South Africa is a country located at the southern most tip of Africa, with a 2,800 kilometers with the Atlantic on the west and Indian Oceans on the East. To the north lies Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; to the east are Mozambique and Swaziland; while the small independent country of Lesotho is surrounded by South African territory.
South Africa is known for having a diversity of cultures and languages (11 of them). Though the English language has a large role in public and commercial life, it is nevertheless only the fifth most-spoken home language. South Africa is ethnically diverse with around 80% of the South African population being from black African ancestry. About a quarter of the population is unemployed and lives on less than USD 1.25 a day.
Head of State:
President Jacob Zuma and Vice President Kgalema Motlanthe
219 788 sq miles (1,221,037 sq kilometers)
Cape Town (Parliament), Bloemfontein (Legislative), Johannesburg, Pretoria (Administrative) and Durban.
11, including English, Afrikaans, Zulu and Xhosa
South African Rand (ZAR)
OR Tambo International & Domestic Airport
Cape Town International
European, Bantu - Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana, Sotho, Asian, Indian, Cape Malay
Christian, Hindu, Muslim, ZCC etc
Depending on where you would like to visit! The Western Cape (Cape Town and surrounds) receive a winter rain fall, with the rest of South Africa in a dry season.
Nov to Mar:
Rains in the North, East and Western regions of South Africa. Hot daily temperatures with pleasant evenings. A great time to visit the coastal towns, Garden route and South Africa’s beaches.
Apr to Aug:
Starts to cool down heading into winter. The rain season starts in the Western Cape, peaking from July and August.
Sept to Oct:
Rain becomes less nearing the warmer summer months.
Cape Province - Table Mountain, Cape Point, Robben Island, Wine Farms, Garden Route
Free State - Karoo
KwaZulu Natal - St. Kucia, Sudwana Bay and Drakensburg
Transvaal - Kruger National Park, god’s Window, Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga
Geography & Climate
The most important topographical feature is the escarpment, which runs around the country and borders 3 regions: the coastal belt, the highveld, and the escarpment itself.
Temperate climate throughout, getting hot in Summer in parts of Northern Cape and Northern Province, as does the humid coastal belt North of Durban. October to March are with the summer months and summer rain fall in most parts of South Africa. June to September are the winter months. The Western Cape receives a winter rainfall.
Crime & Safety
High crime rate mainly in Johannesburg. Johannesburg is believed to have the highest crime rate in South Africa and Africa.
South African Rand is relatively stable in Africa, varying against the US Dollar, GB Pound and Euro. Foreign bank cards are widely accepted, as are credit card. ATM’s will accept most debit and credit cards. Easy to get money from banks using your credit card.
Monday to Friday: 08h00 am to 15h00 pm
Saturday: 08h30 am to 11h00 am
Relatively good postal system, but send parcels by registered mail instead. Good telecommunications, internet and email is relatively inexpensive.