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.
|Time zone:||GMT +2 (Central Africa time)||Daylight savings: None|
|Main languages:||English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa|
|Other languages:||Sepedi, Setswana, Sesotho, Xitsonga|
€1 = R16.00, $1 = R14.53, £1 = R19.33
(rates as of Sep 2016)
|Internet Domain:||.za||International 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
Total area: 1,219,912 sq km (0 sq km under water)
Coastline: 2,798 km (Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean)
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 World||Free||-|
|Democracy Index||Flawed democracy||30/167|
|Economic Freedom||Moderately Free||72/179|
|Press Freedom||Satisfactory situation||38/179|
|ILGA LGBT rights||Broad rights||-|
|Corruption Perceptions||Medium corruption||67/174|
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)