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Johannesburg is the largest city of South Africa and the financial center of the country. It is the capital of the region Gauteng and it has a population of more than 3.8 million people of different nationalities. There is no language group dominating the city. Johannesburg is located in the eastern plateau area. The city has around 6 million trees in it which makes it one of the greenest city in the world.

Johannesburg is the home of Nelson Mandela. In the city you can take official tours that will lead you to his earlier and more humble home, where he lived before he went to prison, and his modern home. The city is divided into two districts, Soweto and Sandton. Soweto is known as South Western Townships and is pretty safe for tourists to visit. Sandton is heart of the business center of Johannesburg. It holds the 6 meter tall bronze statue of Nelson Mandela, a favorite photo spot for many.

Johannesburg has a modern center and has mostly been influenced by American style malls. There are many shopping malls including Sandton City, Bedford Center and Mall of Rosebank. Oriental Plaza offers shops with South African Indian owners. The city has different museums and galleries such as Johannesburg Art Gallery and The Apartheid Museum. This museum is certainly worth a visit if you would like to understand the true history of the city and South Africa. Other attractions are Market Theatre Complex, Gold-Reef city theme park, an amusement park with casino, the Gubbins Library in university and Lesedi Cultural Village with traditional dances and food.

Travelers to Johannesburg need a valid passport. Visitors from Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom and Virgin Islands do not require a visa. Citizens from other countries don’t need a specific visa if their stay is less than 30 or 90 days, depending on the country you come from. Crime is a serious problem in Johannesburg. Public transport use is even discouraged. Keep valuable belongs at a safe spot. Stay away from unpopulated areas. The city has two telecommunication towers, Hillbrow tower and Brixton tower (or Sentech) that will help you locate where you are.


Tunis is the Tunisian Republic’s capital and biggest city. It is found on the Gulf of Tunis behind the lake of the same name and the port of La Goulette. Though located on the coast, the capital city does not have much beaches to boast of. Even though it is the republic’s center of modern development, it is not necessarily the most interesting place in Tunisia. Tunis is said to be a variation of an Arabic name, but has also been linked to the name of the Phoenician goddess, Tanith. It is home to 1,2 million people according to latest measurement.

If you are visiting with your family, you may just fit into the Tunis nightlife. The city’s nightlife is all about families getting together for a quiet evening out; a few couples may also join in the throng of people. The days are much busier. You may want to find something unique to bring home. For this, you need your bargaining skills to get your great deals at the markets.

You can reach Tunis by booking a flight to Tunis-Carthage Airport. This airport is about eight kilometers away from Tunis’ center. In the city, you can get around by bus or the metro. It would help if you can speak either French or Arabic. You may also get around by taxi; the fares are quite cheap so you can use the transport as your official transport when you are in Tunis. If you are not used to the heat, riding in an air-conditioned taxi during the summer can help you avoid the direct heat. The temperature can also go down during January and February.

To visit Tunisia, you need a passport valid for at least six months and a ticket proving that you are moving on to your next destination or that you are returning to your home country after a certain period. If you are from the United States, you do not need a visa to stay in Tunisia for up to four months.

Maasai Mara

Maasai Mara is a national park reserve found in south-western Kenya. The park is named after the people who inhabited the area: the Maasai people. It serves almost like an extension to the north of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, which is a game reserve. Maasai Mara prides itself for being home to a large population of wildebeests and zebras. The area has been established in 1974 and covers 940 square miles. Its nearest city is Nyeri.

Tourists visit Maasai Mara for the plentiful wild beasts that can be seen and photographed. This means that Maasai Mara truly represents the whole of Kenya, which is popular for wildlife safaris. There is a large variety of wildlife in the national park reserve, of which the lions are stille the most popular attractions. The lions found there have actually gotten used to the visitors and have graced many tourists with sightings. Other famous animals found in Maasai Mara are rhinos, buffalos, leopards, and elephants.

You can reach Maasai Mara National Park Reserve through a flight to Nairobi Wilson Airport. From the airport at Nairobi, you can fly to one of Maasai Mara’s airstrips for about half an hour. If you decide to travel by land, prepare for five hours of journey. The rainy season may make things a little slower by extending your trip over land to seven hours. If you have arranged for a safari, you do not have to worry about transportation from Nairobi Wilson Airport to Maasai Mara and even within the park itself. If you want to see more animals, time your visit to the annual wildebeest migration from June to October. You may want to avoid the rainy season from March to May.

If you are from the United States, you need a passport valid for at least six months to enter Kenya. You also need to present necessary travel documents, especially your travel itinerary.  If you are coming from a place that has been infected by yellow fever, bring along a vaccination certificate. You also need a visa that corresponds to your purpose of visit.


Yamoussoukro is the capital city of Cote d’Ivoire, or the Ivory Coast. It is found 150 miles north of Abidjan. It covers 1,351.3 square miles and has 169 settlements. Yamoussoukro is headed by a governor, instead of a mayor. It became Ivory Coast’s capital in 1983 but is starting to feel the pressure from Abidjan. The country’s former president, Felix Houphouet-Boigny’s, had always dreamed that somehow Yamoussoukro will blossom into a thriving, bustling capital. According to the latest measurement, the city’s population is estimated at 200 thousand

Many find Yamoussoukro a strange capital. It is partly because Abidjan seems to be more like the capital city of Ivory Coast, while Yamoussoukro just retains the title. Yamoussoukro is also supposed to be a modern city. The attempt is there with the grid-like, paved streets. However, the streets are yet to offer much. The city does not house embassies and government ministries and has less commercial activity and entertainment expected of a capital city. It is said that Houphouet-Boigny was the one who really wanted the city to be the center of the Ivory Coast.

You can reach the Ivory Coast through a flight from Paris, France. Air Ivoire and Air France have regular flights to and from the African country. You may also get a connection flight from Brussels, Belgium. Fares from France to Ivory Coast, and vice versa, are quite affordable. Within Yamoussoukro, you can get around by bus or taxi. You can also travel on foot, but rather find alternatives to walking during the hot months.

If you are visiting the Ivory Coast, you need to bring a passport, which is valid for at least six months, along with your round trip tickets. You must also present an invitation coming from hosts living in the country or any proof of hotel reservations. You need to present a vaccination certificate for yellow fever. Visa requirements also include two accomplished application forms and two passport photos.


Praia, the capital and largest city of Cape Verde, has an interesting name meaning. In both Cape Verdean Creole and Portuguese, the city name means “beach” which is appropriate for the capital of an island nation. The capital city is definitely surrounded by waters. Praia is a worthy capital not only because it is the largest city but also because of its stunning beaches and a commercial center. It also has a long-standing history; it was formerly called the town of Praia de Santa Maria in 1615 and was declared a city in 1858. The city is home to 125 thousand people according to the latest measurement.

Despite its beaches and commercial center, Praia is not a typical tourist magnet. Usually, tourists would come to Cape Verde’s center for a stopover and move on to their next destination. Still, you can always enjoy a visit to the beach or taking photos of the cosmopolitan life in Praia. There are historical sites and traces of Portuguese settlement in this area. You can visit places such as Praia Cathedral and the Praia town hall, for example. Who knows, you may want to stay for a little longer.

You can reach Praia, Cape Verde through interconnecting flights ending in the capital city’s international airport. From the airport, you can reach the city center through a taxi ride. Unfortunately, there is apparently no transportation that can bring you from where you are staying back to the airport. The average temperature in Praia is mostly within the range of 68 degrees Fahrenheit, from 66 degrees Fahrenheit to 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

To visit Cape Verde, you need a passport valid for at least six months. You also need to present your return ticket or any proof that you are leaving the African country at a certain date, either to go home or to move on to the next destination. You need to have a visa to enter the city.


An oddity, Uzbekistan’s capital city of Tashkent, is not exactly a tourist’s dream destination. Those who do take the chance will not regret it, however. Deep within Tashkent are hidden charms and merging cultures that make a trip to the place very interesting, indeed. During the pre-Islamic and early Islamic eras, the city was called “Chach”. It is located on what is known to be the Great Silk Road. This ancient city has endured so much in history but these historical events are also responsible for Tashkent’s uniqueness. According to the latest measurement, its population is recorded at 2.7 million.

Tashkent is a truly eccentric city. Visit it and notice the clashing cultures that somehow manage to blend to create a city. A wide range of activities and sights reveal the various inspirations that make Tashkent what it is today. For example, you will get a taste of bazaars, palaces and museums while still not straying too far away from modern restaurants and an active nightlife. There are obvious Muslim influences that thrive side by side with Soviet remnants. The city is fairly safe, but be wary of petty thefts and robberies. Make sure that you are there for pleasure and not for political reasons; the latter can give you much trouble.

Arrive in the city through Tashkent International Airport. From there, you can take advantage of cheap taxi rides to the city proper. You can get around the city through bus, train or taxi. Taxis may be relatively comfortable to the other transportation’s but some cabs can be pretty old and derelict. Generally, public fare is very cheap in Tashkent. You may cheap options in food and hotel, as well but you also have opportunities to splurge. Get a weather report before leaving for Tashkent, however. The city has extreme continental weather. This means that summers can heat up to about 113 degrees Fahrenheit while winters can freeze to about -31 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you are to visit Uzbekistan from the United States, you will need a valid passport and a business or tourist visa. When applying for visa, you must bring along proof of your hotel reservations and proof purpose of visit.


Abuja replaced Lagos as the capital city of Nigeria in 1991. The changing of power is complete because Abuja now houses the Nigeria’s government offices. Not only that, it is evident that the new capital city has been given a lot of attention by the government. Abuja is beautiful and very wealthy. A visit to the Nigerian city will welcome you to modern architecture and business-focused establishments while retaining natural wonders through its rivers, parks and gardens. Abuja is home to 800 thousand people according to the latest measurement.

Wealthy and considered by many as much safer than Lagos, Abuja seems to have a good start as a capital city. However, Lagos is still popularly viewed as the main entry point to Nigeria. Abuja, like Port Harcourt, acts as an alternative. Though the city is considered to be one of the safest metro areas in Africa, it is still best to practice precaution wherever you may be. Beware of pickpockets and armed robbers. If you are driving through the city, make sure that all of your doors are locked and your windows closed. Make sure you do not carry with you loads of cash.

Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport is your key to Abuja, Nigeria. You can book a flight through KLM, British Airways and Luftansa. Expect traveling to Abuja to be easier in June of 2009 when you can get a direct flight from Atlanta, Georgia via Delta Airlines. You can get around in the city by bus or by car. If you want a taxi, make sure that you hail one from the green cab system to be safe from potentially dangerous unofficial cabs. A taxi may, however, save you from a hot, humid temperature that may peak at 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The nights can be cool as 54 degrees Fahrenheit.

To get a Nigerian visa, you must have a passport that is valid for up to at least six months. You must also present your yellow card or current vaccination certificate along with evidence of sufficient funding for your stay. Round trip tickets are also necessary to show that you are planning to stay in Nigeria for only a certain period.


Antananarivo is the capital city of the African country of Madagascar. It is a great place to visit if you want to be right in the middle of seemingly non-stop activity. The busy market scene is the best place to describe the energy of the city. In the market, you will find all sorts of goodies and even strange products, such as live animals. You have to go through this bustling crowd with your own brand of energy; however, the markets can be noisy and the goods can be intermixed with unlikely neighbors. For example, electronics can be wedged next to bamboo products. Antananarivo is home to about a million and a half people according to the latest measurement.

Immersing into the Antananarivo scene must be done with an active, healthy body. Everything seems to be bustling with energy. Unfortunately, this also means bumper-to-bumper traffic. This in turn means, in the case of Antananarivo, pollution coming from the spewing vehicles. Amidst the chaos, you can find several gems such as its fifty churches; some are mosques and cathedrals. Still, experiencing these examples of historical architecture is best done when you actually mingle with the throng of locals and tourists.

You will arrive in Antananarivo on the Ivato Airport. Note that this airport is completely different from what you may be used to. To get around the city, you can ride a bus or a taxi. However, you can also have a little bit of workout by walking around the city. If you choose going around on foot, you reward yourself with being closer to where the action is at all times. Do not worry: Antananarivo does not heat up as much as other African cities. The temperature range is from 48 degrees Fahrenheit to about 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

You will need a visa to stay for up to three months. You will need to present your travel itinerary, passport, passport photo and filled-out form. If you are planning to stay for more than three months, you have to file your request at the Embassy of Madagascar in Washington.


Hoedspruit is a small tourism and agriculturally orientated town in the central Lowveld, just outside the famous Kruger National Park, half way between the Orpen and Phalaborwa gates. This small bush-town is well-situated in the midst of the region’s attractions like activities as birding, hikes, horse riding and exclusive “getaways”, the Cheetah Breeding Project, a micro light Flying School, Blyde River Canyon, the Panorama route, Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre, Balule Nature Reserve and more. Hoedspruit offers accommodation to suit all pockets, from the world’s leading five star safari luxury to budget backpackers retreats.

The town has a beautiful setting- the towering cliffs of the Escarpment and endless expanses of bushveld with plains of marula, acacia, and mopane woodlands stretching as far as the eye can see.

Hoedspruit is well supplied with a variety of shops and restaurants, and is growing rapidly. It is a town full of character and friendly people. Hoedspruit acquired its name when, after a long trek over the mountains into the heat of the Lowveld, one of the pioneers removed his hat and threw it into the cool waters of the Sandspruit River and decided to stay, the river is now largely dry. There is a heat-repelling plastic statue of a hat, to celebrate this, outside the train station

The yearly average maximum temperature is 28.6°C, and the yearly average minimum is 15.4°C. The hottest months of the year are usually December, January and February, with an average monthly maximum temperature of over 31°C, and a minimum of 20°C. The coolest month of the year, July, registers an average maximum of 24.7°C, and an average minimum of 9°C. The area is free of Malaria, but it is advisable to take precautionary measures and use insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites during the rainy season, which is between October and March, peaking in December and January. Hoedspruit ’s average yearly rainfall is just 513mm There are around 25 thunderstorms in a the year, with brief periods of heavy rain accompanied by spectacular lightening. After the rain, the sun will come quickly and the weather is fine again. During the summer the surroundings are colored brown en yellow, but when the rains fall it transforms in a lush green paradise.

In Hoedspruit you find the Kamogelo Tourism Centre’s which has a unique East African architecture. The centre has over twenty eight shops and restaurants, whit various activities and a wide variety of products. There is a store whit beautiful African silks, a Summer spa, a hairdresser, a gift shop, a jeweler, a car wash, a photographer, a pub, diners and more.

A must-visit is Alex Zamoumis’ new Tribal Art Gallery in the Kamogelo Centre, this gallery exhibits collections of tribal art collected in southern Africa during the last 30 years. The gallery, has monthly exhibitions concentrating on a wide range of different aspects of indigenous culture ranging from beadwork, basketry, pottery, weapons, medical and spiritual devices, ritual and cultural objects. Alex and his associates are involved with many ‘self-help’ projects where they have encouraged rural people to maintain their tradition skills and art as a source of sustainable income.

Ngena deli is led by the Dutch owner. It has a bakery, whit delicious fresh bread. They also have imported food and cheese. It is an open air restaurant, a deli and a coffee shop, whit a nice view from the terrace. In Hoedspruit banks are open from 09h00 to 15h30 during the week and from 08h30 to 11h00 on Saturdays. Automatic teller machines are found in Kamagelo shopping centre and the Engen garage. There is a hospital on the Drakensig Military Base and doctors, pharmacies and a dentist in town.

In Hoedspruit is a railway. In 2009 a shiny new Premier Class train service between Johannesburg and Hoedspruit has been launched, providing an added attraction to Limpopo’s big-five reserves. This train offers visitors a five-star service, including private cabins, five-course meals and spa facilities. The service operates once a week, leaving Park Station on a Thursday evening and arriving mid-morning on Friday in Hoedspruit. It returns on the Sunday evening, arriving back in Johannesburg on the Monday morning. There is an airport just outside Hoedspruit, used for civilian domestic flights.

Eastgate Airport service daily scheduled flights from and towards Johannesburg, according as Cape town, by South African Airways. There are also other domestic carriers who have regular flights to this airport. And Eastgate Airport is even ideally suited to the handling of private charter flights.

Car hire is available in Hoedspruit, with Avis at the airport. And Budget at the offices of McFarlanes Safaris next to Lebamba, they deliver your car if you require it at the airport, because the airport is around 10km out of town.

From Johannesburg it’s a beautiful drive to Hoedspruit, you take the N12 towards Witbank, here it becomes the N4, follow this road until Belfast. At Belfast you take the R540 towards Dulstroom and Lydenburg. In Lydenburg follow the R36 leading to Ohrigstad then take the R527 to Hoedspruit. It is possible to rent the car in Johannesburg to leave in Hoedspruit or the other way around. So you can take the train or airplane for one of the rides.


Kampala is the capital and largest city of Uganda. It replaced Entebbe as the national capital of Uganda in 1962 and is now the country’s administrative, commercial, communications, and transportation center. Built on and surrounded by seven hills, Kampala is home to more than 2 million people.

Kampala is known for its lush greenery interspersed with modern buildings, all buzzing with life. This city is known for its interesting mix of establishments ranging from traditional to trendy restaurants, fashionable shopping places, and a bustling nighttime entertainment scene. African culture is very alive in Kampala, especially in the markets of Owino and Nakasero, where locals, dressed in traditional African attire, all flock to gather for the day’s produce. Cultural events are also not hard to find in the city. The city’s residents speak English, Swahili, and Luganda, although local tribal dialects are also widely spoken in the suburbs.

The safest and most convenient way to get around the city is by commuter taxi, since the move to a city bus service which has long been in the works has not yet been implemented by the government. Another popular mode of transportation is the boda-bodas — motorcycles that offer more accessibility, especially in areas of heavy traffic. Rentals are also widely available but tourists are often advised not to drive after sundown to avoid car thefts and highway banditry. Tourists are advised against using their credit cards because credit card fraud is rampant in the city.

The visa policy in Uganda follows the principle of reciprocity, where countries that require visas for Ugandans are also required to present visas to enter Uganda. Those with US passports need an entry visa to visit Uganda. The same applies to naturalized American citizens of Ugandan descent. Single-entry visas will cost around $50 and applications can be processed at the Ugandan embassy or at various entry points.