South Africa

South Africa is located at the extreme south of Africa. It’s land boundaries are with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho. It has a coastline that stretches more than 2,500 kilometres and across two oceans (Indian & Atlantic).


South Africa has a great variety of climate zones.

The middle of South Africa is a giant mountainous and sparsely populated scrubland, which is drier towards the northwest along the Kalahari Desert.

The eastern coastline is lush and well watered which produces a climate similar to the tropics.

The extreme southwest has a climate similar to that of the Mediterranean with wet winters and hot, dry summers. This region is also known for its wind. The severity of this wind made passing around the Cape of Good Hope particularly treacherous to sailors, causing many shipwrecks.

Further east on the country’s south coast rainfall is distributed more evenly throughout the year, producing a green landscape.

Fact File

Area: 1,219,912 sq km

Population: 44,344,136

Coastline: 2,798 km

Climate: Mostly semi arid, subtropical along east Coast, Southwest similar to Mediterranean

Terrain: Vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain

Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

Highest point: Njesuthi 3,408

Natural Resources: Gold, chromium, coal, iron ore, nickel, manganese, phosphates, Uranium, diamonds, platinum, copper, salt, natural gas

Arable Land: 12.08%

Natural Hazards: Prolonged droughts

Birth Rate: 18.48births/1,000 population

Death Rate: 21.32deaths/1,000 population

HIV & Aids: 5.3 million

Ethnic Groups: Black African 79%, White 9.6%, coloured 8.9%, Indian/Asian 2.5

Languages: Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Northern Sotho, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda

Currency: Rand

Population below

the poverty line: 50%