Safari activities during your World Cup stay (Part 2)…
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Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein (Free State Province)
Home to the Bloemfontein Celtic football team, the Free State Stadium hosted a surprising US victory over Spain in the latest Confederations Cup semi-final!
Gross Capacity: 48 000.
World Cup Groups Concerned: A, B, E, F, & H.
- Safari Activities:
– Gariep Dam Nature Reserve. Largest springbok population in the country! Also features mountain zebra as well as various antelope species.
– Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Home to the red hartebeest and the bearded vulture (lammergeier).
– Seekoeivlei Nature Reserve. A birdwatcher’s paradise, and listed as “Wetlands of International Importance”.
– Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve. Antelope species include the Oribi, Grey Rhebuck and Mountain Reedbuck. Bird specimens such as the bald ibis, the bearded and Cape vultures are also found here.
– Tussen die Riviere Game Reserve. Reputedly supports more game than any other sanctuary in the Free State.
– Willem Pretorius Game Reserve. Great variety of game and bird species, and well-preserved ruin of a prehistoric settlement (Leghoya people).
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape Province)
Nelson Mandela Bay is the first football-dedicated stadium of the city and surrounding areas. Hosts the match for third place and a quarter-final!
Gross Capacity: 48 000.
World Cup Groups Concerned: B, C, D, G & H.
- Where to Go:
– Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve. 58 mammal species and 293 bird species.
– Dwesa, Cwebe, and Hluleka Nature Reserves. A blend of forest, open grasslands and beautiful coastline beaches with incredible lagoons and trails.
– Karoo Nature Reserve. Located in the Valley of Desolation, and characterised by dolomite pinnacles and domes.
– Mountain Zebra National Park. Protects the last Cape Mountain zebra whose population now stands at +/- 300!
– Mpongo Game Reserve. Over 40 species of large game and prolific birdlife!
– Thomas Baines Nature Reserve. Wildlife includes Cape buffalo, white rhino, antelope and over 170 bird species.
– Tsitsikamma National Park, in the heart of the Garden Route. Incredible hiking trails!
– Tsolwana Game Reserve. Dramatic landscape home to springbok, impala, black wildebeest, red hartebeest, bontebok and white rhino.
– Wilderness National Park. Important wetland and paradise for birdlovers: 79 listed waterbirds!
Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg (North West Province)
The Royal Bafokeng Stadium is named after the Bafokeng people who live in the area.
Gross Capacity: 42 000.
World Cup Groups Concerned: A, C, D, E & F.
- Safari Highlights:
– Borakalalo National Park, the place “where people relax”!
– Botsalano Game Reserve. Renowned for its successful white rhino breeding program!
– Madikwe Game Reserve, the fifth largest reserve in South Africa with well over 10 000 animals!
– Rustenburg Nature Reserve. Home to 13 antelope species and predators like the leopard or caracal (seldom seen).
Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit (Mpumalanga Province)
The stadium gets its name from the word “Mbombela”, which in siSwati means “many people together in a small place”.
Gross Capacity: 46 000.
World Cup Groups Concerned: D, F, G & H.
- Best Safaris in the Area:
– Loskop Dam Nature Reserve. Features 3 of the Big Five such as the buffalo, white rhino and leopard.
– Mahushe Shongwe Game Reserve. Especially popular for birdwatchers!
– Mount Sheba Nature Reserve. One of Mpumalanga’s top bird-lovers destinations!
– Mthethomusha Game Reserve. Owned by the Mpakeni Community, it is home to interesting San Bushmen rock art paintings.
– Songimvelo Game Reserve. Over 20 species of herbivores have been reintroduced to the reserve!
Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane (Limpopo Province)
Named after a local hero who fought against the Apartheid regime, the Peter Mokaba Stadium is a brand new facility inspired by the Baobab tree!
Gross Capacity: 46 000.
World Cup Groups Concerned: A, B, C & F.
- Safari Areas of Interest:
– Blouberg Nature Reserve. World’s largest breeding colony of Cape vultures!
– Mabalingwe Game Reserve. Malaria-free reserve host to the big 5!
– Mapungubwe National Park. World Heritage Site!
– Marakele National Park. A ‘place of sanctuary’ in the Waterberg mountains!
– Selati Game Reserve. Known for its indigenous Sable antelope herds!
– Tilodi Wilderness. Over 300 bird species and a wide variety of game.
– Welgevonden Private Game Reserve. Get an exclusive, intimate experience of the African bushveld!