South Africa Guide

South Africa Guide

Country data

Location: South Africa

Time zone: CET + 1 (during summer time: CET)

Total area: 1,219,090 km²

Land area: 1,214,470 km²

Water area: 4,620 km²

Length of the state border: 4,862 km

Bordering countries:
Botswana: 1,840 km
Lesotho: 909 km
Mozambique: 491 km
Namibia: 967 km
Zimbabwe: 225 km
Swaziland: 430 km

Coastline: 2,798 km

Capital: Pretoria

Provinces: 9
Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North-West, Northern Cape, Northern Province, Western Cape

Telephone code: 00 27 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Njesuthi 3,408 m


Population: approx. 48.4 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: -0.5% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 40

Life expectancy: 51 (male), 49 (female)

Official language: African (many dialects), English


  • 70% Christian
  • 30% other


Since South Africa is located in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite to those in Germany.

The climate is subtropical, with temperatures in summer around 20-23 ° C and in winter around 10-13 ° C.

It is mostly dry and warm. There is no defined rainy season.

South Africa

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Rand (ZAR)

Graduation: 1 rand = 100 cents

ATMs: Available in the major cities.

International credit cards: These are accepted by many hotels and shops.

Regulations: There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency that can be imported. The export is limited to the amount declared on import (minus the exchanged amounts).

The national currency can be imported and exported up to an amount of 5,000 rand.

All exchange receipts should be kept until departure!

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 g tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

These allowances apply once within 30 days for border crossings in countries of the South African customs union.

These countries include Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Travel advice

The crime rate in South Africa has been very high for several years.

Assaults, thefts and bodily harm are commonplace, especially in the townships.

Behavioral advice

Smoking is prohibited in some public buildings. You should definitely adhere to this prohibition!

You shouldn’t be traveling alone after dark.

Sightseeing tours and excursions should only be undertaken in larger groups. Slums and slums should definitely be avoided.

You should not use trains in South Africa, only taxis from larger and well-known companies.

You should never show valuable objects and money in public!

During a drive you should lock doors and windows, as vehicles that are stopping are constantly being robbed.


South Africa has the most highly developed industry of the African countries.

The mining of ores and precious metals (e.g. diamonds, gold, platinum) is strongly promoted.

South Africa has a large amount of mineral resources that are exported to many countries as raw materials or processed products.

Industries: car accessories, mining, chemistry, ore processing, metal processing, mechanical engineering, textiles, tourism

Natural resources: chromium, diamonds, iron ore, natural gas, gold, coal, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, copper, salt, uranium, vanadium, tin

Land use:

  • Usable land: 10%
  • Grain cultivation: 1%
  • Pasture area: 67%
  • Forests: 7%
  • other: 15%


In the many nature reserves that have been set up, the country’s flora is in very good condition.

Many different types of plants, trees and grass are particularly easy to get to know on the guided tours.

The best known (and only in South Africa) growing plant is the protea, which comes in different types (size, color, shape).


The Kruger National Park is known worldwide. In addition to this, however, there are a variety of other protected reserves across the country.

Here you can find all the animal species that exist in Africa.

Monkeys, antelopes, buffalo, elephants, hippos, cheetahs, wildebeests, crocodiles, leopards, lions, rhinos are just some of the animals that can be seen on tours (which are really worthwhile). In addition to these, there are a variety of bird species.

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