Mpumalanga’s 2010 FIFA World Cup™ host city, Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit), has always had an enviable reputation as a place to go game spotting. Now the city has a game-spotting venue of the football kind, the Mbombela Stadium.

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Mbombela Stadium is the preferred venue for the Bidvest Wits soccer team

The Mbombela Stadium is located in a city that now too bears the name Mbombela. Nelspruit, long called the capital of the Mpumalanga province, has undergone a name change.

Translated from the siSwati language, Mbombela means 'many people together in a small place' – an apt choice for a venue that seated more than 120 000 spectators from all corners of the globe during four opening round matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.

Mbombela is close to much of South Africa's prime wildlife terrain and it is small wonder that elements of the famed Big Five have influenced the design of the R1-billion stadium. It has, in fact, been nicknamed the 'giraffe stadium' because its 18 roof supports are said to resemble the long-necked animals that tower over the surrounding bush. It also boasts distinctive zebra-striped seats.

Located at Matsafeni Village, 6km from the town centre, Mbombela Stadium has everything you'd expect of a world-class facility – television studios, sleek corporate hospitality suites, excellent security and facilities for the otherly-abled.

The stadium's bowl design delivers excellent sightlines from all three seating tiers, while the roof is partially translucent to maximise sunlight. It floats free from the top to allow for ventilation and views of the surrounding hills. The stadium now hosts rugby and cricket events along with soccer matches.

A trip to the Mbombela sports stadium presents an opportunity for visitors to head for the Kruger National Park and the many privately owned game lodges nearby. One of South Africa's most scenic driving routes, the Panorama Route, is also a stone's throw away.

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