Location: Kampala, Uganda
The FIFA World Cup is within reach for Africans continent-wide, and the eyes of the world will be on South Africa when the showcase kicks off on June 11. Many Ugandans are eager for the historic tournament to begin, and those who are not already in South Africa plan to make the road trip by coach from Kampala.
For many, the World Cup in South Africa has opened up an opportunity to travel outside Uganda for the first time. Fans are excited to make the trip of a life time through Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana. Not all of the fans are planning to be in South Africa for the entire month, some have planned to stay for a week or two, or as long as their finances can stretch.
When it was announced that South Africa would host the 2010 World Cup, a few fans committed to saving money to at least travel to South Africa and watch one game at the tournament. Some fans have been saving for more than two years to make the trip.
The bus branded, ‘We are going to the World Cup’ left Kampala on June 2. However, many fans ran into difficulties at the South African High Commission in Kampala when they applied for visas for South Africa, and some did not have their paperwork processed in time for them to board the bus. Those unfortunate soccer lovers have been forced to make their way to the World Cup by hook or by crook, and it is not yet known what fate awaits them at the South African border post.
With so many fans making the road trip from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, Kampala Coaches were soon overbooked. Those that travelled on the first coach will be in time to catch the opening game between South Africa and Mexico on June 11, while the rest of the fans who missed the first trip will only leave on June 11 and arrive seven days later in South Africa.
I am on of those unfortunate patrons who will miss out on the hype and excitement of the World Cup concert on the opening day of the tournament, but I will still be part of the historic even that Africa is hosting, albeit a week late.