South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is a country located in Southern Africa. It has 2,798 kilometers (1,739 mi) of coastline that stretches along the South Atlantic and Indian oceans. To the north lie the neighboring countries of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; to the east are Mozambique and Swaziland; and within it lies Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South African territory. South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area, and with close to 53 million people, is the world's 25th-most populous nation.
South Africa has a generally temperate climate, due in part to being surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on three sides, by its location in the climatically milder southern hemisphere and due to the average elevation rising steadily towards the north (towards the equator) and further inland.
South Africa is a multilingual country and there are 11 official languages, namely: English, Afrikaans, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Siswati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga. Although only about 10% of the population has English as its mother tongue, English is the language most widely understood, and is the second language of the majority of South Africans.
About 80% of South Africa's population is Christian. Other major religious groups include Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Buddhists. A minority does not belong to any of the major religions. The Constitution guarantees freedom of worship.
There are nine provinces in South Africa, namely: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape.
Smoking is banned in public places, but there are usually designated areas where people can smoke. Under-18s may not enter a designated smoking area or buy cigarettes.
The cuisine of South Africa is sometimes called "rainbow cuisine", as it has had a variety of multicultural sources and stages.
This jerky-type air-dried meat (usually beef) is savored nearly everywhere by nearly everyone. It was a life-sustaining mainstay of the Boers during their historic, northward Great Trek into Africa’s interior in the 1830s.
The animals are usually farm raised. The rest are legally hunted, or less likely, poached. Local favorites include ostrich, crocodile, and antelope (the eland and springbok are gourmet treasures). If you categorize the popular caterpillar-like Mashonzha worm as game meat, then add this widely praised treat to the list. It can be grilled, stewed, whatever.
Marinated, cubed meat (usually lamb) is skewered and barbecued shish-kebab style
It's like the British shepherd's pie, but the minced meat is curried - and the topping is frothy custard instead of mashed potatoes. It has a Cape Malay heritage.
Literally, farmer’s sausage. It's made with seasoned beef or pork.
Name means maize (corn). Frequently served on-the-cob, or made into a beer. Mealie is also a widely used ingredient in bread or porridge – the basic diet of the poor South African.
A heavily spiced stew incorporating meat (typically lamb) and vegetables. Tomato Bredie is the best-known version of this specialty, introduced by the Cape Malays.
This is not a true lobster (it lacks claws), but it's quite tasty, especially when grilled.
A traditional meat-and-vegetable stew of the Boers. It's slowly cooked in a three-legged cast-iron pot over coals.
Translates "milk tart". It's a milk-egg-and-sugar dessert custard prepared in a round pastry shell.
Rail Travel :
South African rail travel provides an exciting way to take in the scenic beauty of the country without having to drive yourself around.
Options include economy class and luxury coaches as well as the ultimate opulent rail safari on the Blue Train or Rovos Rail. Steam enthusiasts can also enjoy rail journeys of old on restored steam trains. South Africa train travel covers some of the most beautiful parts of the country, taking visitors from cities like Johannesburg and Bloemfontein to prime destinations like Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.
The cheapest way to travel around the country is by bus, making it a popular mode of transport for locals and visitors on a budget. Be sure to book with a reputable service, though, as not all bus companies have an equally good reputation. There are a number of bus operators, offering both economy and luxury rides. If you want to travel in southern Africa, some of these companies also offer cross-border journeys into neighboring states like Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
If you are visiting a national park, you may wish to hire an SUV for comfort and to give you height advantage when game viewing. That said, most national parks have excellent roads and a sedan is just as adequate.
The Apartheid Museum, close to downtown Johannesburg, focuses on the notorious system of racial discrimination that became synonymous with South Africa from 1948 (when the white-minority National Party was voted into power) until 1994, the year in which the country held its first fully democratic elections.
The Gold Reef City theme park, located in central Johannesburg, is built around an authentic 19th century gold mine, and brings together fascinating historical attractions with some of the most thrilling rides in the southern hemisphere. For a day of frenetic family fun, it cannot be beat.
The Lion Park in Lanseria, just outside Johannesburg, is a must-see experiences. Celebrities from all over the world can’t be wrong. Here you’re guaranteed sightings of magnificent lions, but they’re not the only attraction. There’s also the giraffe feeding station, and a chance to play with cubs.
A haven for picnickers, dog-walkers and runners, Johannesburg’s Zoo Lake offers a beautiful escape for those craving a little greenery in the heart of Johannesburg.
South Africa is home to many excellent art galleries in all nine provinces, but the award-winning new kid on the block in downtown Johannesburg is the Wits Art Museum, the leading museum of African art on the African continent. Don’t miss it.
The Gold Reef City Casino is one of Johannesburg’s most popular entertainment venues. Discover a state-of-the art casino with the latest gaming technology, a hotel, and live entertainment venues, plus a recreated gold rush town in the adjacent theme park and the Apartheid Museum right next door.
Beefcakes Burger Bar and Restaurant, which has branches in Cape Town and Johannesburg, offers a fabulous meaty menu (some of the best burgers around), plus a cheeky sense of style. Everything is OTT (over the top), from the menu to the décor to the waitrons and it's all about fabulous fun (and great food).
You haven't really experienced life in South Africa until you've visited a township, and Soweto, to the south-west of Johannesburg, is the largest of them all. This area is also famous for its role in the struggle against apartheid, and there are now many sites of historical significance. The easiest way to visit Soweto is on an official township tour, and you can make the trip as long or short as you like.
The hotel offers a snack bar/deli. A bar/lounge is on site where guests can unwind with a drink. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast. An Internet point is located on site and high-speed wireless Internet access is complimentary.