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About South Africa

South Africa is one of the most diverse and enchanting countries in the world. It is truly a country with something to offer for everyone. The breathtaking scenery and landscapes, its people, its history and culture offer a larger-than-life experience for the traveller in search of a truly unique and inspiring experience.


South Africa is known for its abundant wildlife (and of course the famous "big five") as well as its fantastic birding and eco-tourism possibilities. However, the real heart of this vibrant country is the diversity of people and cultures. South Africa 's family tree goes way back to the start of time. The country has been touted as the Cradle of Humankind, because it was here that archaeologists discovered 2,5 million year old fossils as well as the 100,000 year old remains of modern humankind.

Many of South Africa 's cultures have their roots in an ancient world, whilst some of the cultures are relatively new – and others, well, are a fascinating mix of both.

CLIMATE

Cape Town embraces a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. With ocean and mountains at the end of practically every street, the city's weather is ever changing and unpredictable. You can read the local press or contact the weather forecast centre for a local's best guess. During the summer it is important to cover sensitive skin. Make friends with sun block of at least SPF 15. “The Cape Doctor” is the name given to our South Easterly wind which roars over Table Mountain and through the City Bowl out to sea, literally “cleaning the air” of pollution. This wind also often produces the white cloud, which pours over the tip of the mountain, giving it a “Tablecloth” effect. The weather across the Cape Peninsula varies greatly and might be 30C in the city bowl but at Cape Point it could be raining.

SAFETY

To survive in South Africa is the same as to survive anywhere in the world. Respect yourself . This is your key to a safe and fulfilling experience. Secondly, respect a country that has been torn apart by years of oppression and the separation of peoples. Understand that there are areas of town where you should be wary of going. Heed the advice of travellers and locals with both an open mind and a pinch of salt. In Cape Town, keeping safe often means going out in a group or paying the extra cash for a taxi to get where you're going. Protect your personal belongings and your peace of mind at all times.

DIVERSE CULTURES

The South African population consists of the following groups:

• The Nguni people (including the Zulu, Xhosa and Swazi), who account for two-thirds of the population.
• The Sotho-Tswana people, who include the Southern, Northern and Western Sotho (Tswana)
• The Tsonga
• The Venda
• Afrikaners (of Dutch origin)
• English
• Colourds
• Indians
• Khoi and San people
• Other: the remainder consist of people who have immigrated to South Africa from the rest of Africa , Europe and Asia and who maintain a strong cultural identity.

LANGUAGES

There are 11 official languages spoken in South Africa , namely: English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Xhosa, Zulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Swati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga. However, English is largely spoken in most urban areas of the country.

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