South Africa is a coastal nation located on the southern hemisphere of the African continent, with four of its nine provinces lie on the coast: the Northern Cape to the northwest, which abuts the Atlantic Ocean, then the Western Cape, which shares both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean, and, towards the east, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, which both enjoy the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.

south african geography

The beautiful country is divided into nine provinces, namely; Gauteng, the Free State, the Eastern Cape, the Western Cape, the Northern Cape, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu- Natal. Based sizes the Northern Cape being the largest and Gauteng being the smallest of them all.

Here below is a list of all provinces and their sizes;

  • Eastern Cape: 169 580 km²
  • Free State: 129 480 km²
  • Gauteng: 17 010 km²
  • KwaZulu-Natal: 92 100 km²
  • Limpopo: 123 910 km²
  • Mpumalanga: 79 490 km²
  • Northern Cape: 361 830 km²
  • North West: 116 320 km²
  • Western Cape: 129 370 km²

South Africa has three capitals: Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Pretoria. The Western Cape city of Cape Town, where the country’s parliament is found, is the legislative capital. In the Free State, Bloemfontein is the judicial capital, and home to the Supreme Court of Appeal. In Gauteng Pretoria, where the Union Buildings and a large proportion of the civil service are found, is the administrative capital, and the ultimate capital of the country.

South Africa is sharing the border lines with countries like Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho which is located within South Africa.

Positioned inland, north of KwaZulu-Natal and bordering the countries of Swaziland and Mozambique is the beautiful Mpumalanga province where Kruger National Park is located.

South Africa is a medium-sized country, with a total land area of slightly more than 1.2-million square kilometres, making it roughly the same size as Niger, Angola, Mali, and Colombia. It is one-eighth the size of the US, about a third the size of the European Union, twice the size of France and over three times the size of Germany.

SA is the 25th largest country in the world by land area, with close to 53 million people SA is the 25th most populous nation.

Each province is dominated by a certain tribal group; here below is a list of all provinces with the dominant tribe(s);

  • The Eastern Cape - Xhosa, Afrikaans and English
  • The Free State - Sotho, Afrikaans and Xhosa
  • Gauteng - Zulu, Sotho, Afrikaans and English
  • KwaZulu-Natal - Zulu and English
  • Limpopo - Venda, Pedi and Tshoga
  • Mpumalanga - Swati, Ndebele, Zulu and Tshonga
  • The Northern Cape - Afrikaans and Setswana
  • North West - Tswana
  • The Western Cape - Afrikaans, Xhosa and English
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