View of the mountains of South Africa from Lesotho http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sanipass_drakensberge_01.jpg Tom Adams
South Africa is the country at the southern tip of the African continent. It shares a common border with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland, and surrounds the small state of Lesotho. The country has a 2,798-km (1,739-mile) coastline from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean.
South Africa is renowned as the world's largest producer of gold. Cape Town is the administrative capital of South Africa while Pretoria is where Parliament is located. Johannesburg is the largest city as well as business centre of the country. South Africa has a population of 49 million, comprising 79% Black, 9% White, 9% Coloured, and 2% Asian.
South Africa is most infamous for its policy of legally institutionalised segregation called apartheid. Apartheid was in the making since the Pretoria Convention in 1881, and became a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government between 1948 and 1994. Under apartheid, while all the people in South Africa were grouped as black, white, coloured and Indian, the whites ruled at the gross disadvantage of the other groups, which were discriminated against.
False Bay, South Africa http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:False_bay.jpg Tjeerd Wiersma
As a tourist destination, South Africa is renowned for its wines, not to mention as the world's biggest producer of gold. South Africa is also a good place to view African wildlife.
Visitors to South Africa is often dismayed to find two worlds in one: a First World nation justaposed against a Third World, such was the effect of the decades to enforced segregation. It has well-developed cities as well as the poorest of slums, and the massive gap between the have's and the have-not's result in high crime rate and high security pravalent in all its major cities.
The currency used in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR).
Planning your visit to South Africa
There are 10 international airports in South Africa. The two major ones are the Cape Town International Airport and the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Some visitors also arrive at the Durban International Airport.
It is possible to enter South Africa by road, from Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland.
Ukalamba Drakensberge, South Africa http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ukalamba_Drakensberge_2.JPG Lukas Kaffer
Train travel in South Africa covers the whole range from the basic to the luxurious. As foreigners, you should opt for either the mid-range, such as the Bushveld Train Safaris (www.boon.co.za) and the Shongololo Express (www.shongololo.com), or the luxuries, such as the Blue Train (www.bluetrain.co.za) and Rovos Rail (www.rovos.co.za), for better comfort and security.
Due to high crime rate in South Africa, visitors are advised to always keep their car doors locked and windows wound up, especially when stopping at the traffic lights. They should never pick up hitchhikers, or leave valuables in the car. Cars should always be locked when it is left unattended. Always park in busy, well-lit places and avoid going to remote areas at night. One should also avoid confrontations with aggressive road users.
Robbers often place obstacles on the road to stop cars. When you see large stones or other objects on the road, carefully drive around them without stopping.
On top of all, South Africa has a high rate accident rate, so visitors are urged to consider the options before deciding to drive.
Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, South Africa http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grootvadersbosch_Nature_Reserve_PICT3779_Kopie.jpg Winfried Bruenken
Thank you for visiting my travel encyclopedia. I started it in 2003, and today it has over twenty thousand pages, all written by me. My name is Timothy Tye, you can call me Tim. I am a full-time website author writing only my own website, to describe things and places I am curious about. To know more about me, go to www.timothytye.com I have been living at home writing my websites full time since 2007. I describe my alternative lifestyle in my Happy Jobless Guy website.
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