Chewing on dried beef in the African bushland…

…is the best you can do to kill some time while driving and driving and…driving through the vast North-West Province of South Africa, heading for the Royal Bafokeng Kingdom (founded in 1140) where the FIFA World Cup Stadium of Rustenburg is to be found. The venue isn’t in Rustenburg, really, that’s just a weird town with a rotten Far West aura surrounded by the world’s biggest platinum mines. In fact, the arena sits about 20 kilometres further up – in the middle of nowhere, you could say.

A hearty lunch (or dinner?): dried beef à l'Afrique du Sud.

The incoming fans and national football teams of Mexico, Uruguay, Slovakia, Ghana, New Zealand, Australia and certainly England and the US will be surprised about the rustic charm of the place. They’ll have lots of time to fumble around with their playstations and iphones (and they can only hope that there will be no power cuts as usual…). For the food? Well, the soccer guys bring their own cooks, but you, as a tourist? Don’t expect culinary refinement, it’s all about fast food and, again: Biltong.

For more upbeat dining, you have the choice between KFC, McDonalds and Wimpy – or you shoot yourself some bush meat in one of the many lodges around (including Paul Kruger’s ancient farm just across the street from the English camp!). I didn’t have the time to go hunting today, so I had to stick to my Family Pack of Biltong, some salt & vinegar chips complete with Coke light and instant coffee. Yes, in terms of culinary experiences it was a lost day.

Yet I liked the farm store where I bought my ration pack. It was the “Red Rock Mountain View”, sitting on the flanks of the Magaliesberg range just off the highway R24. I’m sure they always have a gun at hand here right under the counter. Feel free to get some more impressions of this New World shop below:

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