What Are Some Facts About South Africa?

South Africa is a nation in the south of the African continent, comprising a total land area of 471,011 square miles, which is almost twice the size of Texas. The legislative capital of South Africa is Cape Town, while the administrative capital is Pretoria and the judicial capital is Bloemfontein.

South Africa lies in the southern temperate zone of Africa, and its climate is also made temperate by the surrounding water. Its average temperature on the East coast is 52 degrees Fahrenheit in July, and 70 degrees Fahrenheit in February.

South Africa is home to extensive flora and fauna, and its national parks are home to elephants, aardvarks, lions, hippopotamuses and jackals. In addition, there are 25,000 species of plants found in South Africa.

In 2005, the United Nations estimated the population of South Africa to be 46,923,000, making it the 27th most populous nation in the world. There are 11 official languages recognized in South Africa, including English, Zulu, Afriikans, Sesotho and Swazi.

In modern times, South Africa is famous for its history of apartheid, in which a mostly white government enforced laws that legally segregated the black-majority population from full civic participation. Apartheid lasted several decades and officially ended in 1994, largely due to the efforts of the political activities of Nelson Mandela.