World Cup Adventures

In preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa is building six soccer stadiums, investing some $2 billion in transportation upgrades, and assigning 40,000 police officers to babysit the 450,000 fans who'll descend on nine host cities this June. But thanks to now-vacant rooms at new hotels, plus an exchange rate of seven rand to the dollar, you can get pre-Cup bargains. The hardest part? Picking your adventure hub.

    Photo: Courtesy of Stephen Visser/Bikes 'n Wines

Cape Town
Adventure travelers look here first with good reason: The city dishes an astounding variety of fun, from bike touring to shark diving. To play baitfish, take a cage dive with Apex Shark Expeditions (from $215; apexpredators.com), the outfit that helped Planet Earth filmmakers capture those shocking images of breaching great whites. For less intense action, paddle among a penguin colony an hour from the city in Simon's Town, with Simon's Town Sea Kayak Tours (from $35; kayakcapetown.co.za). On land, cycle through the Cape's rolling wine country with Bikes 'n Wines (day trips from $50; bikesnwines.com). In preparation for the World Cup, the city has added 25 new hotels and polished up many others. Our pick is the Grand Daddy, which recently plunked seven refurbished, vintage Airstream trailers on its roof (doubles, $215; granddaddy.co.za).

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