South Africa is the southernmost sovereign state in Africa, the beauty and diversity of which is overwhelming. Covering an area of 471,443 Sq Km, it is the 25th largest country in the world by land area. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, and by the Indian Ocean on the south and east. Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mosambique, Swaziland and the Kingdom of Lesotho are its neighbours.
Cape Town, Pretoria, and Bloemfontein are the three capitals of South Africa. In Cape Town, the Table Mountain, Robben Island, Signal Hill and Cape Peninsula are the major attractions for tourists. The sight of hippos in the Limpopo River and the Penguins waddling on The Cape attract visitors to the country from afar. Other highlights of South Africa include the deserts of Kalahari, wildflowers of Namakwa, and the lion-buffalo-crocodile battle at the Kruger National Park. Not to miss, Simangaliso Wetland Park that is the only habitat with five distinct ecosystems. It invites both dolphins and zebras.
The financial and entertainment epicenter of the country is Johannesburg whereas Durban boasts of sultry nightlife, amazing beaches and a heady mix of cultures. For museum and monument lovers, Pretoria is a perfect destination in South Africa. It also hosts numerous international embassies along with theatres and music venues. The most welcoming of all is Bloemfontein, which is known as the City of Roses. One cannot forget Kimberlay, a city that was founded on diamonds. It is home to the Kimberley Mine Museum and the Great Hole of Kimberley.
Having a population of over 52.98 million, South Africa encapsulates a rich culture and ethnicity. It recognizes 11 languages as official, namely Afrikaans, English, Swazi, Tswana, Northern Sotho, Ndebele, Sotho, Tsonga, Xhosa, Venda, and Zulu. While all languages are considered equal, some are spoken more than others. The country also recognises some unofficial languages that includes South African Sign Language, Nama, Phuthi and Khoe among others.
In South Africa, Christians account for 79.8 percent of the population. Muslims, Hindus, Jews and other religious communities constitute the remaining population. In terms of art and culture, the country flaunts some of the oldest art objects in the world dated 75,000 years ago. Some of them are found in the city of Drakensberg. In sports, soccer, rugby and cricket are most popular.
The country enjoys an amalgamation of various cultures. Thus, its cuisine is also found to be diverse. Braai, or barbecue is the traditional method of cooking meats and breads in South Africa. It is also a major wine producer, with some of the best vineyards located in the valleys of Paarl, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Barrydale.
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