South Africa is a large, diverse and incredibly beautiful country. The size of France and Spain combined, and roughly twice the size of Texas, it varies from the picturesque Garden Route towns of the Western Cape to the raw subtropical coast of northern KwaZulu-Natal, with the vast Karoo semi-desert across its heart and one of Africa's premier safari destinations, Kruger National Park, in the northeast. It's also one of the great cultural meeting points of the African continent, a fact obscured by years of enforced racial segregation, but now manifest in the big cities.
Many visitors are pleasantly surprised by South Africa's excellent infrastructure, which draws favourable comparison with countries such as Australia or the United States. Good air links and bus networks, excellent roads and a growing number Villa rentals and guesthouses make South Africa a perfect touring country.
Here are a few facts:
Covering 1,219,090 square kilometres, South Africa has a population of 44 million and eleven official languages: Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, Pedi, English, Ndebele, Sotho, Setswana, siSwati, Venda and Tsonga. The country's religions comprise Christianity (68 percent), Islam (2 percent), Hinduism (1.5 percent) and indigenous beliefs (28.5 percent).
South Africa is a multipartydemocracy, the head of state being President Thabo Mbeki. Parliament sits in Cape Town, the legislative capital, while Pretoria is the executive capital, from where the President and his cabinet run the country. The judicial capital is Bloemfontein, where the Supreme Court of Appeal sits, though the Constitutional Court is in Johannesburg. Each of the nine provinces has its own government.
South Africa has the most advanced economy in Africa, with well-developed mining, manufacturing, agricultural and financial sectors. The country also has one of the greatest disparities of wealth in the world.
Lesotho covers 30,355 square kilometres and has a population of 2 million. It is a constitutional monarchy, with King Letsie III as its head. The official languages are Sesotho and English.
The kingdom of Swaziland, ruled by King Mswati III, has an area of 17,363 square kilometres and a population of 1 million. The official languages are siSwati and English.
Now that you know the facts why not discover for yourself what an amazing place South Africa is by visiting on your next holiday. Take a look at Bargain Villas for some cheap South African Villa Rentals