top of page
south-africa-6078143_1920.png

SOUTH AFRICA
the southernmost country in Africa

It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World, and the most populous country located entirely south of the equator.

 

Officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa.

With over 60 million people, the country is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of 1,221,037 square kilometers (471,445 square miles).

 

South Africa has three capital cities, with the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government based in Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Cape Town respectively.

The largest city is Johannesburg in the Gauteng Province.

provinces-of-south-africa-map.png

coastline

 

South Africa is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline that stretch along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighboring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho.

 

South Africa is a biodiversity hotspot, with a diversity of unique biomes and plant and animal life.


population
 

 

The population of South Africa is about 58.8 million people of diverse origins, cultures, languages, and religions.  About 81% of the population are Black South Africans.

The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of

European (White South Africans), Asian (Indian South Africans and Chinese South Africans),

and Multiracial (Coloured South Africans) ancestry.

 

culture

South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, the fourth-highest number in the world.  

Racial groups in South Africa have a variety of origins.

 

The racial categories introduced by Apartheid remain ingrained in South African society with South Africans continuing to classify themselves, and each other, as belonging to one of the four defined race groups (Black, Whites, Coloureds and Indians)

 

The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, and regular elections have been held for almost a century. However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994.

Happy Portrait

language

At least thirty-five languages indigenous to South Africa are spoken in the Republic, ten of which are official languages of South Africa: Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu and Afrikaans.

The eleventh official language is English, which is the primary language used in parliamentary and state discourse, though all official languages are equal in legal status, and unofficial languages are protected under the Constitution of South Africa, though few are mentioned by any name.

Wearing Apron

According to the 2011 census, the two most spoken first languages are Zulu (22.7%) and Xhosa (16.0%)  The next two are of European origin: Afrikaans (13.5%) developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most Coloured and White South Africans; English (9.6%) reflects the legacy of British colonialism, and is commonly used in public and commercial life.

South African Sign Language has legal recognition but is not an official language, despite a campaign and parliamentary recommendation for it to be declared one.

Climate

South Africa is a sunny country, averaging 8–10 daily sunshine hours in most regions.

The average annual rainfall for South Africa is about 464 mm (compared to a global average of 786 mm) but large and unpredictable variations are common. 

 

This varied topography and oceanic influence result in a great variety of climatic zones.

The climatic zones range from the extreme desert of the southern Namib in the farthest northwest to the lush subtropical climate in the east along the border with Mozambique and the Indian Ocean.

 

seasons

Winters in South Africa occur between June and August.

Johannesburg enjoys a dry, sunny climate, with the exception of occasional late afternoon downpours in the summer months of October to April.  Winter is the sunniest time of the year, with cool days and cold nights.

The Western Cape province has a Mediterranean climate with warm to hot, dry, sunny summer weather and mild, rainy conditions in winter.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit South Africa for a wildlife safari is from May to September. During these winter months, the east of the country (where the main parks are located) experiences its Dry season. Wildlife is easier to spot during the Dry season because vegetation thins, and animals gather around waterholes and rivers. 

Cape Town’s Dry and Wet seasons are opposite to those in Kruger and Johannesburg. Therefore, the best time for visiting Cape Town and surrounds is during the dry summer months of November to March.