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Tips for trip centered around World Cup FIFA (Soccer) Championships

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Hello everyone,

A friend and I are hoping to go to South Africa next year during the World Cup Championships (June 11-July 11, 2010). Our plan would be to attend a match and spend the rest of our time sight seeing.

We definitely want to explore around Cape Town and the Western Cape, and possibly visit Kruger Nat'l Park as well.

My question is regarding how to time our trip in conjunction with the World Cup. We know prices will be higher, and certain locations and activities will be more crowded during this time. We'd like to save money where we can and avoid the worst of the crowds if possible.

Has anyone in Fodor's land attended the World Cup or another similar high profile event and have suggestions about how to time our trip optimally? Does it make more sense to go a week or so before the event begins and have the soccer match be one of the final things we do in South Africa before heading back to the States, or will zillions of other World Cup fans have the same idea, thus driving up all the prices and making all of the popular sites massively crowded?

The second round of ticket sales just began and we're currently trying to pick which match to buy tickets for (we'd probably aim for tickets in either Cape Town or Johannesburg).

The World Cup is sort of the catalyst for the trip, but equally important is being able to get a taste of South Africa. We're flexible regarding which match we attend, and would like to avoid a little of the chaos that can ensue during an event of this magnitude.

Thanks for any insight or suggestions!

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