Just 45 minutes from Johannesburg and Pretoria is an area known as the "Cradle of Humankind". The World Heritage site is believed to be the very place where we first stood upright, some 4 million years ago.
Nestled in the foothills of the Zwartkops Mountains is the five-star Kloofzicht Lodge, the essence of tranquillity and ultimate luxury. It will be home to the Socceroos before their June 14 showdown with Germany in Durban, their first game in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Surrounded by tranquil water, the country lodge in Gauteng has 42 luxurious suites overlooking six fly fishing dams and the lower reaches of the Blaauwbank Spruit. The scenery is breathtaking and there's an abundance of natural vegetation and wildlife.
The Socceroos will be training, relaxing, team building and making some time for fishing, golfing, archery volleyball, croquet, petanque and hot-air ballooning. No doubt they will also enjoy the small but magnificent nature reserve which is home to kudu, impala, blue wildebeest, eland, red hartebeest, springbuck, gemsbok, zebra, giraffe and an amazing array of birdlife. There's a brewery nearby and visitors are welcome, but no doubt that's off-limits to the Socceroos.
Australia is the underdog after being drawn in group D with Germany, Serbia and Ghana. Coach Pim Verbeek said the exotic base camp would help the players focus.
Their accommodation is a combination of sandstone tiles, mahogany and bold, warm fabric colours. All rooms have ensuite facilities, fireplaces, some have underfloor heating and some bathtubs come with sweeping views.
Dining options will keep the team happy. Kloofzicht's Restaurant serves à la carte dinner and has buffet lunch on Sunday. The Little Foot Restaurant is a favourite for light meals. The Socceroos had just one special request and hotel management arrange to have it flown in: good old Vegemite.
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Kloofzicht Lodge, 45 minutes from Johannesburg and Pretoria in South Africa.
Kloofzicht Lodge executive and family suites cost around $192 per person a night and deluxe and superior suites are around $222 per person a night. Breakfast is included.
Emirates has flights to Johannesburg from:
- Perth $1732
- Melbourne and Adelaide $1735
- Sydney $1753
- Brisbane $1758
These prices are available only online to the first 100 people to book.
For further information
Ph: 1300 303 777
South Africa 1747
Ph: +27 11 317 0600
Fax: +27 11 317 0665
2010 FIFA World Cup
Visas:A passport is needed but no visa is required.
Electricity: 220V to 230V at 50Hz. Most plugs have three round pins.
Time zone: GMT +2.
Telephone code: +27.
Travellers to South Africa should be "in date" for the standard Australia and New Zealand immunisation schedules. Depending on the time of year of travel and exact destination, other health precautions and preventions may be recommended and are best discussed with your doctor. For further information, visit www.smartraveller.gov.au