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

Land area:

219 788 sq miles (1,221,037 sq kilometers)

Largest Towns:

Cape Town (Parliament), Bloemfontein (Legislative), Johannesburg, Pretoria (Administrative) and Durban.

Official Languages:

11, including English, Afrikaans, Zulu and Xhosa

Currency:

South African Rand (ZAR)

International Airports:

Johannesburg:

OR Tambo International & Domestic Airport
Lanseria Airport

Cape Town:

Cape Town International

Durban:

Durban International

Major Cultures:

European,  Bantu - Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana, Sotho, Asian, Indian, Cape Malay

Religions:

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.

Tourist Attractions

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.

Money

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.

Banking hours:

Monday to Friday: 08h00 am to 15h00 pm

Saturday: 08h30 am to 11h00 am

Communication

Relatively good postal system, but send parcels by registered mail instead. Good telecommunications, internet and email is relatively inexpensive.

Category: Countries, South Africa Tags:

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