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Details: Johannesburg activities and accommodations

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

GETTING THERE

KLM has one-stop flights from Dulles to Johannesburg for about $1,600 round trip.

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The new Gautrain (http://www.gautrain.co.za) high-speed rail network is expected to be up and running in time for the World Cup, with trains linking O.R. Tambo International Airport to Johannesburg's Sandton business district for around $15 one way.

Metered taxis are the easiest way to get around; expect to pay $7 to $15 for most trips between the city center and the northern suburbs.

WHERE TO STAY

As World Cup organizers continue to scale back projections of foreign visitors, the hotel crisis forecast last year seems unlikely. Still, most hotels in the city centers of such popular venues as Johannesburg and Cape Town have been fully booked. Sleeping Out (http://www.sleeping-out.co.za) and SA-Venues.com (http://www.sa-venues.com) are great online resources for checking availability around the country. For a long-term rental, check out the online classifieds site Gumtree (http://www.gumtree.co.za), which frequently posts ads from locals subletting their homes for the tournament.

A Johannesburg choice with limited World Cup availability:

The Melville House

59 Fourth Ave., Melville

011-27-11-726-3503

http://themelvillehouse.com

A cozy B&B in the Melville suburb owned by author Heidi Holland. World Cup/high season: doubles from $130. Low season: from $110.

Booked for the World Cup, but worth a stay at other times:

Rosebank Lodge

75 Rutland Rd., Parkwood

011-27-11-880-1747

http://www.rosebanklodge.co.za

The rooms here are set around a pleasant garden. World Cup/high season: doubles from $240. Low season: from $100.

AtholPlace

90 Pretoria Ave., Sandton

011-27-11-783-3410

http://www.atholplace.co.za

A striking boutique hotel a few minutes from the upscale suburb of Sandton. Doubles from $330.

WHERE TO EAT

The Ant Cafe

11 Seventh St., Melville

011-27-11-726-2614

Gourmet pizzas in an attractive space. Entrees start at $6.

Moyo

Zoo Lake and other locations

011-27-11-646-0058

http://www.moyo.com

A delicious selection of pan-African dishes. Entrees from $12.

The Local Grill

Corner of Seventh and Third avenues, Parktown North, and other locations

011-27-11-880-1946

http://www.localgrill.co.za

A meat-lover's dream, with top-notch grain-fed and free-range beef. Entrees start at $9.

WHAT TO DO

FIFA's Web site (http://www.fifa.com) lists ticket availability for World Cup matches. As of press time, tickets for Team USA's group-stage match against Slovenia, in Johannesburg, were still available, starting at $160. Tickets for U.S.-Algeria, in nearby Pretoria, were also available at $160.

Downtown Johannesburg Museum Africa

121 Bree St., 011-27-11-833-5624

The city's major history and cultural history museum. Tuesday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission about $1.

Market Theatre

56 Margaret Mcingana St., Newtown

011-27-11-832-1641

http://www.markettheatre.co.za

The "Theater of the Struggle," founded in 1976, challenged the apartheid regime.

Soweto

Jimmy's Face to Face Tours

011-27-11-331-6109

http://www.face2face.co.za

Operating in the township since 1985. Tours from $47.

WHAT TO KNOW

Crime is a real threat in Johannesburg, although the city has taken great strides in recent years, investing a small fortune in security upgrades for the World Cup and setting up closed-circuit television cameras and security patrols. Much of the city is safe to walk around by day. In the center, be wary around Park Station, the main train and bus station, and steer clear of the notorious Hillbrow area. Be aware of your surroundings if using an ATM, take taxis at night and don't flash your camera around downtown.

INFORMATION

City of Johannesburg

http://www.joburg.org.za

Johannesburg Tourism Co.

195 Jan Smuts Ave., Parktown

011-27-11-214-0700

http://www.joburgtourism.com

-- C.V.


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