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SOUTH AFRICA HOLIDAYS - DESTINATION AT A GLANCE

South Africa is a diverse land, and with a wealth of attractions to choose from, narrowing down the choices for a limited trip to South Africa will be quite difficult. For those interested in the history and culture of the country, a trip to Robben Island and one of the townships is a must. Wine and food lovers will be enchanted by the Wine Route. If your intention is to see wild animals, you'll find Kruger Park to be everything you could hope for. And for the adrenaline junkie, bungee jumping, ostrich riding and diving with the sharks all await!

South Africa Fast Facts

Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa, as the name suggest, in Southern Africa. It occupies the most southern section of the continent. It coastline is shared with the Indian Ocean on its eastern coast, and the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean on its western coast.

Geographical Location

Almost all of South Africa's 472,000 square miles (1.2 million sq. km.) lie below the Tropic of Capricorn, and the country is geographically composed of three primary regions: an expansive central plateau, a nearly continuous escarpment of mountain ranges that ring the plateau on the west, south, and east, and a narrow strip of low-lying land along the coast. Most of the central plateau (and most of the country) consists of high (4,000-6,000 ft/1,220-1,830 m), rolling grassland known as Highveld. It shares land borders with Botswana (1,840 km), Namibia (967 km), Lesotho (909 km), Mozambique (491 km), Swaziland (430 km), and Zimbabwe (225 km). Both Lesotho and Swaziland are completely encompassed by South Africa.

Population

South Africa's population of forty million is three-quarters black (African) and about 15% white (European), with the remaining 10% comprised of people of mixed white, Malayan, and black descent and people of Asian (mostly Indian) descent. The African majority is composed of many different ethnic groups, the largest of which are Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana, and Bapedi. Midyear 2007, the South African population was estimated at 47.9 million.

Capital

Pretoria is the administration capital of South Africa and is located in the northern part of the province, Gauteng. Pretoria is famous for being the seat of higher learning in South Africa. The largest residential university of South Africa is located in Pretoria. Pretoria is also the hub of industrial activities of South Africa. Automobile, machinery, iron and steel are the main industries that flourish in this city.

Cape Town is the legislative capital of South Africa. It also serves as the provincial capital of Western Cape. As the legislative capital of South Africa, Cape Town houses several government offices including the National Parliament.

Cape Town is locally governed by a metropolitan municipality, which is known by the name City of Cape Town. A city council is responsible for governing the regular activities of the city.

Religion

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).

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