The Land

Stretching latitudinally from 22°S to 35°S and longitudinally from 17°E to 33°E, South Africa’s surface area covers 1 219 602 km2. According to Census 2011, the shift of the national boundary over the Indian Ocean in the north-east corner of KwaZulu-Natal to cater for the Isimangaliso Wetland Park led to the increase in South Africa’s land area.

Physical features range from bushveld, grasslands, forests, deserts and majestic mountain peaks, to wide unspoilt beaches and coastal wetlands.

The country shares common boundaries with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland, while the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho is landlocked by South African territory in the south-east.

The 3 000-km shoreline stretching from the Mozambican border in the east to the Namibian border in the west is surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian oceans, which meet at Cape Point in the continent’s south- western corner. Prince Edward and Marion islands, annexed by South Africa in 1947, lie some 1 920 km south-east of Cape Town.

Rivers and Lakes

Rivers and Lakes

None of the country’s rivers are commercially navigable and most river mouths are unsuitable as...

Relief Features

Relief Features

South Africa’s surface area falls into two major physiographic categories: the interior plateau,...

Climatic Features

Climatic Features

The subtropical location, on either side of 30° S, accounts for the warm temperate conditions so...

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