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.