About South Africa
The South African People
South Africa is fondly known as the “Rainbow Nation”, due to its cultural diversity comprising people of the San (Bushman), Nguni, Sotho-Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Indian, Afrikaner, English and mixed origins, as well as immigrant communities from all corners of the world. South Africa is a true melting pot of cultural richness.
The South African people have managed a remarkable transition from a racially divided society to one that is founded on democratic principles. The way South African have overcome historical racial divides is lauded throughout the world. The people of South Africa continue to work together to develop and promote their country which recognises and celebrated difference in diversity of cultures, languages and religion.
Our country is home to two of the world’s most profoundly compassionate philosophies - Ubuntu and Gandhi’s notion of “passive resistance” (Satyagraha), which he developed while living in South Africa. Ubuntu stresses the fact that all people are fundamentally connected; that we are human because of each other:
“I am because you are”
South Africa has a population of almost 50 million people. It is a multilingual country which recognises 11 official languages. Most South Africans are multilingual, able to speak more than one language. English is the official language. South Africa is home to the world famous Kruger National Park and Table Mountain.
SA has a subtropical climate with Summer temperatures ranging between 19 – 33 degrees Celsius and winter temperatures between 5 – 23 degrees Celsius. The hottest period spreads between November and February while the coldest period occurs between May and August.
The South African unit of currency is the Rand (ZAR) (http://www.oanda.com), which is divided into 100 cents. Coins come in denominations of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5, and notes in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200.
Banks and bureaux de change are available at the airport; changing currency at the airport on arrival is recommended. All major credit cards, e.g. Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club, are widely used. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) and 24-hour cash machines are widely used and accepted, including the Kruger National Park. A branch of the First National Bank is located at the Skukuza restcamp with a 24 hour Automatic Teller Machine.
Local time is GMT + 2 hours.
Current is 220 Volts.
South African electrical wall socket
South African electrical plug
Links to helpful websites
About South Africa