South Africa 2016
ICURFC went on safari! Our 2016 tour set off to South Africa, a land of rugby, steak, and beautiful scenery. Starting in Johannesburg in the north, travelling to Cape Town in the south, the tour promised many new experiences for everyone involved. Trips to game reserves as well as many costal cities gave plenty of time to relax between the matches, and with a local organising the tour, the boys definitely got the most out of the trip.
The largest city in South Africa, home of the Super Rugby team The Lions, and the city of choice to kick off ICURFC’s fantastic tour to South Africa.
Our first fixture was here against Pirates RFC, the oldest rugby club in Johannesburg. With sights such as the Soweto Stadium and the cities many museums, there was plenty to keep the boys occupied.
Queenstown was a prime opportunity to fully immerse ICURFC in some South African culture and spend some quality time on a traditional “plaas”: big, open green spaces, wild game and the possibility of some hunting. A short stop to enjoy what SA has to offer. No fixture here.
Here, our tour’s second fixture was against a Rhodes University side. One of South Africa’s most historic towns, it was the place of refuge of English settlers in 1820 and is the annual host of South Africa’s national arts festival as well as an academic centre of excellence.
This stopover allowed ICURFC’s tourists to learn about the original settlement of Anglophones in the Eastern Cape and fully integrate themselves with South Africa’s student population.
Here was yet another chance to indulge in some of SA’s delights. Visiting the world class Kariega Game Reserve: going on game drives and catching sight of the incredible wildlife on offer. And most probably having an overly detailed conversation about what animals would best represent each position on a rugby field.
“The Friendly City” stretches 16km along the Algoa Bay and gave the boys a chance to rest and recuperate on its wonderful beaches. There was also an opportunity to watch a game of cricket at St. George’s Park. It is also the home of the Nelson Mandela bay Stadium: Home of the South African leg of the IRB World 7s series.
There was also a fixture here against the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).
Another stunning beach town in the Western Cape. Stopping over on the way to jump off a 216m high bridge at Bloukrans Bungy, the highest in the world.
In Knysna the boys also participated in whale watching, surfing and some beach training sessions.
Finally the tour ended up in the “Mother City”, Cape Town. Our final fixture took place against a side from the University of Cape Town (UCT), Africa’s leading university.
With wine tasting, exploring and conquering Table Mountain, shark cage diving and even more beautiful beaches (and beauties), we had to drag the boys onto the plane home!