The geography of South Africa
South Africa is situated on the southern end of the continent of Africa. The country has a long coastline, with the Indian Ocean on the east and the Atlantic on the west. To the north are the neighbouring states of Namibia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique and Botswana, while the independent state of Lesotho lies entirely within South Africa’s borders.
South Africa occupies an area of 1.2 million square kilometres (470,000 square miles). The country can be divided into three basic regions, namely a low-altitude coastal area, a vast central plateau, and a ring of mountains separating the two. The central plateau is relatively flat, between 1200m and 1800m (4000ft to 6000ft), while the highest mountains in the country are to be found in the Drakensberg range (up to 3000m, or 10 000ft). The name “Drakensberg” means “Dragon Mountain”.
South Africa’s geography is extremely diverse. Fertile coastal regions rise up to a central plateau that is semi-arid in places, while to the east the majestic peaks of the Drakensberg range soar to the sky. This diverse landscape offers a fantastic opportunity for outdoor adventure. However, the most popular outdoor activity for visitors remains the game safari. The country is home to some of the world’s most famous game reserves.