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Destination South Africa

October 17, 1998
Web posted at: 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT)

(CNN) -- Once a pariah boycotted by many travelers and businesses, South Africa is coming into its own after the remarkable transformation in 1994 from decades of apartheid to the first democratically elected government.

While the induction of a new government did not by any means banish South Africa's problems, it flung open the door to a new era -- and more and more travelers are accepting the invitation to step in.

CNN TravelGuide sent a crew on the world's longest scheduled non-stop commercial flight -- 14 1/2 hours from New York to Johannesburg -- to explore this emerging destination. Follow correspondent Kalin Thomas-Samuel's journey as she examines the history of South Africa, embarks on a safari, and addresses the issue of travel safety.

Face of a nation:
Face of a nation The people and history of South AfricaVIDEO
Setting out on safari:
images Where the buffalo -- and lions and elephants -- roamVIDEO
Staying safe in the city:
images What you need to know about crime in Cape Town and Johannesburg
Getting there:
images Weather, currency converter and other essentials
mail from the trail
Have you gone to South Africa? Want to meet people who have? Visit the message board
part 2

Find out about South Africa's culture -- from the hard realities of life in Soweto to the outlandish glitz of Sun City in Part 2.

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