View from the Blue Swallow Reserve, Kaapsehoop, South Africa
Geographically, South Africa is as diverse as it is large, stretching approximately 1,500 km from east to west and about 2,000 km from north to south covering an area of over 1.2 million km2. The country is bordered by Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe to the north and Mozambique and Swaziland to the east, with a coastline of 2,800 km. Lesotho occupies a small portion in the south-east. The coastal plain is separated from the high-lying interior plateau by rugged mountains, of which the highest is Njesuthi at 3,408 m, and the Kalahari basin dominates the central areas. The south western areas enjoy warm, dry summers and cooler wet winters, while the eastern part of the country receives its rain in summer, with dry winters. The population is over 42 million people and there are 11 official languages; Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. The capital city is Pretoria but note that Cape Town is the legislative centre and Bloemfontein the judicial centre and there are nine administrative regions or provinces: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North-West, Northern Cape and Western Cape. Note that the territory of South Africa also includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island). More details can be found at CIA Factbook.