The land of contrasts

South Africa

Breathtaking landscapes, award-winning vineyards and incredible diversity help make South Africa a melting pot of sights and sounds

The most popular destinations in South Africa include Cape Town and its surrounding areas, such as the Cape Peninsula and the winelands. The wildflowers of the Namaqualand and the Karoo are situated towards the central interior; the popular garden route winds north, along the east coast of the country and the Drakensberg mountain range stretches for more than 1,000km (620 mi) across the escarpment.

The Kruger National Park, South Africa’s flagship game reserve and one of the largest in Africa, is situated in the northeast of the country and borders Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Established in 1898, the park is known for its size, focus on conservation and wildlife diversity. There are many excellent private reserves and concessions within and around the Kruger National Park.

The Cape Floristic Region is the smallest of the world’s six recognised floral kingdoms, but also the world’s most diverse, with over 9,000 plant species, of which close to 70% are endemic. Table Mountain, which encircles the Cape Town city bowl, is home to more plant species within its 22,000 hectares than the whole of the United Kingdom or New Zealand. Almost 900 bird species are found across South Africa, which is 10% of the world’s total.

Facts and figures

  • Capital

    Pretoria

  • Population

    54 956 900

  • Currency

    ZAR

  • Time zone

    UTC+02:00

Highlights and sights

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