South Africa: travel guide, useful tourism and holidays

south africa map
south africa map

Guide South Africa, all the things to know to make travel arrangements and holiday in South Africa.

South Africa in brief

  • Capital: Cape Town (legislative), Pretoria (administrative), Bloemfontein (judicial)
  • Surface area in square kilometers: 1.220.813
  • Population: 48.576.764
  • Religion: Protestant majority as well as Catholics, animists and small minorities of Muslims and Hindus.

Where is South Africa

The Republic of South Africa or South Africa is a country in Southern Africa, bordered to the north by Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe to the north east by Mozambique and Swaziland. Lesotho is located within the borders of South Africa. The west coast is the Atlantic Ocean and the east coast of the Indian Ocean. The territory is formed mostly by a very ancient plateau, bordered by mountains that descend to the coastal plain (wide from 80 to 400 km) forming a great slope. Only in the area of ​​the Cape Peninsula, the rock formations are on the coast with a succession of promontories. The highest peaks are the Drakensberg, with Injasuti the summit (3,446 m.), the highest in the country. The park best known in this region is the Royal Natal National Park, home to the source of the Tugela and the falls Tugela Falls, the second in the world by height. Among the islands of the South Africa, the main ones being the Prince Edward Islands, which are located about 1770 km. southeast of Port Elizabeth.


The rivers of South Africa are hardly navigable; They have a water flow irregular and their path meets large height differences. The longest river is the Orange, that comes in Lesotho and flows into the Atlantic Ocean, after scoring for a while even the border with Namibia, its major tributaries are the Vaal and Molopo. The Limpopo River comes in South Africa and empties into the Indian Ocean after crossing the Mozambique. The Grootvloer and Saint Lucia are two the lakes of South Africa.


The southern part of the country is characterized by a Mediterranean climate with mild temperatures and precipitation in winter. The east coast of the Indian Ocean and the Great Escarpment enjoy a hot and humid tropical climate, with abundant summer rainfall, which decreases going towards the inside and towards the Atlantic.


The majority of the population is Bantu (ca. 75%), including the indigenous natives and immigrants as slaves from other African countries.

Time Zone

UTC/GMT +2 hours


In South Africa there are 11 official languages. Two are Indo-European languages: Afrikaans and English. Nine are Bantu languages: Ndebele, Sotho, Northern Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu.


The Republic of South Africa is the most economically developed nation on the African continent. The country is undergoing a process of reconciliation, directed at overcoming the great social inequalities caused by apartheid system, which ended in 1990 with the release of Nelson Mandela. Meanwhile, the South African economy has undergone a remarkable transformation, from a structure based mainly on the primary sector, agriculture and mining has increased to an economic system where prevail the service sector and the manufacturing sector. To highlight the remarkable mineral resources of the country. The most important deposits relate to gold and diamonds, but also extracting coal, chromite, titanium, manganese, platinum, silver, iron, nickel, copper and tin.

When you go to South Africa

Winters are mild (aside areas at high altitudes) and in the summer is not too hot, except the central and north western, where the temperatures are higher. In the east, on the coast of Natal, you can bathe in the sea all year round. The best time to observe wildlife (for example visit the Kruger Park), runs from May to November. In the months of August and September flowers of Namaqualand desert, a desert area which in spring is covered with a wide variety flowers. Whale watching the ideal months are between July and November.

Travel Documents

A passport valid for at least 30 days after the date of return.
Visa may be required depending on the nationality of your passport.


Calling Code: 0027


Electricity Supply is 220/230 V 50 Hz.


The Rand is the official currency of South Africa.