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My trip to South Africa

by Aachman Bansal

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My trip to
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South Africa
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Aachman Bansal
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Contents
Info about the country
Geography
General info
Driving  license
Rules of roads
Speed Limit
reaching South Africa
Visa
Major tourist Attractions
The final chapter Kruger national park
Info about the country
South Africa officially Republic of South Africa located at the southern tip of African Continent. This country came into existence in 1910 as Union of South Africa with the unification of four different British Colonies. In 1948, an ideology known as Apartheid, supported by the National Party was introduced in South Africa. This movement called for separate development for different racial groups in South Africa which was finally taken back in 1994. Nelson Mandela was one of the major leaders who fought against the ideology.

The country boasts of stunning coastlines, dramatic mountain scapes, huge areas of untamed bushvelds, starkly beautiful semi-deserts, lakes, waterfalls, spectacular canyons, forests and wide plains, plus Cape Town, undeniably one of the most beautiful cities in the world.


Local currency- Rand and cents

Currency conversion

1USdollar= 19.07Rand
1pound=24.15Rand
4.33Ruppes=1Rand. conversions may differ by time
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Geography
South African coastline stretching more than 2,850 kilometres (1,770 miles) from the desert border with Namibia on the Atlantic (western) coast southwards around the tip of Africa and then northeast to the border with Mozambique on the Indian Ocean. The low-lying coastal zone is narrow for much of that distance, soon giving way to a mountainous escarpment (Great Escarpment) that separates the coast from the high inland plateau. In some places, notably the province of KwaZulu-Natal in the east, a greater distance separates the coast from the escarpment. Although much of the country is classified as semi-arid, it has considerable variation in climate as well as topography. 

Rivers.        The South African central plateau contains only two major rivers: the Limpopo (a stretch of which is shared with Zimbabwe), and the Orange (with its tributary, the Vaal) which runs with a variable flow across the central landscape from east to west, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at the Namibian border. The eastern and southern coastal regions are drained by numerous shorter rivers. There are very few coastal rivers along the arid west coast.

Provinces.        South Africa is divided into nine provinces. These are generally named as per the geographical location within South Africa: -


Gauteng.       This province contains Pretoria, the administrative capital of the country, and Johannesburg, which is the seat the provincial government and tourist heart of southern Africa. Flights are generally cheaper to and from Johannesburg to any destination.

Western Cape.        Western Cape contains Cape Town (Wine Lands near Stellenbosch) the Whale Coast along the Overberg, Agulhas, southernmost point in Africa where the Atlantic and Indian Ocean meet and the Cape Floral Region. The Garden Route, includes towns like Knysna while the ostrich capital Oudtshoorn involves a 50 km detour

Eastern Cape.        The eastern part of the Garden Route, known as the Tsitsikamma, is in this province, which also features the former homelands, the spectacular and uncrowded Wild Coast, superb beaches in Port Elizabeth, East London and Jeffreys Bay, the surfing mecca of South Africa and great parks like Addo Elephant National Park and Tsitsikamma National Park.


Northern Cape.        This is the biggest province and has the fewest people. Capital Kimberley is known for its diamonds. Upington is the second largest city, a good base when exploring the Kalahari Desert.

Free State.        Capital Bloemfontein which also hosts the Supreme Court of Appeal, the highest court in non-constitutional matters (the Constitutional Court is in Johannesburg since 1994). The world heritage site Vredefort Dome, remnants of the largest and oldest meteorite impact crater.

KwaZulu-Natal.        Durban, the largest city in the province and third largest in South Africa, is a popular coastal holiday destination for South Africans. This city is also the Legislative Capital of South Africa. The Drakensberg mountain range which borders Lesotho is a good place to hike. The Tugela Falls (947 m) located in the Royal Natal National Park are the world's second highest waterfall.

North West.        Rustenburg, famous for Sun City and Pilanesberg Game Reserve.

Mpumalanga.        Capital Mbombela is a gateway to Mozambique and southern section of the Kruger National Park. The Drakensberg Escarpment with the Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world.

Limpopo.       Capital Polokwane (formerly known as Pietersburg) is a good jump-off point for visits to the northern parts of the Kruger National Park and Zimbabwe.

Topographical Divisions.        South Africa's landscape is dominated by a high Central Plateau in the heartland which is surrounded by coastal lowlands. This plateau is rimmed by the Great 
Escarpment which extends northwards to about 10° south of the Equator. Cape Fold Mountains are mostly located in southern region of Great Escarpments followed by Coastal Plain all around bounded by peninsular Coastline

Climate.        The climate of South Africa is determined by its location in the Southern Hemisphere's subtropical zone, and its location between two oceans, Atlantic and the Indian. South Africa has a hot, arid climate - except for areas at high altitude. The hottest and Coldest days are in January and July respectively. 

Religion.        Total freedom of religion has been granted by the constitution, how ever about 80% are Chritians, 15% follow no religion and balance are Hindus, Muslims, Jews or of other faiths.

Currency.        South African Rand (One SAR is approx 4.5 INR).

Driving.        Road Infrastructure exists in South Africa which is maintained by South African National Road Agency (SANRAL).  Most of the highways are tarred and in good condition but rural areas might have potholes and poorly surfaced so need to be careful. following to be kept in mind while driving :-

Gauteng. This province contains Pretoria, the administrative capital of the country, and
Johannesburg, which is the seat the provincial government and tourist heart of southern Africa.
Flights are generally cheaper to and from Johannesburg to any destination.

(b) Western Cape. Western Cape contains Cape Town (Wine Lands near Stellenbosch)
the Whale Coast along the Overberg, Agulhas, southernmost point in Africa where the Atlantic and
Indian Ocean meet and the Cape Floral Region. The Garden Route, includes towns like Knysna
while the ostrich capital Oudtshoorn involves a 50 km detour

(c) Eastern Cape. The eastern part of the Garden Route, known as the Tsitsikamma, is in
this province, which also features the former
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