Salman Khan is planning to go to South Africa between June 11 and July 11, to catch the 2010 FIFA World CupTM action live in the host nation. The Bollywood hunk, who's grown up playing the sport, is looking forward to the world's largest, most-watched football extravaganza. It's being staged across eight provinces and nine cities, with almost half-a-million visitors expected to experience the spectacle firsthand. While between 35 and 40 billion "cumulative" television viewers worldwide will follow the matches live on screen. "Sport speaks a universal language," says Salman.
Agreeing that the FIFA World Cup is the most awaited sports event in the world, Medha Sampat, country head - India, South African Tourism, says, "There are many attractively priced tour packages available in the market (with match tickets) and we are looking forward to welcoming many Indians to South Africa in June-July this year. Given our expertise with hosting large scale international events, we promise a memorable experience!"
Even without the attraction of watching world class football stars like David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo live, South Africa is unmatched as a holiday destination. It's game lodges guarantee sightings of the 'Big Five' - the lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard. While Cape Town, its premier tourism destination, has the vibe of a big city with lots of scenic beauty, good food, terrific shopping, and adventure activities such as the highest bungee jump off the Bloukrans Bridge and shark cage diving among others! Other attractions in South Africa include Ushaka Marine World in Durban, Sun City, Johannesburg, the wildlife safaris in Kruger National Park, Port Harbour in Port Elizabeth, ostrich rides in Oudtshoorn, the Cango Caves adventure in Knysna.
Salman, who's been to South Africa many times on film shootings, played around with Zakumi - the official mascot for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. A leopard with green hair, Zakumi gets his name from 'ZA', the international code for South Africa, and 'kumi', which means 10 in various African languages. His motto: "Zakumi's game is Fair Play" while the tournament's official slogan is 'Ke Nako' - 'it is time'. Time for South Africa to change the world's perceptions as it hosts a football spectacular that is African and first-class in every respect.