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South Africa, the country on the African continent, renowned for its varied topography, great natural beauty, and cultural diversity, all of which have made the country a favoured destination for travellers since the legal ending of apartheid (Afrikaans: “apartness,” or racial separation) in 1994.
South Africa has three cities that serve as capitals: Pretoria (executive), Cape Town (legislative), and Bloemfontein (judicial). Johannesburg, the largest urban area in the country and a centre of commerce, lies at the populous Gauteng province’s heart. Durban, a port on the Indian Ocean, is a major industrial centre. East London and Port Elizabeth, both of which lie along the country’s southern coast, are substantial commercial, industrial, and cultural centres.
Different transport methods in South Africa include roads, railways, airports, water, and petroleum oil pipelines. The majority of people in South Africa use informal minibus taxis as their primary mode of transport. BRT has been implemented in some South African cities to provide more formalised and safer public transport services. These systems have been widely criticised due to their significant capital and operating costs. A “freeway” is different from most countries as certain things are forbidden, including certain motorcycles, no hand signals, and motor tricycles. South Africa has many major ports, including Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth, that allow ships and other boats to pass through, carrying passengers and carrying petroleum tankers.
- Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces
- Cape Town, Western Cape
- The Garden Route
- Kgalagadi (Kalahari) Transfrontier Park, Northern Cape
- Stellenbosch, Western Cape
- The Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal
- Pilanesberg National Park
- iSimangaliso Wetland Park, KwaZulu-Natal
- Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, Mpumalanga
- Robben Island, Western Cape
- Durban’s Golden Mile, KwaZulu-Natal
- Cage Dive with Great White Sharks
South Africa has typical weather for the Southern Hemisphere, with the coldest days in June–August. On the central plateau, which includes the Free State and Gauteng provinces, the altitude keeps the average temperatures below 20 °C (68 °F); Johannesburg, for example, lies at 1,753 metres (5,751 ft). In winter, temperatures can drop below freezing, also due to altitude. During winter, it is warmest in the coastal regions, especially on the eastern Indian Ocean coast.
Warm-season weather is influenced by the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). South Africa experiences hotter and drier weather during the El Niño phase, while La Niña brings cooler and wetter conditions.