Set on the shores of North End Lake, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium was especially built for the 2010 World Cup and is the first dedicated football stadium for the region. Like a billowing cloud floating beside the lake, after the world football showcase leaves it may well only see rugby and special events on its fair green grass since no local football club has yet shown much enthusiasm for taking it up as their home ground.

Hosting Ivory Coast vs Portugal and England vs Slovenia in group stage, this will also be the venue for the traditionally entertaining battle for third place as well as a Round of 16 and a quarter-final match-up.




City: Port Elizabeth

Construction: New

Complete: 2009

Official Capacity: 46,082



The Locale : The District

Port Elizabeth is not known for its cosmopolitan social scene or fancy architecture. However, what it lacks in city break potential it more than makes up for with numerous prestigious private game reserves nearby.

This is the Eastern Cape’s industrial centre and the stadium, situated to the North of the city on the North End Lake is probably the only reason you’ll find yourself here since it’s somewhat underdeveloped for tourism, although things are changing.

Its nearby beachside resorts may give you some respite with performing dolphins and waterslides aplenty, but it’s the thousands of undeveloped beaches that give the Eastern Cape its charm and appeal.



Local Sights to See: If you’re going to the stadium you should check out…

Since the stadium is situated in a mainly industrial area you’ll probably be wanting to get in and out after the match as quickly as possible and the same may be true of the city too.

However, since you’re there, and since you’re in Africa, a trip to a nearby reserve seems a must. There’s a selection to suit your budget but the Shamwari Game Reserve, 65 km north of Port Elizabeth, is the pick of the bunch having won the World’s Leading Safari and Game Reserve for twelve straight years at the World Travel Awards.

It’s not cheap, indeed previous visitors include Tiger Woods and Shane Warne, but if you’ve already spent a bundle just getting to Africa – there’s something to be said for treating yourself. And it’s apparently malaria free! With plenty to choose from, and booking ahead essential, the Eastern Cape may be just the place to go wild in South Africa.



Things to avoid

It’s easy to think that elephants, lions or giraffes might be your biggest threat when touring South Africa, but the local mangy dog or affectionate cat that you decide to stroke might just put you at the biggest risk since rabies is still a very real problem in South Africa.

Avoid bites, but most of all if you do get bitten get to a doctor as soon as possible since there is no effective treatment for rabies once a patient develops the disease. In the Port Elizabeth region cats are the main carriers, so, as a general rule, avoiding contact with all animals, large or small, is highly recommended.




Games to be played there:

June 12th: Group BKorea Republic vs Greece

June 15th: Group GIvory Coast vs Portugal

June 18th: Group DGermany vs Serbia

June 21st: Group HChile vs Switzerland

June 23th: Group CSlovenia vs England

June 26th: Round of 16 – Winner of Group A vs Runner-up Group B

July 2nd: Quarter-final

July 10th: Third place playoff