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South Africa is not out to take 2010 tourists for a ride

Cape Town Stadium, photo courtesy Bruce Sutherland Local and international media have recently reported that South Africa plans to dramatically increase prices during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. According to news reports, South African airlines and accommodation providers are planning to fleece tourists visiting the country for the international soccer extravaganza. Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk has responded to the allegations, pointing out that no radical increases have been detected. He has also encouraged tourism and related industries to respect South Africa’s solid reputation of providing good value for money.

Hout Bay seal – Flickr pic of the day

The ocean and small islands around Cape Town are teeming with life. Seals have made their homes on both Seal Island and Duiker Island. This photo of a seal playing in Hout Bay was taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Geoff Spiby.

V&A Waterfront characters – A Cape Town Tourism photo essay

Even for an old Capetonian like me, the V&A Waterfront is always an experience. It’s fun, it’s exciting and there are so many people to meet and exciting adventures to go on.

Back view of Table Mountain – Flickr pic of the day

This photo of Cape Town’s beloved Table Mountain was taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Tiffany Turkington-Palmer aka wooze66.

Cape Town scuba divers – Flickr pic of the day

Cape Town offers an extensive variety of dive sites that are within reasonable range of the city. This photo of divers descending on Vulcan Rock was taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Jacques aka Day Is Coming.

Cape Town Stadium construction complete

The newly completed Cape Town Stadium, photo courtesy Bruce Sutherland Only 32 months after the first sod was turned, the spectacular new Cape Town Stadium has been completed exactly on schedule. In a special ceremony for more than 200 invited guests and media, the contractors handed “the key of the door” to Cape Town’s Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato.

The city of summer light

The Aqua Festival at the V&A Waterfront Paris is known internationally as the “City of Lights” and although Cape Town cannot rival gay Paris in terms of the sheer number of lights, the Mother City is bathed in a special glow of its own at this time of year. While the northern hemisphere wraps up warmly, treads through snow in degrees below freezing point and starts stuffing the turkey, we in the south prepare for an entirely different festive season altogether.

Table Mountain lit up – Flickr pic of the day

It’s no secret that Capetonians love their mountain – obsessively, some might say. But when you see photos like this one, taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Jim Sher aka Blyzz, can you blame them?

The Parlotones live at Cavendish Square

The Parlotones Well-known South African rock band the Parlotones will be at Cavendish Square on Friday, December 18, from 12h00-14h00, for a CD signing and acoustic session. The band, which recently returned from a whirlwind world tour, will be in the Cavendish Centre Court, opposite Col’Cacchio pizzeria, for all fans to see.

Cape Town in high definition

This amazing picture of the Mother City was taken by Tinus le Roux from South African virtual tour company Virtual Africa. It is the highest definition photograph ever taken of Cape Town. If it doesn’t impress you now, try zooming in at the link below –the detail is truly astonishing.

Educators “get down”!

Follow me! You kick… you kick! False Bay College is one of the top-performing further education and training colleges in South Africa, so it was fitting that the staff from its various campuses got treated to a day of fun, survivor games and great give-aways.

Ruud Gullit soccer clinic a hit with Cape Town kids

Some lucky Capetonian youngsters recently had the opportunity to play soccer against legendary Dutch mid-fielder Ruud Gullit and other European stars. Gullit – who was in Cape Town to support the Holland-Belgium bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ – hosted a soccer clinic in Hout Bay on December 3, before attending the December 4 Final Draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.

Witsands beach – Postcard from Paul

Twelve Apostles – Flickr pic of the day

The Twelve Apostles form the dramatic backdrop to the Camps Bay beach – the place to see and be seen in Cape Town. This photo was taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member dan.rich77.

Hoerikwaggo Trail – Flickr pic of the day

The Hoerikwaggo Trails in Table Mountain National Park take in all the natural attractions of the park – beaches and mountain – as well as some city highlights.

V&A Waterfront saxophonist – Flickr pic of the day

This photo of a busker at the V&A Waterfront was taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Koeshke.

Surfing in Cape Town – A Cape Town Tourism photo essay

With so many beaches to choose from, surfing in Cape Town is a very popular pastime – and a way of life for some.

Chapman’s Peak Hi-Five Scooter Club ride – Flickr pic of the day

This picture puts you right in the scene on Chapman’s Peak Drive. It was taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Grant Johnson aka the mule in the pool.

While the rest complain, Sir Alex just gets on with it

Sir Alex Ferguson, photo courtesy minhquangle87 For South African viewers, this weekend’s English Premier League fixtures have a touch of spice. In addition to watching some of the world’s best players strut their stuff we have the added knowledge that a lot of them are itching to light up our lives next year at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. But while we’re busy savouring that thought, there will be a number of Premier League managers sweating through this weekend’s clashes like pubescent boys at a strip club.

Giant African puppets add to FIFA Final Draw festivities

Sinako Cultural Group is the community theatre group that created the giant puppets that wowed the crowds at the FIFA World Cup Final Draw and the Fan Fest launch in Cape Town on December 4. Sinako got its start in the world of entertainment through a competition run by Unima SA, a non-profit organisation which promotes the art of puppetry and visual performance in theatre, entertainment, education and social development.

Springleap T-shirt sale on in Cape Town

Springleap – “an e-commerce website that prides itself in selling the funkiest designs sourced from around the world on the best South African quality T-shirts you will ever purchase”, according to its website – will be having a holiday clearance sale on Friday and Saturday (December 11 and 12). The sale will take place at Springleap’s head office (Suite 301, Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock) and T-shirts will be sold for as little as R30 – a far cry from their usual price of R183!

Final Draw festivities – Flickr pic of the day

On December 4, 2009, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final Draw, soccer fans filled Long Street, celebrating the fact that Cape Town is ready to welcome the world.

Affordable accommodation in Cape Town for 2010

The University of Cape Town Urban Hip Hotels will be managing campus accommodation in Cape Town for students, backpackers and the young at heart for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The group is offering visitors the option of a fun, secure and affordable stay on university campuses around South Africa, including in Johannesburg and Durban.

Lessons from Long Street

Photo courtesy Deon Gurling Even the meanest sceptic (and at the end of a long year that was almost me) could not fail to be overwhelmed by the energy on Long Street this past weekend. I was lucky enough to be there on the evening of the World Cup Final Draw, which showed a pink-tinted, beautifully warm Cape Town at its best.

Hout Bay seagulls – Flickr pic of the day

“I was stuck in Hout Bay with a spare hour one winter’s morning so I took a stroll on the beach with my camera,” says Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Natalie Shutttleworth aka snapclicktripod.”

The Killers concert keeps Cape Town in party mood

Photo courtesy Jared Botha Cape Town couldn’t have had a better start to December – the 2010 World Cup Final Draw on Friday and an amazing performance from The Killers on Sunday. To get to the concert at Val De Vie Wine and Polo Estate, we organised a speedy shuttle with a vibey driver who let us pump our Killers mix all the way to the venue. The two-hour ride there was a party on its own.

Learning the diski dance at Noordhoek Farm Village

Thanks to Cape Town Tourism for the diski dance lessons at Noordhoek Farm Village’s end-of-year function last night! Everyone who attended the party came away with lovely memories and had lots of fun and laughter.

Holiday fun for kids in Cape Town

Fun at the Final Draw Cape Town’s counting the days to World Cup kickoff, after a fantastic Final Draw on December 4 which had 55 000 people partying in Long Street while stars and dignitaries packed the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Visit Cape Town Tourism’s special 2010 mini-website to spot yourself or your friends in our image gallery or to catch the match schedule and latest news at www.capetown.travel/2010.

Cape Town Stadium from across the Atlantic – Flickr pic of the day

On the right of this silhouette you can see Cape Town Stadium, a view from across the Atlantic taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Out_In_Africa.

A sailor’s memories of Cape Town

In May 1954 I joined the British Merchant Navy as an apprentice deck officer. My first ship, which I joined in Birkenhead, was the SS City of Colchester, an American Liberty Ship in the Ellerman & Bucknall Steamship Company. My first voyage was to South Africa, and my first overseas port, apart from bunkering in Las Palmas en route, was Cape Town.