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

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May 4th, 2009, 08:51 PM
  #1
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Tips for trip centered around World Cup FIFA (Soccer) Championships

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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May 28th, 2009, 02:42 PM
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i guess that it all depends on how long you plan to stay. Did the Beijing Olympics last year - got tickets to 4 events and then continued traveling throughout China with my mom. My plan for the World Cup (already have tix for a match in Capetown on the 18th, a match in PE on the 23rd, a match in Durban on the 25th and then a QF match in Joburg on July 2nd. The sooner you start planning the easier things fall in place. I plan to use miles for the airfare, which means 330 days before I plan to arrive in CPT, I will be on the phone at 12:01AM with United/Star Alliance trying to book airfare. I have already booked some hotels through Proteahotels.com website; the balance will have to be booked 330 days in advance as well. there is so much that i intend to do on this trip from cage diving with sharks, hopefully a sardine run dive in Durban, a safari in Kruger, winelands around CPT, etc. Obviously some of the tours I might wait on depending on weather. For the Olympics in Beijing, I had hired a personal tour guide online for about 50USD and she proved to be amazing with an all day personal tour of the forbidden palace, arranging private transportation to Great Wall and domestic airfare. The key is figuring out what your itinerary is as soon as possible and sticking with it.
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May 29th, 2009, 12:03 PM
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This is definitely a YMMV issue! My reaction is to AVOID the World Cup - I really don't want to share a place with hordes of soccer fans. And you're right the prices do go up ahead of time. I was in Portugal before the 2004 World cup, and the prices were way up a month ahead of time. I left for Spain four days before the matches started, and then watched a crowd of loudly singing fans waiting to board the night train to Lisbon in Madrid, and gave heartfelt thanks I wasn't on the same train. But if you really want to see a match....
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