South Africa

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South Africa, the southernmost country on continent, is renowned for its varied topography, great natural beauty, and cultural diversity.  South Africa is bordered to the north by Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; and by Mozambique and Eswatini to the northeast and east. It also completely enclaves the country Lesotho. South Africa’s coastlines border the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest .

Other facts:

  • Area: 471,359 sq mi (1,220,813 sq km).
  • Population: (2022 est.) 60,970,000.
  • Provinces: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Northern Cape, Western Cape
  • Capitals: Pretoria/Tshwane (executive), Cape Town (legislative), Bloemfontein/Mangaung (judicial).
  • Time zone: UTC+2 (SAST)

South Africa is known for its long sunny days, hence the title, ‘Sunny South Africa’. Most of the nine provinces have summer rainfall, except for the Western Cape, which experiences winter rainfall. The high-lying areas of the interior can be chilly in winter. The South African Weather Service uses the following dates for seasons:

  • Spring: September, October, November
  • Summer: December, January, February
  • Autumn: March, April, May
  • Winter: June, July, August

South Africa is a multilingual country and there are 11 official languages, namely: English, Afrikaans, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Siswati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga. Although only about 10% of the population has English as its mother tongue, English is the language most widely understood, and is the second language of the majority of South Africans.


South Africa’s currency is the rand (sign: R; code: ZAR), which offers visitors great value for money. The rand comes in a range of coins (R1 = 100 cents) and note denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200.


South Africa boasts three major world-class international airports in the three biggest cities OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg); Cape Town International Airport; and King Shaka International Airport (Durban). There are also many regional airports, including the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Mbombela (Nelspruit).


South Africa has a well-developed communications infrastructure. A number of cellphone providers offer national coverage and there are well-established landline phone networks. Internet and Wi-Fi are easily accessible in most urban areas.

South African Tourism
South Africa at a Glance