Overland Journeys: The Great African Journey, Southern Africa Overland, Southeast Africa Overland

Kruger National ParkBlyde River CanyonCape WinelandsCape TownRobben IslandCape Peninsula

As Africa’s most advanced country in terms of economy and infrastructure, South Africa is a good introduction to the continent. The attractions of South Africa are as diverse as the people of the Rainbow Nation. The Garden Route on the south-west coast is an area of beautiful scenery with a myriad of sites of interest, culminating in the scenic and fascinating city of Cape Town. The eastern provinces boast the stunning scenery of the Drakensberg Mountains and excellent wildlife viewing in Kruger National Park. South Africa is a country with a long and absorbing history, which can be explored in sites such as Robben Island and the battlefields of the Boer and Zulu wars. Explore in depth highlights of South Africa.

Travel Information for South Africa
Time zone:GMT +2 (Central Africa time) Daylight savings:    None
Main languages:Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Zulu
Other languages:Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Xitsonga
Currency: rand (ZAR)

1 = R16.00, $1 = R14.53, £1 = R19.33

(rates as of Sep 2016)

Internet Domain:.zaInternational Dialling Code:    27

For help planning your trip to South Africa including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our South Africa trip planning page.

Further information on South Africa

Discover more about South Africa - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of south_africa

Total area: 1,219,912 sq km (0 sq km under water)

Coastline: 2,798 km (Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean)

Neighbours (border lengths): Botswana (1,840km), Lesotho (909km), Mozambique (491km), Namibia (967km), Swaziland (430km), Zimbabwe (225km)

Climate: Generally temperate climate with desert in north-west and sub-tropical in east.

Highest mountain: Njesuthi (3,408m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for South Africa from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldFree -
Democracy IndexFlawed democracy 30/167
Economic FreedomModerately Free 72/179
Press FreedomSatisfactory situation 38/179
ILGA LGBT rightsBroad rights -
Corruption PerceptionsMedium corruption 67/174
Overall Ranking:    36/195

Other Data & Links

Full name: Republic of South Africa (RSA)     Status: Independent Country

Population: 48,375,645 (rank: 27/196)     Density: 39.6 people/sq km (rank: 139/196)

Ethnic groups: black African 79%, white 9.6%, colored 8.9%, Indian/Asian 2.5% (2001 census)

Religions: Zion Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Catholic 7.1%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 census)

GDP (PPP): $595.7 billion       GDP per capita: $11,500 (rank: 84/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.