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Holidays in South Africa

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Cosmopolitan cities, stunning wildlife and deserted beaches - South Africa has it all.

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Browsing Category: Sport In South Africa

World Cup TV Planner for FaceBook & Mobile Phones

Paul Campbell - May 19, 2010

World Cup TV Planner

The World Cup TV Planner can let you plan your entire world cup viewing and can automatically add fixtures to your Outlook (or similar) calendar to ensure you never miss a vital game!

This FaceBook application translates the South African kick-off times for every game into different time zones, and for the UK, it even has details of which TV channel the matches will be on!

All the matches are searchable by team, group, match date, and more, and if you set your preferences-up the planner will default to your team and time zone next time you use it. You can even look-up when any two teams are scheduled to meet in the competition’s knock-out stages!

Saamrus … What a Find !!!

TraceyCampbell - March 8, 2010

For us, staying at Saamrus Guest Farm was one of the key nights of our recent business trip over to South Africa, as we are using here as a base for fans going to the first England game of the World Cup, in Rustenburg on June 12th.

All I can say is … what a find.

Locationwise, it is perfect. It is only about a 90 minute drive from the Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport, and within minutes of leaving the airport you are soon driving away from the city smog and travelling through countryside. From Saamrus then onto Rustenburg itself is only about 35-40 minutes – you literally turn right out of the driveway, then right again after a few yards … and this is then the main road into Rustenburg. The Rustenburg stadium itself is out the other side of Rustenburg, about 20 km in a place called Phokeng, but there is going to be a Park and Ride on the outskirts of the city to take fans this last little bit.

Anyway, back to our stay at Saamrus.

The approach is quite adventurous, you travel for about 2 km down a farm track which when it rains would be pretty impassable for a normal 2WD hire car (but the owners do have plans to upgrade this road anyway) – thankfully in June it will be the dry season here, so nobody will have to worry about their car getting stuck !

You pass a couple of other properties on the way, and eventually arrive at Saamrus Guest Farm. An enthusiastic welcome awaits you in the form of a tiny Jack Russell and her much larger Ridgeback companion, who will, given half the chance, lick you to death as a greeting.

img_2466The guest farm is run by a lovely couple, Annatjie and Chris, who escaped the Johannesburg rat race with their son a few years ago and bought the guest farm, with the intention of running a business offering a weekend retreat for local Jo’burger and Pretorians. And they have been very successful at it !

The international market is not their normal clientele, but they are looking forward to playing host to the variety of fan groups that will no doubt be staying with them at different times over the World Cup period. And they completely understand that the fans are here for the football … and as such, for this period only, they are putting a TV into each cottage.

There are 8 cottages in total – 2 down near Annatjie’s and Chris’s home, and the remaining 6 up a rather steep cobbled track, which can only be accessed by a 4WD – but don’t worry, Chris will be acting as chauffeur and is happy to ferry people up to their cottage as and when required if you don’t fancy walking it. Hire cars will be perfectly safe parked outside Annatjie’s and Chris’s cottage, especially with the 2 dogs acting as unofficial guard dogs too !

img_2468Some of the cottages would benefit from a touch of paint on the outside, but once inside all of them are clean and very comfortable. The open plan lounge / dining area has a wood burning stove, and an extremely well kitted out kitchen area, with a sink, fridge/freezer, microwave, 2 ring hob, pans, cutlery and crockery, plus a dining table. Some cottages are just one bedroomed, others 2 bedroomed, and some have additional day beds in the lounge area. The bathrooms are pretty small – some have a bath with a shower over the bath, some just a shower. For the ladies, please note that there is NOT a hairdryer – so take your own if you need one !

Outside there is a stoop / veranda and a braai / BBQ, and you can buy wood from Chris so you don’t have to worry about this – but you will need to buy firelighters or else you may be waiting a long time to eat !!

img_2469The nearest supermarket for buying your provisions is about a 20 minute drive away in Magliesburg, or there is a large shopping mall in Rustenburg if you are happy to travel a bit further – this may give you a slightly better choice of food. For our fans, Annatjie is also going to offer a breakfast basket which will be delivered to each cottage in the morning – fans will need to pre-order this via us (we need to confirm the cost) before their stay, but more details will be sent out shortly to everyone concerned.

We sat outside last Sunday night for about 4 hours … we enjoyed a braai, and then just sat and enjoyed the peace and quiet and starwatched … true, there is a faint rumble of noise from the nearby road about 2 km away, but it didn’t really interfere with the peace that much ! However, don’t forget that June in South Africa is Winter … so do take lots of warm clothes if you plan to sit outside !!

England Fans in Cape Town To Take Over Lezard Bleu !!

TraceyCampbell - March 5, 2010

Lezard Bleu is a lovely guest house, situated in the exclusive suburb of Oranjezicht in Cape Town, and Travel Butlers have practically taken over this guest house during the period around England’s first game in Cape Town.

The owners, Chris and Nikola, are certainly looking forward to hosting our customers, and having looked around the guest house last week AND spent a very pleasant few hours one evening in Chris’s and Nikola’s company, I am 100% sure that our customers will just love their stay here !

38aThe rooms are great – spacious, comfortable and a bit quirky, especially the Tree House. There is a large pool, though in June I am not quite sure how much swimming or sunbathing will be done !

The main guest area consists of one large, family style table, around which sumptious breakfasts can be enjoyed, and of course there will be a communal TV so that everyone can watch all the other World Cup games being played inbetween sightseeing.

Nikola runs a small curio ‘corner’ too, and all items are locally sourced and made, so sales will benefit local artists and communities.

The family dogs are always around too, there were 4 at the last count !

sdc11796We walked to the stadium from here on the Saturday afternoon, and it took about an hour – Chris has already mapped out a route that he is going to recommend to everyone, including where to stop for lunch on the way down (‘Fork’ in Long Street … apparently THE best tapas in Cape Town – unfortunately we didn’t quite have time to stop here en-route !!).

After the game, to walk from the stadium back to the Waterfront will take about 5-10 minutes, but we would strongly advise everyone to then take a taxi back to the guest house – please do NOT walk back late at night.

We are absolutely convinced that everyone staying here will have a great time … and we are very envious that we can’t join you … unless someone has a spare ticket ??!!

It’s Ireland v France In The World Cup Play-Offs

Paul Campbell - October 19, 2009

The draw for the play-off games that will decide the final 4 European teams that will compete in next year’s World Cup was made a short while ago in Zurich.

The stand out tie sees Giovanni Trapattoni’s Irish side face France over two legs, with the second leg being in Paris.  Whilst this is clearly a huge challenge for the Irish, France will also be very wary of a vastly improved side which came within a few minutes of beating World Champions Italy only a couple of weeks ago.

This seems to be the hardest of the four ties to predict, with Portugal, Ukraine, and Russia all likely to fancy their chances of joining the party in South Africa next year.

The ties will be played over two legs ( with the first leg on Nov 14, and the second leg on Nov 18 ), and the full draw is:

Republic of Ireland v France
Portugal v Bosnia-Herzegovina
Greece v Ukraine
Russia v Slovenia

A Different Type of Accommodation !

TraceyCampbell - September 23, 2009

For football fans visiting South Africa during the FIFA World Cup in 2010, and staying in and around Durban and Port Elizabeth to follow their teams, they can have the opportunity to stay somewhere completely unique – on a luxury cruise ship !

Durban Harbour will be host to the MS Noordam, which is one of the world’s biggest and most luxurious cruise ship and has over 950 cabins. Port Elizabeth Harbour will host the equally luxurious and large MS Westerdam for part of the tournament, also with over 950 cabins. Both cruise ships will give fans the opportunity to live aboard during the World Cup period and experience the unbeatable combination of a luxury cruise and soccer !

The MS Noordam will be moored at Durban Harbour for the majority of the tournament, but will also cruise around the coastline to dock at PE Harbour for the quarter-final and for the playoff for the 3rd and 4th place.

The MS Westerdam will be moored at PE Harbour for the first 14 days of the tournament, and then will cruise between PE and Cape Town for the rest of the time.

Day and half-day tours will also be offered to fans on board, which they can take advantage of inbetween games to explore the host cities.