South Africa’s nine provinces

There are striking differences between South Africa's nine provinces, from tiny, crowded and landlocked Gauteng to the hot, humid and almost equally crowded coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal in the east and, in the west, the vast, dry and empty landscape of the Northern Cape.

South Africa: fast facts

    Map: Mary AlexanderSouth African facts at your fingertips ... Get up-to-date information on the country's land area, population, geography, climate, languages, religion...

South Africa’s languages

South Africa is a multilingual country. Its democratic Constitution, which came into effect on 4 February 1997, recognises 11 official languages, to which the state guarantees equal status.

Limpopo

Limpopo

Limpopo is South Africa's northernmost province, lying within the great curve of the Limpopo River. It is a region of contrasts, from true bushveld country to majestic mountains, primeval indigenous forests, unspoilt wilderness and patchworks of farmland.
Gauteng

Gauteng

With only 1.4% of South Africa's land area, the tiny province of Gauteng punches way above its weight, contributing 33% to the national economy and a phenomenal 10% to the GDP of the entire African continent.
KwaZulu-Natal

KwaZulu-Natal

One of the greenest and best-watered areas of the country is KwaZulu-Natal which accordingly, although it has only 7.6% of the area, is the second most populous province.
The Free State

The Free State

The Free State lies in the heart of South Africa, with the Kingdom of Lesotho nestling in the hollow of its bean-like shape. Lying between the Vaal River in the north and the Orange River in the south, the region is one of flat, rolling grassland and crop fields, rising to lovely sandstone mountains in the northeast.
The Western Cape

The Western Cape

If three pyramids are the symbol of Africa's far north, then a flat-topped mountain is the symbol of its far south. Cape Town nestles in the curve of Table Mountain at the start of the hook-shaped Cape Peninsula, which ends in the jagged cliffs of Cape Point.

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