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.
Two billion years ago a meteor bigger than Table Mountain hit the earth near what is today Johannesburg. The impact caused an explosion equivalent to a trillion tons of dynamite, turning 70 cubic kilometres of rock to dust - and possibly altering the earth's climate to make multicellular life possible. This is the Vredefort Dome.
With only 1.4% of South Africa's land area, the tiny province of Gauteng punches way above its weight, contributing around 34% to the national economy and some 7% to the GDP of the entire African continent.
The garden province of South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal is a subtropical region of lush and well-watered valleys, washed by the warm Indian Ocean. A popular tourist destination, the province stretches from Port Edward in the south to the borders of Swaziland and Mozambique to the north.
The Western Cape is one of South Africa's most beautiful provinces, a region of majestic mountains, colourful patchworks of farmland set in lovely valleys, long beaches and, further inland, the wide-open landscape of the semidesert Karoo.
Mpumalanga - "the place where the sun rises" - is a province with spectacular scenic beauty and an abundance of wildlife, lying in the northeast of South Africa.
South Africa's large areas of semi-desert scrub and grassland might suggest a certain poverty of plant life. Aside from the fact that a tract of pristine grassland can hold up to 60 grass species, nothing could be further from the truth.
North West lies in the north of South Africa on the Botswana border, fringed by the Kalahari desert in the west, Gauteng province to the east, and the Free State to the south. It is known as the Platinum Province for the wealth of the metal it has underground.
A subtropical location, moderated by ocean on two sides of the triangle-shaped country and the altitude of the interior plateau, account for the warm temperate conditions so typical of South Africa - and so popular with its foreign visitors.
Significant amounts of sunshine and good, prevalent wind conditions have given South Africa the perfect opportunity to diversify its energy generation plan, moving away...