February 2010

Where To Stay In South Africa

A few weeks ago, I provided our Twitter followers with a link to the site of the hostel in which two of our writers will be staying for the World Cup. In case you missed that particular link or are not a member of Twitter, this post will give you some background information about the hostel and South Africa in general. Ryan, one of the owners of the Ball n Kicka hostel, was kind enough to provide us the hostel’s first newsletter to share with you.

Ryan writes:

Howzit Soccer Fans…

Ryan here with the first ever Ball n’ Kicka Newsletter.  If you’re already booked with us, it’s great to have you on board.  We’re committed to bringing you closer to the vibrant Johannesburg culture during your stay in our hostels.  In this first newsletter I’ll tell you more about Ball n’ Kicka, our history and what’s going on in the world of B n’ K.  Over the coming weeks and months leading up to the World Cup we’ll be bringing you local news, tournament information, local city information and anything else you might need to help you prepare for your visit.

Firstly, who are we?

Ball n’ Kicka is a new business set up by me, Ryan and my old friend and colleague, Clinton.  Between us we’ve pretty much backpacked the entire globe and we’re not finished yet.  Last year I personally spent eight months in the Americas and next year we’re hoping to do a charity drive from Cape Town to London.  We got into this because we love the backpacker vibe and if we HAVE to have jobs they might as well be in the sort of environment where we can meet interesting and likeminded people.  So we started off with hostel properties in the chilled and vibrant neighbourhood of Melville and we’ve been growing ever since.

What makes us special?

We’re not a stuffy hotel business and we’re not looking to rip people off.  Most of the accommodation in South Africa was booked up long ago by tour companies catering to rich foreigners, and FIFA’s many delegates and sponsors.  We’re hoping to attract people like you:  adventurous and independent.  We know that when you travel you want to EXPERIENCE your surroundings, not just look at stuff.  With our intimate knowledge of the ‘City of Gold’, we can make sure you find the best nightlife, restaurants and anything else your personal needs require.

What’s coming up?

We’re continually increasing our number of properties, which means we’re able to offer more accommodation and keep our prices lower.  Keep an eye on the newsletter to find out more about this.

We’re also looking to help people with the transport problems.  Getting to games in and around Johannesburg is proving difficult for many fans to organise.  We’re working on a partnership deal with a bus business which we will use to offer preferential seats to our Ball n’ Kicka guests travelling to any of Pretoria, Polokwane, Rustenburg, Nelspruit or Bloemfontein.

It’s just football fever and it’s increasing all the time.  Most of the stadia are finished or are close to being finished, which means our beautiful new venues will soon be revealed to the world in all their glory.  If you didn’t already know about Soccer City, it’s the tournament’s showpiece stadium and will host the final here in Johannesburg.  It’s styled like an African cooking pot and when the red lights at its base are turned on for matches, it looks as if something is cooking on a giant fire.

Major work is being done on the roads around Johannesburg, particularly on the highways, to help people move around easier on the roads.  At the moment it’s a mess and we’re constantly getting stuck in traffic but by the time you arrive here it’ll be running smoothly.

South African Lingo

To help you get ready for your stay, we’ll give you a few new words to learn every week.  South African slang is a fusion of all of the diverse cultures which helped to create our rainbow nation. Here are a few simple ones to get you started:

·       “Howzit my bru”:  “How are you, my brother”

·       “Heita” : “Hello”

·       “Sharp”: ” Cool, things are great”

·       “Jol” : “Party”

·       “Dop”: “Drink”

Cool World Cup Facts

·       Zagallo is the only person who has won 4 world cup medals : He was a two times Cup winner as a    player (Sweden 1958 and Chile 1962), once as coach (Mexico 1970) and one as Assistant Coach (USA 1994)

·       Roger Milla holds the title of oldest player to participate in a World Cup match. When he played for Cameroon against Russia in World Cup USA 1994 (on June 28, 1994), he was 42 years and 39 days of age.

·       Only seven countries have won the World Cup: Brazil (58-62-70-94-02), Italy (34-38-82-06), Germany (54-74-90), Uruguay (30-50), Argentina (78-86) England (66) and France (98).

Please feel free to join our Facebook and Twitter groups.

Thanks for reading and check out next week’s newsletter for more updates.


Ball n Kicka

Daniel Seco