Sports and outdoor events

FNB Stadium. Photo courtesy babasteve

With favourable weather throughout the year, sports and activities are a favourite form of relaxion in Gauteng. Soccer is extremely popular and Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, both from Gauteng, are among South Africa's two most popular teams. Clashes between these arch-foes are a spectacle not to miss, and usually take place at the magnificent FNB Stadium. If you want local colour and culture, make a point of attending one of their games. Soccer matches take place almost all year round.

Sports grounds are dotted throughout the main cities and are kept in good condition. Two of the main rugby stadiums in South Africa are in Gauteng. Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane, home of the Blue Bulls, offers spirited games, a very partisan crowd, cheerleaders, indigenous dancers and a whole lot of atmosphere. Ellis Park in Johannesburg is hallowed ground for supporters of the Golden Lions. It was here that the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup in 1995. The Wanderers Club in Johannesburg is the official home of Gauteng cricket. Together with SuperSport Park in Centurion, Tshwane, and Willowmoore Park in Benoni, Ekurhuleni, it played a significant part in the success of the 2003 Cricket World Cup. There are a number of beautifully designed golf courses in Gauteng. Grand Slam winner Jack Nicklaus designed Pecanwood Golf and Country Club.

Lipizzaner stallion. Photo courtesy MilesBintz

Visitor Guide

We've compiled a comprehensive list of things to do to stay active while you're on holiday in Gauteng. Plan your trip by browsing through the action and adventure activities on offer. For the racehorse lover, Gauteng is the place to be. The province boasts three racecourses – Newmarket Turf Club in Ekurhuleni, Turffontein in Johannesburg and The Vaal in Sedibeng. South Africa has internationally recognised breeders and trainers. Equestrian sports are also popular and Gauteng has produced world-class showjumpers and hosts a series of equestrian events from showjumping and dressage to cross-country. There are also a good number of riding schools in Gauteng, particularly in the Kyalami area, famous for its motorsport racetrack. South Africa's famous Lipizzaners perform for the public at their Kyalami showground.

Swimming pools – as anyone flying into OR Tambo International Airport can attest – are simply everywhere. Most major hotels and resorts have a choice of pools where visitors can make the most of the sunshine. There are also a number of public pools for the more serious trainer. The Vaal River offers water sports such as jet skiing, water skiing and motor boating that will keep both families and serious sportspeople entertained for hours.

For all other sports lovers there is a wealth of recreational facilities to choose from for almost every sport under the African sun. After a day of sporting fun, you can soothe aching muscles at one Gauteng's world-class health spas. If you are more of a fan than a player: cricket teams tour the country in summer, and winter brings our favourite rugby foes to these shores – the famous All Blacks and Wallabies – for the Tri-Nations. Provincial teams from Australia and New Zealand play in the Super Rugby tournament. A local rugby derby between provincial teams fills any remaining gaps on the calendar - watch the blog for upcoming matches!

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