South Africa

Language: English, Zulu, Afrikaans, Sotho and etc.

Currency: Rand (ZAR)

Calling call: +27


South Africa is the southernmost country in Africa. It is a large country with a varied landscape, 12 official languages, and an equally diverse population, often known as the "Rainbow Nation." If you are looking to travel around Southern Africa, South Africa is a good place to start. You can fly to any country in Southern Africa, but most flights go through South Africa. South Africa is also a good place to familiarize yourself with travel in the region (although some say Namibia is better). Of course, South Africa is not just a starting point, but a wonderful destination in its own right, rich in culture, flora, fauna, and history.

Contrary to what some outsiders believe, South Africa does not have a devastatingly poor and unstable government. Some parts of South Africa remain among the poorest and least developed regions of the world, and while poverty in some areas of the townships is appalling and squatter camps can expand overnight, progress is being made. The process of recovery from apartheid, which lasted about 46 years, has been rather slow. In fact, the UN Human Development Index for South Africa, which had been improving gradually at the end of apartheid, has declined dramatically since 1996. The main cause of this decline is the AIDS epidemic, but it is also due to bad policies and waste of state resources that have led to rising poverty rates and a widening gap between the rich and the poor. South Africa boasts a well-developed state and privately owned infrastructure, keeping all modern equipment and technology up to date. Quality standards in construction, roads, technology, commodity manufacturing, health care, hospitals, telecommunications, IT, aviation, banking, securities, investment, beverage, and food chains are among the highest in the world. The government is stable, but corruption is widespread in certain areas, such as obtaining driver's licenses and academic certificates, fees collected by immigration officers at land border posts, stamping of passports, Interior Ministry officials handling visas and permits, traffic enforcement officials trying their luck, and the takeover of criminal organizations. Large corporations bribe government officials to fraudulently push through paperwork or grant special privileges. The government and major political parties generally have a high level of respect for democratic institutions and human rights, the press is free and uncensored, and the judicial system and constitutional courts are fully independent.

South Africa maintains the strongest and most diversified economy in Africa, despite facing structural governance problems, and is the only African country that is a member of the G20, an elite group of major economies.


Travel Destinations in South Africa

Blyde River Canyon is a massive geological formation in a Mpumalanga Province in South Africa. With a length of 15 mi (24 km) and a depth of 2,640 ft (800 m) Blyde River Canyon is second only to the Grand Canyon in the USA.

Cango Caves are underground tunnels with a total length of 3.3 mi (5.3 km), although only one forth are actually open to the public.

Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is a protected area located 280 km North of Durban in South Africa. It covers an area of 385 sq mi (960 km²).

Tugela Falls is a second largest waterfall in the World after Angel Falls in Venezuela. The best time to visit this magnificent natural wonder is between June and September.

Kruger National Park is a protected area in Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces in the North- east corner of South Africa.


Languages ​​and official names

Due to the fact that South Africa has 11 official languages ​​(the third country in terms of the number of official languages ​​after India and Bolivia), South Africa has 11 official names:
Republiek van Suid-Afrika (Afrikaans),
Republic of South Africa (English),
IRiphabliki yeSewula Afrika (Southern Ndebele),
IRiphabliki yaseMzantsi Afrika (scythe),
IRiphabliki yaseNingizimu Afrika (Zulu),
Rephaboliki ya Afrika-Borwa (Northern Sotho),
Rephaboliki ya Afrika Borwa (Sesotho),
Rephaboliki ya Aforika Borwa (Tswana),
IRiphabhulihi yeNingizimu Afrika (Swazi),
Riphabuḽiki ya Afurika Tshipembe (Venda),
Riphabliki ra Afrika Dzonga (tsonga).

Despite such a wide range, some South Africans avoid the use of official names, preferring to call the country Azania - these are mostly Negroids who seek to distance themselves from the European colonial heritage.

Iscamto Creole (formerly known as Tzotzital, literally “thieves' language”), widely spoken among black urban youth in the townships (large towns with black population) of Gauteng province in the east of the country (mainly in Soweto), has no official recognition and is banned school. However, young people often speak Tzotsital better than their own ethnic languages. From this language comes the name of the title character of Tsotsi, a South African film that won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.



Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit South Africa each year for its natural and cultural attractions. From wild elephants to stunning landscapes, cave murals, colonial heritage, and bustling townships, South Africa is an enchanting country of contradictions and great beauty. South Africa's natural landscapes and cultural experiences, besides those operated by private companies, are offered by state-developed entities such as the various Provincial Parks Commissions and National Nature Reserves. There are also government-owned resorts that are less well known to outsiders but operate primarily under the Forever Resorts brand. There are more than 20 of these resorts throughout the country. These resorts offer a variety of activities for small and large groups. Activities include hot springs, leisure activities, kids' activities, hiking, camping, mountain biking, and guided wildlife viewing. Accommodations available at these resorts are reasonably priced except during school holidays and long weekends, and you can choose from 3- or 4-star hotels, bungalows, cottages, thatched rondavels, caravan parks, and campgrounds. The resort is fully equipped with all amenities and you are free to go to the restaurant or cook your own meals. Get your own groceries such as wine, beer, whiskey, soft drinks, meat, butter, cheese, and coffee, as it is considerably more expensive to buy them inside than in the supermarkets outside.


Wildlife in its natural habitat

South Africa is one of the most popular safari destinations in the world, and seeing the "Big Five" and other wildlife is a must for many visitors. Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga Province is certainly a prime example, but Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape is also a popular spot. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, with its vast arid plains, is home to a herd of migratory gnus that covers parts of both South Africa and Botswana. Along the border with Mozambique, another transfrontier park, the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, offers a completely different landscape and fauna. For scuba divers, South Africa's underwater wildlife has much to offer, and the annual sardine run is a highlight. The popular seaside town of Hermanus is probably the best place in the world for whale watching, and for the truly adventurous, there is the chance to cage dive with great white sharks.


Natural Beauty and Botanical Treasures

South Africa's landscape is spectacular and diverse, ranging from flat desert scrub to lush coastal areas and high peaks. The view from the famous flat-topped Table Mountain is the quintessential African experience. The Cape Town region also attracts thousands of sunbathers with its beautiful beaches. The green coastal Garden Route offers a wonderful nature experience, passing through countless lagoons, several interesting towns, and the beautiful Tsitsikamma National Park. Augrabies Falls National Park has a 60-meter-high waterfall. Near Kruger Park is God's Window and Bryde River Canyon, the largest green canyon in the world, and not far from there are the high peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains. The Ukharamba Drakensberg Park is one of the country's eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of its exceptional natural beauty and the many cave murals found there. In Namaqualand, the spring season is a spectacular sight, as countless colorful flowers bloom from the arid, monochromatic landscape. And in the Kalahari Desert, stubborn endemic species thrive in spite of the harsh environment.


Cultural Heritage

Numerous and oldest hominid fossils have been discovered in South Africa, especially in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Important fossils have been found in more than 30 different caves, but Sterkfontein's cave is probably the most important cave in the region. Much more recently, the 17th century Castle of Good Hope in beautiful Cape Town is one of the cultural treasures of the colonial period. Robben Island, famous for the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela, has become a major tourist attraction. To learn more about the apartheid era, visit the District Six Museum in Cape Town or the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.


Other Attractions

Although regularly criticized, visits to the infamous townships are becoming increasingly popular. Some say such trips turn poverty into entertainment, while others believe they benefit all involved. Either way, a township tour is an unforgettable experience.
Cango Caves near Oudtshoorn is a vast and complex cave system in the Swartberg Mountains that contains many unique natural limestone formations. Management belongs to the Western Cape Parks Administration and is open to tourists. The shorter "Standard Tour" is open to all and takes about one hour, while the "Adventure Tour" lasts from four to six hours and requires a high level of stamina to reach the various chambers, which stretch for four kilometers and require crawling on one's belly through tight spaces and nooks and crannies, so only experienced speleologists can participate. Only experienced cavers are allowed to participate.
Soweto in Johannesburg is particularly famous.
South Africa has become world famous for its wine, and if you are interested, a visit to one of the more than 800 wineries in the country will be a memorable part of your trip. The Cape Winelands around Stellenbosch has several wineries to recommend.
Rand Airport in Germiston, near Johannesburg, is a regional airport used primarily by private pilots, small air service providers, and flight schools. The airport also has some well-maintained vintage aircraft, such as a privately owned World War II-era "Harvard Squadron," which is actively flown on weekends. Helicopter sightseeing and nostalgic air tours are also available, especially in "Dakota DC3" and "Tiger Moth" biplanes.
South Africa is a republic run by democracy, but it is also possible to visit dozens of non-sovereign kingdoms ruled by traditional rulers.


What to do

The Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng, near Johannesburg, and the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape offer spectacular balloon safaris in hot air balloons. Booking arrangements can be made through various operators easily found online.
Diving: See Diving in South Africa for more information.
River Rafting: The Orange River on the border with Namibia is a popular spot for rafting tours. Four- to six-day trips are available from Vioolsdrif, where you can also camp under the stars.
Hiking and mountaineering are very popular in the highlands of KwaZulu-Natal and certain areas of the Eastern and Western Cape. Advance booking may be essential to secure a place, as some environmentally sensitive places can only be visited by a limited number of people per year.
Rugby union, cricket, and soccer are all popular spectator sports, traditionally associated with Afrikaner, Anglo-South African, and black South African culture, respectively, but have changed since the fall of apartheid, and the Springboks (the national rugby union team) has a large black fan base, at least since the 1995 World Cup held in South Africa, when Nelson Mandela (then president) attended wearing a Springbok jersey and South Africa won the tournament.In 2019, South Africa will win the Rugby World Cup for the third time and and this time with a multi-racial team and a black captain.
Friends of the Rail is based in Pretoria. This non-profit preservation society looks after steam locomotives and period rolling stock. Steam train excursions are organized on a regular basis, leaving Pretoria's Hermanstad Station in the morning and arriving in Cullinan for lunch and a picnic before returning to the base in the afternoon.
The Magaliesburg Steam Train is another vintage steam train trip operated by South African Railways (Transnet). Once or twice a month, the train departs from Johannesburg's Main Park station in the morning for a day-long tour of the nearby Magaliesburg Mountains. Packed lunches or picnic baskets are required.
War Sites: Many of the Zulu-Indigenous, Boer-Indigenous, Zulu-British, and Boer-British war sites are well documented, easily accessible, and well worth visiting. Located primarily in KwaZulu-Natal, the War Museum in Johannesburg provides maps and literature to help plan a tour of where to go.
Auto Tours: Because of the country's large size and well-developed national road network, driving is a practical and fulfilling way to tour the country. The natural beauty of areas such as the Golden Gate, God's Window, the Garden Route, the Wild Coast, and St. Lucia and Cape Vidal offer a variety of impressions that cannot be experienced any other way by the laid-back vacationer who is indifferent to interacting with the locals or staying at a farmhouse. The Gauteng motor race is the most popular motor racing event in Gauteng.
Motor racing in Gauteng takes place regularly, and the raceway facilities in Kyalami and Swartkops, in particular, are the main stage for all kinds of prestigious national and regional two- and four-wheeled competitions.




Currency is the rand, symbol "R" (ISO code: ZAR), divided into 100 cents (C). Banknotes have denominations of R200, R100, R50, R20, and R10. High denomination bills are slightly larger in physical size than small denomination bills. All banknotes have a metal security strip and watermark. 2012 saw the introduction of a new series of banknotes, and both the old and new series are in circulation as legal tender.

Coins are in denominations of R5, R2, R1, 50c, 20c, 10c, and 5c. 2-cent and 1-cent coins were discontinued in 2002, but those still in circulation are legal tender. all transactions are rounded down to the nearest 5c so that 2c and 1c coins need not be used. There are two types of R5 coins in circulation: one is silver and the other is silver with a copper insert. Both are legal tender.

South Africa is part of the Common Monetary Area of Southern Africa, and the rand is also accepted in Namibia (where it is the official currency along with the Namibian dollar), Lesotho, and Eswatini (where it is not official but widely accepted). Each country's currency is tied to the rand at a 1:1 rate.

Traveler's checks are a safe way to carry money. They can be exchanged at all banks (even local banks nationwide) and are refundable if stolen. The disadvantages are that you cannot pay in checks and you will need coins to exchange into rand. Use ATMs when possible.

Cash machines (ATMs) connected to major international networks are available throughout the country, usually in a mix of denominations ranging from R200 to R10, with about 80% of the amount requested in higher denominations and the rest in smaller denominations. ATMs accept Cirrus and Maestro cards, major credit and debit Cirrus and Maestro cards, major credit cards, and debit cards are accepted at ATMs. South African bank ATMs charge fees in addition to those charged by individual financial institutions. For example, as of March 2023, Nedbank charges R50 and ABSA charges R75.

It is best to use ATMs located in malls or buildings. Always make sure that no one is watching you enter your PIN, and be wary of scams (e.g., machines that eat your card and do not give it back to you after you enter your PIN). when withdrawing money from an ATM, do not accept help from strangers. If you are approached and offered unwanted help, cancel the transaction immediately and go to another ATM.

The cash registers at some major retailers (e.g., Pick 'n Pay) also serve as ATMs. Transaction costs will be lower than ATMs.

Visa and MasterCard are accepted almost everywhere. American Express and Diners Club are also accepted, but not as widely.

Most retailers accept credit cards and PIN-based debit cards. South Africa is moving to a chip-and-PIN credit card system similar to Europe. Therefore, credit card users from countries that have adopted this system (such as the U.S.) should have no problem using their credit cards in South Africa as long as they notify their banks in advance of their travel plans.

VAT (value-added tax) is levied at 15% on almost all products in South Africa. All basic foodstuffs such as bread (a rectangular loaf), uncooked meat, fresh milk, and unprocessed fruits and vegetables are exempt from the tax, as the government has stipulated by law. By law, advertised prices include VAT. Foreign passport holders may claim a refund of VAT only on material products purchased in South Africa and taken out of the country, provided the total value of the goods exceeds R250, but this does not apply to accommodation, food, car rental, etc. For more information on the procedure, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Tax Refund for tourists website. VAT Refund Administrator offices are located at both Johannesburg (O.R. Tambo) and Cape Town International Airports. Refunds will be credited to your Travelex VISA card in U.S. dollars or euros. This card can only be used outside of South Africa.



South Africa is located at the southern tip of Africa. The length of the coastline of the country is 2798 km. South Africa has an area of ​​1'221'038 km² and ranks 24th in the world according to this indicator. The highest point in South Africa is Mount Njesuti in the Dragon Mountains.

South Africa has a variety of climatic zones, from the dry Namib Desert to the subtropics in the east near the border with Mozambique and the coast of the Indian Ocean. To the east, the terrain rises rapidly, forming the Drakensberg Mountains and merging into a large inland plateau called the veld.

On the east coast to 30 ° S. sh. savannah and gallery forests along the rivers predominate, to the south - subtropical forests and shrubs. The interior is occupied by the deserted Kalahari savannah, semi-deserts and Karoo deserts.

From animals there are golden moles, aardvarks, jumping antelope, brown hyena. Elephants, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, lions, ostriches are more rare.



The tip of the African continent has been inhabited for thousands of years by the Khoikhoi (the generic name for the Hottentot (pejorative)), Bushmen (San), and Bantu peoples. Khoi San, or according to the modern Koehoegowab orthography, Khoisaan (pronounced [kxʰoesaː]), is an artificial generic name for the so-called "non-Bantu" indigenous peoples of southern Africa, a combination of Koehoen (formerly "Khoikhoi") and Saan or Saakhoen (Kitchen Dutch: Boesman, English. Bushman), which is a combination of the two. Rock paintings that are thought to belong to the Khoisan tribe can still be seen throughout South Africa. It is believed that Bantu tribes began to gradually expand into what is now the northernmost region of South Africa more than 2,500 years ago, and the various cultural groups as we know them today were established in the north, east, east-central, and southeast regions of South Africa. The western desert and semi-desert areas of the Western Cape, Northern Cape, and Eastern Cape provinces remained unexplored by the Bantu people because of the arid climate, limited seasonal rainfall, sparse vegetation, and lack of natural resources and water to sustain large movements of people and cattle herds.

Nguni cattle were the primary livestock raised by the Bantu and served many cultural and economic functions within the tribal society, while more and more Bantu settled in the lush, fertile areas. Cattle are still a symbol of status today, serving as rudimentary currency and as the basic unit of exchange with a mutually agreeable value between bartering parties, and fulfilling the function of money.

The regions of the Karoo, Cape Peninsula, Kalahari, Namaqua, Gracoua, and Bushmen gradually became the territory of the South African "Khoisan". In these mostly arid areas, it is believed that the "Khoisan," already semi-nomadic, did not settle because of the conditions of the desert during the winter months, when they had to search for prey and dwindling water sources. Permanent settlements were not established in these areas until the Boer "Voortrekker," seeking to avoid conflict with the Bantu (see next section), entered these areas and established boreholes and containment ponds.

In the southeast, the Zulu Kingdom grew into a powerful kingdom under King Shaka, who ruled from 1816 to 1828.

Today, with more reliable water sources and modern water use practices, agricultural activities are largely limited to sheep and ostrich ranching.



Portuguese explorer Bartolomeo Dias is credited with being the first European to pass the Cape of Good Hope in 1488. Ten years later, Vasco da Gama made the first voyage to India, but Portugal ignored the Cape of Good Hope as a staging post. in the late 1700s, Boers (settler farmers) began a gradual expansion along the coastline, first to the west and then inland. in 1795, the Napoleonic Wars against the Dutch In 1835, a large group of Boers, known as the "Voortrekkers" (pioneers), dissatisfied with British rule, moved northward into the interior. They set out on a "Grootwerk" (Great Migration) northward into the interior, dissatisfied with British rule. In the interior, they established their own internationally recognized Oranje Free State and Transvaal Republic. Meanwhile, Britain defeated the Zulu Kingdom in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, establishing colonial rule over the Zulu people.


Modern History

After large discoveries of diamonds in the Kimberley and gold in the Transvaal, two wars for control of the region were orchestrated by British investors, and in 1880 and 1899 conflicts broke out between the Boer Republic and Britain to wrest control of the mineral resources from the hands of the "Boers". After the discovery of gold in 1886 and the influx of British settlers into the area around Johannesburg known as the "Witwatersrand" (White Water Cliffs), a second war broke out. The Second Boer War (Afrikaans: Die Tweede Vryheidsoorlog, "Second War of Independence") was particularly brutal, with the British administration imprisoning Boer civilians in concentration camps and causing one of the oldest recorded massacres. The scorched-earth policy of victory at any cost also led to the destruction of most Boer farms, livestock, crops, and homes. Ironically, the war was filmed for the first time on film, resulting in a growing public outcry in Britain against the inhumane treatment of British prisoners of war in the camps.

After peace was restored in 1902 with the Treaty of Vereeniging, the Union of South Africa was formed in 1910, uniting the various Boer republics and British colonies into a unified nation as part of the British Commonwealth, contributing significantly to World War I, World War II and the Korean War by providing raw materials, weapons production and soldiers In 1961, South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth with the establishment of the Republic of South Africa under the apartheid regime. Non-Europeans were largely excluded from these political changes, as they received sovereign land to live under autonomy according to their own tribal legal systems and hierarchical political forms.

In 1948, the National Party came to power. The National Party introduced a number of apartheid laws that gave the various tribes within South Africa a sovereign "homeland" that was independent as a nation/tribe. The laws also implemented an institutionalized, or systematized, system of racial segregation and discrimination, ensuring the continuation of white minority rule over the black majority and Indian, colored, and other minority groups. This move was welcomed by the majority of the various tribal kings and chiefs, as most tribes sought autonomy. Soon, however, apartheid became practically synonymous with racism and oppression, and millions of nonwhites were forced from their homes under housing policies that enforced racial segregation. The African National Congress (ANC) was banned and forced into exile for conducting and attempting terrorist activities. Other political parties deemed "dangerous" and "subversive" were also banned by the South African government during this period, and free-thinking individuals and unaffiliated anti-apartheid activists of all races were harassed, expelled, imprisoned, and murdered. Meanwhile, the sophistication of the apartheid system became insidious and highly efficient. When victims won small legal battles in court, the regime used its parliamentary majority to pass new laws, closing loopholes in the law and creating a vicious cycle in which the judiciary moved the goalposts to suit its own purposes, thus tying the hands of sympathetic officials and judges in an attempt to keep everything "legal" and They tried to keep it all "legal. South Africa, seeking to continue apartheid, used the Cold War and the crisis of communism as a pretext to circumvent UN sanctions, violently suppress civil disobedience in and outside the former German colony of "South West Africa" (Namibia), invade Angola, support the Rhodesian anti-die, and support postcolonial Mozambique and Supported anti-government armed uprisings in Angola. Despite the fact that the Republic experienced rapid infrastructure development and strong economic growth until the late 1980s, rebellion against apartheid laws led to frequent uprisings in the country. During this period, the international community tightened political pressure mechanisms and trade embargoes against South Africa and banned South African athletes from participating in the Olympics and most other international sporting events.

By the late 1980s, many white citizens began to realize that change was inevitable, as international sanctions and internal strife began to take a serious toll on South Africa. Thus, moderates within the security services, the military, and the National Party, following the lead of white liberals, began quietly contacting ANC leaders to negotiate ways to dismantle apartheid.

Political violence worsened in the early 1990s. Extremists of all stripes attempted to derail peace talks between the ANC and the DPP in order to prioritize their own vision for South Africa's future. 1992 saw a referendum on the abolition of apartheid, in which 73% of white voters cast their ballots. This was followed by a new constitution in 1993 and the first truly inclusive democratic elections in April 1994, in which all South Africans, regardless of ethnic or cultural background, were allowed to vote. Former political prisoner Nelson Mandela became the country's first democratically elected president; the ANC won a 63% majority and established a government of national unity with the National Party.

Despite high hopes for Nelson Mandela's "Rainbow Nation" after the end of apartheid, South Africa's economy began to deteriorate after Mandela stepped down in 1999 and Thabo Mbeki took over. Mbeki's controversy raised questions about the causal relationship between HIV and AIDS, and he believed that AIDS was caused by poverty. Mbeki banned antiretroviral drugs from South African hospitals, leading to countless premature deaths of HIV-positive patients. Mbeki was forced to resign in September 2008 and was eventually succeeded by Jacob Zuma in May 2009. Because Zuma grew up in poverty and had never received a formal education, the masses of poor black South Africans initially hoped that Zuma would be able to empathize with them and implement policies that would alleviate poverty. However, Zuma's tenure was plagued by a massive corruption scandal that forced him to resign in February 2018. Cyril Ramaphosa, who succeeded Zuma, promised to fight corruption, revitalize the economy, and close the massive wealth gap, but it remains to be seen whether his policies will succeed.

While an elite upper class of blacks has been formed as a result of affirmative action policies, much of the black population remains impoverished without access to proper sanitation and good schools. This has caused great racial tension, and some extremists in the black community have proposed taking property from the white community and redistributing it to blacks as reparation for the atrocities committed under colonialism and apartheid. On the other hand, many whites on the right accuse the black majority of mismanaging the country after power was transferred to them. Indian and colored communities, who suffered discrimination under apartheid, also harbor some resentment that they were not subjected to affirmative action policies, although not to the same extent as the black community. Similarly, the Khoisan have largely been left out of post-apartheid affirmative action policies, even though they were settled long before Bantu blacks arrived in South Africa.


The People

Modern South Africans are very diverse, with many different ethnic groups making up the population numbers. Nevertheless, in addition to the Hossa, Venda, Shangane, Sotho, and others, the Zulu constitute the largest group, accounting for about 20% of the total population. The Afrikaners, who are descendants of Dutch settlers and constitute the majority of the white community, and the Anglo-South Africans, who are descendants of British settlers. South Africa also has the largest Jewish community in Africa, mostly Lithuanian Ashkenazi Jews. Mozambicans, Zimbabweans, Malawians, Middle Easterners, Indians, Malays, Chinese, Portuguese, Greeks, British, Italians, and many others of mixed descent have contributed to the true rainbow nation. The presence and persistence of the ancient "Khoikhoi" and "San" peoples in Southern Africa, their culture, language, and traditions provide a glimpse into a way of life that has remained largely unchanged for over 10,000 years. Most people, regardless of background, color, or creed, are friendly, helpful, and a little curious about visitors.


Where to Emigrate After Retirement

South Africa's immigration law provides for a special temporary residence permit system that can be upgraded to permanent residence after a number of years, allowing older or retired foreigners in good health, legally earning a certain level of steady income or pension, and in possession of a certificate of no criminal record, to settle in retirement and purchase property in the local area. They are allowed to do so. Such an opportunity is attractive to Northerners seeking a sunny, warm climate in a country that is both very cosmopolitan and very much alive with African traditions, in roughly the same time zone as their country of origin, but with a much lower cost of living given favorable exchange rates This may be the case. Such residence permit holders are legally treated like all South African citizens and are therefore subject to all laws and regulations governing South Africa.


Place Names

The names of many South African neighborhoods, cities, streets, and buildings were changed after the end of apartheid, and some of these names are still being changed today. These changes can be confusing, as many of the new names are not yet well known. In this travel guide, the official new names will be used, but references to the previous names will be made whenever possible.


Government of South Africa

Legal system

The South African legal system absorbed at once elements of the three legal families distinguished today: Roman-Germanic law, Anglo-Saxon law, and traditional law. In general, Roman-Germanic law prevails in modern South Africa, with the rule of law for all legal decisions and a clear division between private and public law. The country has a constitution adopted in 1996. This constitution protects and guarantees all internationally recognized human rights. However, South African law has not always been humane and tolerant. Over the years, discrimination against blacks, known as "apartheid," has been reinforced in these laws. The collapse of the political basis of apartheid, followed by a long legal overhaul in the 1990s, resulted in a complete overhaul of South Africa's legal system, eliminating all discrimination on the basis of race; the Constitutional Court was established in 1994; the Constitutional Court was established in 1997; and the Constitutional Court was established in 1998.


Criminal Law

South Africa is one of the few countries in which a British-style criminal code is in operation. It is not codified. The judicial system consists of the Supreme Court of Appeal, the High Court, and the Magistrates' Courts. The Supreme Court of Appeal is South Africa's main court for criminal matters. The Court is located in Bloemfontein, the "judicial capital" of South Africa. Under the apartheid regime, there was an independent local court for the black population ("Chiefs' Court"), whose judges were also predominantly black. In the general judiciary, on the other hand, the majority of judges were white. Particularly cruel punishments, including the death penalty, were available for those who opposed the political system. They were also allowed to be detained for five days without trial or investigation. After the fall of apartheid, many norms were amended: the Internal Security Act was repealed in 1994, the death penalty was abolished in 1995, and the legal flogging penalty was abolished in 1997; in the 1990s, following changes in the legal system, same-sex marriage was legalized, making the country the only African country with same-sex marriage.



Zionist Church (10%), Pentecostal (7.5%), Catholic (6.5%), Methodist (6.8%), Dutch Reformed (6.7%), Anglican (3.8%), Other Christians (36%), Atheists (15%) (5%), Catholics (6.5%), Methodists (6.8%), Dutch Reformed (6.7%), Anglicans (3.8%), other Christians (36%), atheists (15.1%), Muslims (1.3%), followers of other religions (2.3%), and undecided (1.4%) (2001 data). South Africa has approximately 35,000 adherents in the Alexandrian Orthodox Metropolis of Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town.

Standard of Living
The average income of the population is approaching the lower end of the global average income range. In general, however, the economic situation of the society is extremely precarious. The apartheid regime that reigned here for a long time and the previous colonial rule are reflected in the social and property hierarchy of the society. About 15% of the population lives in the best conditions, while about 50% (mostly black) live in relatively poor conditions. Not all residents have access to electricity or running water, and in many settlements, poor sanitary conditions are the cause of a wide range of diseases. These stark contrasts lead to tension in the social environment. South Africa has a very high crime rate. It is mainly found in poor areas. Life expectancy is 49 years (2012), but has increased significantly since 2000, when it was 43 years.

South Africa's unemployment rate is 40%. One-third of the workforce earns less than $2 a day. The level of education ranks 143rd out of 144 countries. The crime rate is the highest in the world. There are more than 30 murders per 100,000 people per year.


Economy and national economy

South Africa is the most developed republic on the African continent; its GDP in 2015 was $313 billion according to the IMF (33rd in the world) and $350 billion according to the WB (32nd in the world) GDP growth rate was 5%, compared to 3% in 2008. Despite its aggressive market expansion, the country has yet to join the ranks of the world's developed countries: in 2015, it ranked 30th in the world according to the IMF ($724 billion) and 29th according to the World Bank ($704 billion) in terms of purchasing power parity. The country has enormous reserves of natural resources. The telecommunications, power industry, and financial sectors are widely developed.As of the first quarter of 2019, South Africa had the highest average wage of any African country at R20855 (€1,324), tied with Taiwan (NT$47868, about €1368). South Africa did not have a minimum wage; in November 2018, the South African President signed the Minimum Wage Act; from January 1, 2019, the wage is R20 ($1.46) per hour or R3500 ($256.86) per month. For agricultural workers, it is R18 ($1.32) per hour; for domestic workers, it is R15 ($1.10) per hour. effective March 1, 2022, the minimum wage in South Africa is R23.19 ($1.59) per hour, R185.52 ($12.72) per day, and R4000 ($274.19) per month. ($274.19), while the wage for workers employed under the "expanded public works program" is R$12.75 ($0.87) per hour.

Currency South African rand, 100 cents. Coins are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents, and 1, 2, and 5 rand; bills are 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 rand.

Major imports: petroleum, foodstuffs, and chemical products. Major exports: diamonds, gold, platinum, machinery, automobiles, and equipment. Imports ($91 billion in 2008) exceed exports ($86 billion in 2008).

After establishing diplomatic relations with China (January 1, 1998), trade with China increased from $3 billion in 1998 to $60 billion in 2012.

Ranked 39th in Forbes magazine's "Easiest Countries to Do Business" list.

It is also a member of an international organization of ACT countries.


Labor Force

Of South Africa's population of 54.9 million, only 18 million (not exact) are able to work. Unemployment is 23% (2008).

65% of the labor force is employed in services, 26% in industry, and 9% in agriculture (2008).


Branches of the national economy

Resource Development Industry
South Africa's accelerated development owes much to its abundant natural resources. Approximately 52% of exports come from the mining industry. Manganese, platinum group metals (Bushveld Complex), gold, chromite, tungsten, aluminogrades, vanadium, and zirconium are widely mined. Coal mining is highly developed, and South Africa is the third largest user of coal for power generation in the world (due to the scarcity of oil, about 80% of South Africa's total electricity generation comes from coal burning). In addition, the country has concentrated reserves of diamonds, asbestos, nickel, lead, uranium, and other important minerals.

Since most of the country has an arid climate, only 15% of the land is suitable for agriculture. However, unlike many other African countries where soil erosion occurs, this 15% is used wisely. The results of advanced agricultural technologies in South Africa and other major countries around the world are being used for soil protection and efficient agriculture. This has led to a surprising result: South Africa is able to fully meet its domestic food needs and is also one of the major (and by some parameters, the leading) suppliers of agricultural products.

South Africa has three zones suitable for winemaking. The northwest (Northern Cape) and the east coast (KwaZulu-Natal) are not considered the best wine-growing regions due to their very hot and dry climate. However, the southwestern part of South Africa (Western Cape) has an excellent climate for winemaking.

Livestock Production
Meat and dairy production is concentrated in the northern and eastern parts of the Free State, the interior of Horten, and the southern part of Mpumalanga. Meat breeds are common in the Northern and Eastern Cape. There are sheep ranches in the arid areas of the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, and Mpumalanga provinces. Astrakhan sheep skins are supplied to the world market.

Goats are raised in large numbers, mainly Angora (75%), whose hair is highly valued in Europe and the United States (up to 50% of the world's mohair production is produced in South Africa). The other most common breed is the Boer goat, which is raised for meat. In goat shearing (92,000 tons per year), South Africa ranks fourth in the world.

Compared to the mainly large subsectors such as cattle and sheep farming, poultry and pig farming are more intensive and widespread on farms near the major cities of Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Cape Town, and Port Elizabeth.

In recent years, ostrich breeding has become popular, especially in the Free State. Exports from South Africa of meat, skins, and feathers of this bird are gradually increasing.

In terms of catch (about 1 million tons per year), South Africa is one of the leading countries in Africa. The main species caught are sardines, herring, hake, anchovies, sea bass, mackerel, cod, Cape salmon, mackerel, and monkfish. In addition, shrimp, lobster, tuna, lobster, oysters, octopus, sharks, which are in demand in Southeast Asia, and Cape seals are also caught. Fishing takes place mainly in the 200 nautical mile wide fishing zone off the west coast of South Africa, washed by the Benguela Current. About 40% of the catch comes from freshwater fish caught in the Elands and Limpopo rivers, and from breeding in artificial reservoirs.

The southern part of KwaZulu-Natal is the main area. Natural forests cover 180,000 hectares, or 0.14% of the country's land area. Most of the commercial timber comes from plantations, which cover only 1% of South Africa's land area. About half of the forest "plantations" are planted with pine, 40% with eucalyptus, and 10% with mimosa. Yellow, ebony, Cape laurel, aceguai, and camassia are also grown. This is in contrast to the 80 to 100 years it takes in the northern hemisphere. The amount of timber on the market is 17 million m³ per year. More than 240 wood and timber industry companies operate in South Africa.

Agriculture accounts for 35-40% of total exports, which is equivalent to 5% of South Africa's GDP.

In 2010, 8.1 million tourists visited South Africa and the tourism industry generated more than $8.7 billion.

International Trade
South Africa's foreign trade is very diverse, with no one country controlling more than 15% of the African nation's exports or imports as of 2010.

Major export partners (2010) China (11.3%), United States (10.1%), Japan (8.9%), Germany (8.2%), United Kingdom (5.1%), India (4.3%), Netherlands (3.3%), Switzerland (3.2%), Zimbabwe (2.9%), Mozambique (2.7%).

Major import partners (2010): China (14.4%), Germany (11.4%), USA (7.2%), Japan (5.3%), Saudi Arabia (4.1%), Iran (3.9%), UK (3.8%), India (3.6%), France (3.0%), Nigeria (2.7%).

National Economic Policy
The nation's economic policy is aimed at economic stability. According to statistics from The Heritage Foundation, South Africa ranks 57th in the world in terms of economic freedom. South Africa has a relatively high income tax rate (up to 40% depending on income level).



The culture of the Republic of South Africa, due to traditions, is diverse. First of all, it is a combination of two cultures: traditional and modern.

Traditional culture
Many indigenous peoples contributed to it, such as the Bantu, Bushmen and Hottentots. The protea flower is the national symbol of South Africa.


Modern culture

During the colonial period, South African artists, the most important of whom was Thomas Baines, saw it as their task to carefully convey the realities of the new world in the context of European culture in order to convey this information back to the mother country. Only at the end of the 19th century did artists appear, primarily Jan Wollshenk, Hugo Naude and the sculptor Anton van Wou, whose goal was to create a new art based on South African (in this case, Boer) traditions. In the 1920s, Jacob-Hendrik Pirnef brought modernism to South African art.

In the 1930s, black artists began to come to the fore. Gerard Sekoto, who lived in France since 1947, and George Pemba are considered one of the founders of the genre of black urban art.

A striking representative of the developing musical rap culture of South Africa is the group Die Antwoord, who call their style of music zef.



The most popular sports in South Africa are rugby, soccer, and cricket. The South African rugby team is one of the strongest teams in the world, winning the World Cup three times (1995, 2007, and 2019) and ranking high in the world rankings many times. Many South African rugby players are in the International Hall of Fame. Other well-developed sports include swimming, athletics, golf, boxing, tennis, netball, and ring-ball, the national sport.

In 1995, South Africa hosted the Rugby World Cup, defeating New Zealand in the final.

In 2010, South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup. In 1996, South Africa hosted the Africa Cup of Nations, and for the first time in its history, the national team reached the final and won the tournament. In 1998, the South Africans were runners-up in the Africa Cup of Nations, and in the 21st century, no South African soccer player has reached even the semi-finals. Some of the most famous soccer players from South Africa include Dr. Khumalo, Aron Mokoena, Benny McCarthy, Sean Bartlett, and Lucas Radebe.

At the Olympics, South Africa's national team has won more than 80 awards, including more than 25 gold medals. The most prizes were won in athletics, swimming, and boxing. from 1962 to 1990, South Africa was excluded from the Olympic movement by the IOC following UN General Assembly Resolution 1761, which condemned apartheid policies, and no athletes from the country competed in the Olympics. Athletes from South Africa during this period were also not allowed to compete in other international competitions.

Gary Player, a golfer considered one of the greatest in the history of the sport, was ranked eighth in 2004 in a list of the 100 greatest South Africans in history, which included cricketers, swimmers, soccer players, and rugby players.

South Africa hosted the world's top pre-war racers from 1934 to 1939, and from 1962 to 1993, the South African Grand Prix was already a recurring event as part of the Formula 1 World Championship. World-class races were held at the East London and Kyalami circuits, and in 1979, South African Jody Scheckter represented the Ferrari team as the first and only African to win the F1 world championship. In fact, the Brands Hatch Circuit was the venue for this event, which was part of the British F1 Championship.

Every year, the country hosts a multi-day cycling event that attracts top athletes from around the world.

The South African national ice hockey team participated in the second and third division tournaments.

Every year since 1921, the country has hosted the Comrades Ultramarathon. The 90-kilometer-long route passes through the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Comrades is the oldest and most extensive track and field ultramarathon race in the world; in 2009, more than 10,000 South African and international athletes completed the race. The event is open to both professional and regular runners; the 2000s were a triumphant era for Russian runners. Athletes such as Tatiana Zhirkova, Leonid Shvetsov, Oleg Kharitonov, Elena and Olesya Nurgaliev, and Marina Maishlyanova made the podium.