe that creating food and menu items is an art, finding the main component, and having the other items complimenting and heightening the main act. It’s a performance,” states Head Chef Andrew Draper. www.harveysrestaurant.co.za.

Spigo d’Oro – As another Florida Road hotspot, Spigo d’Oro offers traditional Italian cuisine mixed with a hint of Durbanite fusion in a fun and casual dining room. Spilling out onto the street, the lines to Spigo d’Oro may go out the door, but the food and friendly service is definitely worth the wait. 200 Florida Road.

Silverani’s - For a quick and tasty bite close to the stadium, locals recommend Silverani’s Indian restaurant at the Suncoast Casino right next to the Durban Soccer Stadium. Silverani’s is very casual and a bit brassy, but it’s curries are not to be ignored. In a city famous for its Indian Cuisine, Silverani’s is the hallmark restaurant offering spicy curries (and not-so spicy for sensitive palettes) in a small but charming hometown spot.
Cape Town Stadium, 2010 FIFA World Cup
Cape Town
is considered the must-see for the South Africa World Cup offering dramatic sights from Table Mountain to the uber-chic beach life at Camps Bay and Clifton. The city is renowned for its music and nightlife live entertainment as well as its natural beauty and lush gardenias. Stop by the Kirstenbosch Gardens for a relaxing break from the wild Cup antics, stroll through the shopping districts at Kloof Street and along the Waterfront.

Of course, if you’re in the Western Cape, you’ve got to reserve some time to enjoy the local wineries of the Cape Winelands. Locals recommend Spier, Groot Constania, Fairview, Meerlust, Seidelberg and Jonkerhuis for fine wines and a leisurely afternoon soaking up the Cape‘s beautiful landscape. If you’re looking for restaurants in Cape Winelands, head to the Constania Uitsig Estate (www.constantia-uitsig.com), Olivello in Stellenbosch or Le Pique Nique in the Boschendal Valley (www.boschendal.com/lepiquenique.q).

Cape Town Restaurants

The Opal Lounge - For a romantic night out in Cape Town‘s Gardens neighborhood, The Opal Lounge matches an incredible menu with a spectacular ambiance. Considered one of Cape Town‘s best restaurants, Opal Lounge not only offers impeccable service, but carefully prepared fusion cuisine mixing Italian, Asian and Middle Eastern influences. 30 Kloof Street, Cape Town.

Bowl Restaurant – The Adderley Hotel on Adderley Street in downtown Cape Town offers up modern, Asian/International cuisine on a beautiful outdoor terrace overlooking Cape Town‘s fashionable boulevard. Fine dining at its best, Bowl in Cape Town is a must-eat stop in between World Cup events. 31 Adderley Street.



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