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Pretoria as WC base

Boston
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Pretoria as WC base

We have four WC matches in NE SA - JoBurg - Rustenberg -Polokwane- JoBurg. The matches are every other day during the group stages. I'm looking for a base for the eight-day period, understanding we may need to pay double and stay one night in Polokwane. I looked for B&B's and guest houses in the Sandton and Rosebank areas. There seem to be many available at highly varying prices ranging from $8000 R to $40,000 for the period. I checked a few places in Pretoria and these generally seem to be better value for the money than Rosebank/Sandton. We will have a car. Can someone give me guidance on;

1. Why the large price variation - the reason is not always obvious from information on line. Would there be large variations in the quality/safety of some of the areas around Rosebank/Sandton?

2. Would Pretoria be a good base for us? Are there any drawbacks re: safety, activities available, etc. Would getting back and forth to night matches at Ellis Park matches be a problem?

Any help would be appreciated

Thanks

Boston
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1. Re: Pretoria as WC base

Just to clarify I got the initial list of places on line from Safarinow.com and portfolio.com

We're a party of 3 adults

Cape Town Central...
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2. Re: Pretoria as WC base

Why don't you try to stay close to Hartbeespoort dam, in nature, rather than in the middle of the city where you will need to navigate quite carefully if you're not sure where to go? Jessy @ extraordinary-travel.com

Boston
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3. Re: Pretoria as WC base

Thanks for the help. I'll look into Hartbeesport. When you say need to navigate carefully - is it an issue of safety you are referring to? or just the fact that the streets can be confusing it's hard to fine one's way around?

Thanks

Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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4. Re: Pretoria as WC base

Driving around Johannesburg is not for the timid. The freeway system is dominated by hi-speed SIP's (self important persons) who fly along in their BMW's and Mercedes...and by lo-speed overloaded buses and trucks. Fitting in is your challenge. The city streets are, in some areas, a challenge in their own right because this is one busy city. But you will have free time for dining and shopping, and that might make staying somewhere closer and more convenient than the Hartbeespoort area a good idea. Not Pretoria, though.

If you're OK with a nice motor inn, I suggest this one: https://www.citylodge.co.za/cl9.htm - Close to the freeway and lots of restaurants and shopping just up the road at a large mall (and area around the mall). And when I put in some sample dates for June 2010, the ROOM rate was less than R700 per room. Breakfast would be extra. This is the country's best group of motor inns and I guarantee it will be clean and safe. Plus, if you have an open Thursday or Saturday, one of my (few) favorite Johannesburg activities is not far away: http://www.bryanstonorganicmarket.co.za/

Dave Patterson - Owner, the Africa Safari

Boston
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5. Re: Pretoria as WC base

Thanks Dave.

The inn looks very nice but I do have to admit I prefer the personal touch found in b&b's and guest houses. I know they can be uneven in quality - is this part of the reason for your recommendation? Also why not Pretoria?

As far as driving I do live in Boston, in my opinion the worst US city for driving. Have you been here? How does JoBurg compare? The only city I've driven in that clearly topped Boston for insanity was Rome.

durban
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6. Re: Pretoria as WC base

Well factor in a few hundred African taxis all vying for the finish line and you may change your mind. No seriously we have had people on other posts compliment South African drivers (even in Jhb), it is all opinion really. It is a very busy city and everyone is always in a hurry, but I love the vibe of Jhb, which most Durbanites hate (we are much more laid back), I also love Pretoria much prettier than Jhb for the most part (although maybe not so much in winter) so I'm not sure why Bwanadave isnt keen for you to stay there? Pretoria is about 30 min drive from Jhb, but on match day it may be a lot busier so if you stay there leave early for the games.

Johannesburg, South...
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7. Re: Pretoria as WC base

I agree that pta is much prettier especially when the jacarandas starts to bloom...mostly from august to october. Just keep in mind that in rush hour traffic it can take up to two hours to travel a distance of 50km between pta and jhb. For someone that does not know the roads I would not recommend driving back to pta late at night after a game, but that depends on how comfortable you are driving in another country. For your other matches pta is definitely the more conveniently located base. Regarding safety and quality...pta and jhb is pretty much the same, although I still feel safer in pta. Waterkloof is the more exclusive area and I know there are guest houses in some of the golf estates like silver lakes and woodhill.

durban
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8. Re: Pretoria as WC base

I second Waterkloof, it is a lovely suburb.

Boston
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9. Re: Pretoria as WC base

Looking into accommodations in Sandown Estates. It's near Sandton but does not appear to be quite as nice a location as others nearby. Does anyone know this area?

Thanks

Tempe, Arizona
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10. Re: Pretoria as WC base

I did suggest that City Lodge for location and price. But your comment about the personal nature of B&B's and Guest Houses is certainly true. And South Africa is a destination where these are a huge sector of the lodging industry. Much more so than in the US.

Pretoria? Nothing against it, really. It adds some nighttime driving on a busy freeway I would avoid if possible. There are plenty of options closer to the WC stadium, for sure. No issues with Sandown that I can think of. As for driving in Boston.. yes I have. It's laughable sometimes trying to navigate narrow streets when delivery trucks have taken up most of the space.