Fans attending one of the four games that will be played in Polokwane at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ next year will do so under African skies - warm sun by day and glittering stars by night.

The 45,000 seater stadium, which has been built to reflect the landscape of the area, is more modest than some of its big city rivals, but will certainly have visitors to next year's World Cup in no doubts as to where they are.

The four corners are designed to resemble the province's signature baobab trees while the coloured chairs paint a picture of rolling mountains and a warm African sun. A 172 metre roof covers the eastern stand, while the rest of the spectators will be able to stare up at the big African sky.

"The stadium is now largely complete - the pitch has been laid and the last of the chairs are being put in place. All that remains now are some final touches and then we are ready to open," says Polokwane 2010 director, Ndavhe Ramakuela.

The stadium, built on the outskirts of Polokwane, is just two kilometres from a game reserve, meaning that spotting the odd giraffe or zebra on the way to a World Cup match is not some far-fetched African fantasy.

"Polokwane is a small, intimate city and people visiting us for next year's FIFA World Cup can be guaranteed a warm, African welcome. It's the kind of place where you can breathe out and enjoy a laid back atmosphere in a quiet, natural environment," explains Ramakuela.

But that is not to say that the usually quiet Polokwane, which means "place of safety" in northern Sotho, will not be a place of festivity next year.

"Everything will be within walking distance. Fans will be free to walk the kilometre or so fan mile from the city centre to the Fan Fest at the local cricket club, which is also within walking distance of the stadium. Three of our four matches are in the afternoon, so the celebrations will be an all-day, all-night affair," says Ramakuela.

Although hosting an event the size of a FIFA World Cup is a big deal for this small city, Polokwane is no stranger to welcoming crowds. Zion City Moria, the headquarters of the Zion Christian Church (the largest African Initiated Church in Southern Africa) is just 40 km from Polokwane. Every year at Easter millions of members of this church make an annual pilgrimage to the Limpopo province.

The thousands of football fans who will descend from around the world next year are sure to enjoy the tranquility, until kick-off of course.