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South Africa Travel Guide

South Africa Travel: General Information

South Africa is a land of diversities, a ‘rainbow nation’. The South-Africans belong to different ethnic groups, speak different languages and follow different cultures and traditions. Diversity is very much existent in the natural world; thus, here you come across barren semi-desert zones, beaches, fertile river valleys, lakes, rivers, snowcapped mountains and wetlands. Besides, there are typical geographical features of South Africa, the Highveld, Bushveld, Lowveld and SA’s diverse flora and fauna. And when you add to these the lures of South-Africa’s rich history, its Wildlife/National Parks and World Heritage Sites, you have a whole world to explore well-supported by South Africa’s strong infrastructure.

Of course, all is not well in South Africa and the social/economic disparities (followed since the days of apartheid) still continue to plague this coastal nation of the African continent.

South Africa Travel: Key Facts

• Capital city: Pretoria is the Executive Capital; Bloemfontein is the Judicial Capital and Cape Town the Legislative Capital

• Total Area: 1,212,037 sq km

• Population: 47.9 million (As per 2007 official estimate)

• Languages spoken: Afrikaans, English, Southern Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu

• International Dialing code: 27

• Monetary unit: Rand

• Religion: Anglicans 3.8%, Catholics 7.1%, Dutch Protestants 6.7%, Methodists 6.8%, Pentecostals 8.2%, Zion Christians 11.1%, other Christians 36%, Hindus 1.2%, Muslims 1.5%, Jews 0.3%, others 2%; at least 15% people follow no specific religion.

South Africa Travel: Popular Destinations

Pretoria: Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, is famous for its pleasant climate. The city is a model tourist destination with good tourism infrastructure and a whole host of attractions including parks and gardens, museums and galleries, buzzing nightlife and busy shopping malls.

Cape Town: Cape Town, the legislative capital and oldest city of SA, is a visitor’s paradise. The city has something to offer to every tourist – adventure sports, natural wonders, varied culture, cuisine and unique shopping experience.

Bloemfontein: Bloemfontein, the judicial capital of SA, has been readied inch-by-inch as a captivating tourist destination; the city attractions, which range from casinos and entertainment venues to state parks, gardens, forest reserves and zoos, galleries and museums, etc. assure you a fulfilling holiday.

Johannesburg: The bustling cosmopolitan Johannesburg is the largest city of SA. The financial hub of SA, it is as much famous for its rich mining heritage as for its many towering skyscrapers and massive shopping complexes. An epicurean dreamland, Johannesburg has a powerful music-scenario.

Durban: The beach-city of Durban welcomes one and all with its pleasant climate as well as its rich and diverse cultural ambience. Durban is also famous for its top-notch restaurants and nightlife venues.

Port Elizabeth: Port Elizabeth is SA’a major sea-port and a much-favored tourist destination with beautiful beaches, parks and wild reserves, scenic trails, et al. Port Elizabeth’s unparalleled natural beauty, is coupled by the richness of the marine life and water-sports. The city also has a wealth of historic architecture.

South Africa Travel: Economy And Infrastructure

South Africa is one of the advanced economies in the African continent; however, the SA economy shows features of both developed and developing economies and is characterized by unequal distribution of wealth. Development, rather economic progress is limited within the urban pockets of Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria/Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, while the rest of nation still writhes under abject poverty.

Being rich in natural resources (which include gold, platinum, coal, diamond, natural gas, etc.) and agricultural produces, SA has a well-developed primary sector.

SA has the best transportation network and communication system among all the African nations.

South Africa Travel: Culture

SA is a multi-cultural society, where people belonging to different ethnic groups live together, speak in their different ‘tongues’ and practice different religions, customs and traditions. This is truer of the urban areas that have Africa’s indigenous population co-habiting with those of British/European linage. The rural areas are richer in traditional black cultures. South Africa also has a sizeable Asian population that is true to its origin and culture even to this day.

Of course, the cultural blend of the urban centers has had a pronounced impact on South African art and cultural scenario other than the way of life. Your South Africa vacation will introduce you to this emerging SA cultural trend in the fields of music, dance, fine-arts, etc. side by side the long-existing individual cultural influences.

 

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