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Travel South Africa: The land of mix cultures

Republic of South Africa

» The Republic of South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of the African continentl. South Africa has 11 official languages:Xhosa,English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Swati, Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Northern Sotho, Tsonga, Tswana, and Venda . In this regard it is second only to India in number. As a result, there are many official names for the country.

There are 11 official names for South Africa , one for each of the official national languages. While each language is technically equal to every other, English has emerged recently as the chief-among-peers as it is the most widely spoken language across racial barriers, even though it is not the most widely spoken language by population. Afrikaans has been downgraded in order to accommodate other official languages. The South African passport currently has only French and English on the front cover and lists the other official names of South Africa on an inner page. South Africa contains some of the oldest archeological sites in Africa . Extensive fossil remains at the Sterkfontein, Kromdraai and Makapansgat caves suggest that various australopithecines existed in South Africa from about three million years ago. These were succeeded by various species of Homo, including Homo habilis, Homo erectus and modern man, Homo sapiens. Bantu iron-using agriculturists and herdsmen moved south of the Limpopo River into modern-day South Africa by the 4th or 5th century (the Bantu expansion). South Africa is located at the extreme south of Africa, with a long coastline that stretches more than 2,500 km and across two oceans (the Atlantic and the Indian). South Africa has a great variety of climate zones, from the extreme desert of the Kalahari near Namibia to lush subtropical climate along the border with Mozambique . It quickly rises over a mountainous escarpment towards the interior plateau known as the Highveld. Even though South Africa is classified as semi-arid, there is considerable variation in climate as well as topography.

Offical Language:
12,19,912 SQ KM
Currency: Rand
Calling Code:

»  Culture: While it may be argued that there is no "single" culture in South Africa because of its ethnic diversity, South Africans of all races and backgrounds are united by a sincere desire to see to it that the horrors and injustices of Apartheid are never again repeated. Today, the diverse cultural foods are enjoyed by all and especially marketed to tourists who wish to sample the large variety of South African cuisine. In addition to food, music and dance are equally enjoyed and appreciated by all. There is great diversity in music from South Africa . Many black musicians who sung in Afrikaans or English during apartheid have since begun to sing in traditional African languages, and have developed a unique style called Kwaito. Of note is Brenda Fassie, who launched to fame with her song "Weekend Special", which was sung in English. More famous traditional musicians include Ladysmith Black Mambazo, while the Soweto String Quartet performs classic music with an African flavour. White and Coloured South African singers tend to avoid traditional African musical themes, instead preferring more European musical styles. There is a thriving market for Afrikaans music, covering all the genres of Western music.

» Provinces: When apartheid ended in 1994 , the South African government had to integrate the formerly independent and semi-independent Bantustans  into the political structure of South Africa . To this end, it abolished the four former provinces of South Africa ( Cape Province , Natal , Orange Free State , and Transvaal ) and replaced them with nine fully integrated provinces. The new provinces are much smaller than the former provinces, which theoretically is in order to give local governments more resources to distribute over smaller areas. The new provinces are:

south africa eastern cape Eastern Cape  (previously part of the Cape Province , as well as      the Transkei  and Ciskei bantustans )

south africa orange state Free State  ( Orange Free State )

south africa gauteng Gauteng  ( Transvaal )

south africa kwazulu KwaZulu-Natal  ( Natal )

south africa Mpumalanga  ( Transvaal )

south africa transvaal Limpopo  ( Transvaal and the Venda  bantustan )

south africa northern cap Northern Cape  ( Cape Province )

south africa north west North West  ( Transvaal , Cape Province , and the     Bophuthatswana  bantustan)

south africa cape province Western Cape  ( Cape Province )

» Tourism South Africa: Flanked to the east by the Indian Ocean and to the west by the Atlantic, South Africa is a world in one country. A kaleidoscope of natural wonders and scenic splendours may tourism a delight. Both Mpumalanga - "the land of the rising sun" and the Northern Province abound with legend and history. This is an area of great natural beauty with spectacular waterfalls and forests, panoramic passes and magnificent mountains. This is also 'Big Game Country', home to a plethora of private game reserves and the world renowned Kruger National Park. From Johannesburg the highveld of the Trasnvaal stretched for hundreds of miles, until in the east it reaches the northern manifestations of the Drakensberg Mountains and then terminates in breathtaking abruptness to firm an immense escarpment, which plunges hundreds of metres down into the lowveld. Further north is one of South Africa's smallest provinces - Kwa Zulu Natal. An area of subtropical vegetation, untamed wilderness, golden beaches and colourful rickshaws. To the west rise the magnificent Drakensberg Mountains. Known to the Zulu people as Quathlamba, "the barrier of spears", the peaks are snow capped in winter and offer spectacular walking during the summer months. No excitement can quite match the thrill of seeing wild animals in the natural habitat. The size of Wales, the Kruger National Park stretches from Zimbabwe in the north some 300 kilometres south. It is bounded to east by Mozambique and to the west by the private games reserves of Umbabat, Timbavati, Manyeleti and Sabi Sand.

SA climate

South Africa Climate

South Africa stretches between the 22nd and 34th degrees of southern latitude and hence is part of the subtropical zone. Compared to other regions at that latitude, temperatures in many areas of South Africa are rather lower. The cold Benguela current causes moderate temperatures on the West Coast, and on the central plateau the altitude (Jo'burg lies at 1753m) keeps the average temperatures below 30 degrees Celsius. In winter, also due to altitude, temperatures drop to the freezing point, and in places even lower. Then it is warmest in the coastal regions. Precipitation is to be expected mainly in the summer months, with the exception of the Western Cape which is a winter-rain area.


SA Travel Links   S o u t h  A f r i c a   T r a v e l   L i n k s

South Africa Land of Blended Cultures
South African Places To Visit
Hotels of South Africa

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