2021 British and Irish Lions’ Tour of South Africa: All You Need To Know

Lions don’t come to town that often, do they? It’s always a great spectacle when the British and Irish Lions tour South Africa. Nothing compares to the on-field drama sandwiched between unforgettable itineraries. Have fun in the City of Gold. Enjoy fine dining with a range of excellent wines in scenic Cape Winelands. See the breathtaking Victoria Falls and follow the Big Five game. The Lions’ Tour of SA offers much more than premier sports. 

They will play a three-game test series against the Springboks, South Africa national rugby team, and then lock horns with five other teams from the South African Rugby Union. From fantastic travel experiences to match-day splendour and parties, these are the things you need to know about the British and Irish Lions’ tour of SA.

 When is the Lions’ tour of SA?

Photo Source: Lionsrugby.com

The British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa comes up July and August 2021. Fans get to follow the test group every four years around destinations rotated among Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. 
The 2021 series will be the 14th installment against South Africa. They first toured the Rainbow nation in 1891, their most recent visit came in 2009. The Lions have won four of those test series, lost eight, and drawn one.



 Most popular tours beside following the Lions in SA

From Beverly Hills to Oyster Box, Durban has some of the best beachfront in Africa. Along with Cape Town, they offer the best of South Africa, including bustling waterfront and flat mountains overlooking sandy beaches. Don’t miss the countryside escape in nearby Cape Winelands. The wine-growing region is famed for its taste, cuisines, and luxury. 

It’s a long ride between Cape Town and Durban, but worth the while. If you have three full weeks to tag along with the team, adding Pretoria or neighbouring Johannesburg could make for a great holiday by road. And you get to live your best life in fantastic places like the plush Sandton and Sun City. Make a detour around Pretoria to Madikwe Game Reserve or Kruger National Park. Whatever you decide to see and do, visit Victoria Falls.

 Lions’ tour of SA 2021 – the full schedule

Photo Source: Lionsrugby.com

The British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa will be a rich blend of culture, adventures, and travel. You couldn’t have planned to watch one of the world’s best sporting events without knowing the schedules. You’ll see all three test matches when you book your tours between 23 July and 8 August 2021. 

  • Saturday 3 July: British & Irish Lions v DHL Stormers – Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
  • Wednesday 7 July: British & Irish Lions v South Africa Invitational – Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
  • Saturday 10 July: British & Irish Lions v Cell C Sharks – Jonsson Kings Park, Durban
  • Wednesday 14 July: British & Irish Lions v South Africa ‘A’ – Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
  • Saturday 17 July: British & Irish Lions v Vodacom Bulls – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
  • Saturday 24 July (First Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions – FNB Stadium, Johannesburg
  • Saturday 31 July (Second Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions – Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
  • Saturday 7 August (Third Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions – Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg

 Pre-match fans experiences

Photo Source: Lionsrugby.com

Lions tours are an economic windfall for tourism in the host nation, but the appeal is lost if fans can’t go. Plans and expectations of the South African Government aren’t easy to call right now. Fingers crossed, ‘Loyal Lions’ mix with local fans once more, soaking up the luxurious South African atmosphere and eclectic culture. Fantastic food, drinks, meet-and-greets, celebrity entertainment, and iconic locations. South Africa, 2021 promises to be bigger and better.

It’s never too late to start making plans. Nothing beats the Lions Den event in fanfare, entertainment, atmosphere, and fever-pitch excitement. Great times, great memories, and an incredible experience. Tests have sold out within hours, yet it’s unclear how many travelling supporters have managed to procure tickets. Over 30,000 Lions fans are expected to tour South Africa, though a “sea of red” like 2009 will be a superb surprise.

 The British and Irish Lions play two-less games

Fans must have gotten used to watching the Lions play a three-match test series and seven additional match-ups with local teams. That changes next year. There will only be five more games against Stormers, Sharks, Bulls, the South African Barbarians, and South Africa’s second national rugby union team.



 British and Irish Lions’ tour narrative

The first tour dates back to 1888 in Australia and New Zealand. Since then, 835 players have been featured in what most Brits consider as rugby’s precious pinnacle. From the first capped player (Jack Anderton), the most-capped player (Willie John McBride), the prolific Gavin Hastings to Finn Russell (cap 835), these players take great pride in being a part of the Lions. The Lions have played 117 matches altogether, winning 47, losing 59, and drawing 11.

 The birth of British Isles rugby tours 

The 1910 tour to South Africa featured the first test team picked by a committee from the four home unions. South Africa won two of the three-test series. Moreover, the Lions did put up decent performances in the non-test matches. Fans waited until 1924, again in South Africa, to cheer the next British Isles team.


Planning to visit Cape Town for the British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa? Learn more about the Mother City, how to get around, free things to do in Cape Town, and more from our blog. We can help you find the perfect place to stay. Get in touch if you’d like help finding accommodation or Cape Town tours to indulge in when you are around.

About The Author: Oluwakemi Ojo

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