Cresset Travel Blog |

Apr/10

24

South Africa Travel Information

There’s more to South Africa than lions. Johannesburg, a city of skyscrapers, sprawls wider than London or New York. The lights work, the water flows, there are multi-lane highways and – unfortunately – traffic jams. You can book into a Hilton or a Hyatt or a Holiday Inn and eat at cosmopolitan restaurants serving anything from sushi to burgers to crocodile steaks. Or you can just lie back on a couch and choose from five analogue and 53 digital TV channels.

There are two capitals. Cape Town, the oldest city, is the legislative capital, where Parliament resides, Pretoria, 1 500 kilometres to the north, is the executive capital, where the government administration is housed. Next door to Pretoria, and close enough that the outer suburbs merge, is the commercial centre of Johannesburg, once the world’s greatest gold mining centre, now increasingly dominated by modern financial and service sectors. The second-biggest city is Durban, a fast-growing port on the eastern coast, and the supply route for most goods to the interior
Yes, even in the smallest towns, where main roads often date back to the 19th century, and are wide enough to turn ox-wagons. Outside the cities, there are 8 000 kilometres of tarred and regularly maintained national highway, plus a thousand more kilometres of toll roads. Almost 1 500 kilometres of those routes are dual carriageway, with this number constantly rising. The national railway has 30 600 kilometres of rail track connecting the smallest hamlets. Some 3 600 locomotives pull 124 000 wagons of freight each day. There are three international airports big enough to land jumbos, 10 national airports large enough for most big commercial jets, and another 700 smaller airports.
The phones work and they dial abroad. The country’s telecommunications operator Telkom, part government and part foreign owned, is the 28th largest in the world, and accounts for 39% of the phone lines on the African continent. It is well ahead of targets on an ambitious scheme to push telecommunications into the remotest rural communities. Cellular phones are ubiquitous in South Africa, where there were 11.2 million users in January 2001 – a figure that grows by 9 000 each day.
You can use Visa and MasterCard almost everywhere, and bank by ATM or online. There’s a sophisticated financial sector, abreast of all the latest technological trends. There are 13 commercial and merchant banks, and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange is the world’s 15th largest in terms of market capitalisation.

South Africa HotelsSouth Africa ResortsCape Town HotelsDurban HotelsJohannesburg HotelsMalelane HotelsSun City Hotels

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