The Global Life: Unexpected Encounters

In Johannesburg and Cape Town, you can see all sides of the new South Africa

Alexander Joe / AFP / Getty

Visitors of South Africa's Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg look at exhibits.

Tourism is South Africa's fastest-growing industry, thanks to safaris, white-water rafting and beautiful beaches. But a decade after democratic elections consigned apartheid to the dustbin of history, visitors have also begun to appreciate the country's urban buzz, particularly the pleasures and intrigue of Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Soweto, a few miles from central Johannesburg, is one of South Africa's most notorious townships--the congested, occasionally chaotic home to millions of the country's poorest citizens. A tour is now practically mandatory for anyone visiting South Africa, to see how much the country has changed and how far it still has to go. Both...

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