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American Express -- The most convenient office is in Rosebank on the ground floor at The Zone (tel. 011/880-8382). Hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm and Saturday from 9am to 12:30pm. There is also an office in Sandton City shopping center, upper level (tel. 011/883-9009). For lost or stolen cards, call tel. 011/710-4747 and ask for the card division.

Area Code -- Johannesburg's area code is 011. Tshwane's code is 012.

Climate -- Days are usually sunny, with averages of 70°F (20°C). Even winter days are generally mild (May-Aug), though frost often occurs at night.

Drugstores -- Drugstores are known as chemists or pharmacies in South Africa. Ask your host or concierge for the closest pharmacy. Hospital drugstores tend to keep the longest hours; if you're in Rosebank, visit the pharmacy in the Netcare Rosebank Hospital (tel. 011/328-0500); if you're based in Melville, visit the Netcare Milpark Hospital (tel. 011/480-5600); both are open daily from 8am to 7pm.

Embassies & Consulates -- Note that all embassies (www.embassiesabroad.com) are in Tshwane: Australia, 292 Orient St., Arcadia (tel. 012/342-3740); Canada, 1103 Arcadia St., Hatfield (tel. 012/422-3000); Ireland, Tulbagh Park, 1234 Church St., Colbyn (tel. 012/342-5062); United Kingdom, 255 Hill St., Arcadia (tel. 012/483-1200); United States, 877 Pretorius St., Arcadia (tel. 012/431-4000); Zambia, 1159 Ziervogel St., Arcadia (tel. 012/326-1847 or -54); Zimbabwe, 798 Merton St., Arcadia (tel. 012/342-5125).

Emergencies -- Dial tel. 10111 for flying-squad police, tel. 999 for an ambulance, or tel. 082-911 for emergency medical assistance. Call tel. 011/3755-911 for the City of Johannesburg's Emergency Connect line, 24-hour emergency services relating to all life-threatening situations, including ambulances, fire engines, and metro police.

Hospitals -- Find the closest Netcare Hospital, South Africa's biggest private hospital group, with 31 in Gauteng alone. The staff, medical practitioners, trauma unit, and equipment at these hospitals are equal to the best in the world. If you're in Rosebank, contact Netcare Rosebank Hospital (tel. 011/328-0500); in Melville, call tel. 011/480-5600. To find a particular specialist or the nearest hospital, call tel. 08606382273 or visit www.netcare.com.

Post Office -- Post Office service is generally poor; ask your hotel or guesthouse to deal with any postal items. To post large items, contact FedEx (tel. 011/899-8888) or DHL (tel. 011/921-3666).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.