Geography of South Africa – The Ultimate Free Guide 2021

Learn facts and Geography of South Africa including Major Geographical Features, Natural resources, Region, area, Capital, Border countries, rivers in South Africa.

  • South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world’s 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of 1,221,037 square kilometers.
  • South Africa has three capital cities: executive Pretoria, judicial Bloemfontein and legislative Cape Town.
  •  It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World, and the most populous country located entirely south of the equator.
  • South Africa is a biodiversity hotspot, with a diversity of unique biomes and plant and animal life.
  • South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution’s recognition of 11 official languages, the fourth-highest number in the world.
  • South Africa is a developing country, ranking 114th on the Human Development Index. It has been classified by the World Bank as a newly industrialized country, with the second-largest economy in Africa, and the 35th-largest in the world.
  • South Africa also has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa.
  • The name “South Africa” is derived from the country’s geographic location at the southern tip of Africa. Upon formation, the country was named the Union of South Africa in English and Unie van Zuid-Afrika in Dutch, reflecting its origin from the unification of four formerly separate British colonies.
  • South Africa occupies the southern tip of Africa, its coastline stretching more than 2,850 kilometers (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.

Geography of South Africa

Geography of South Africa
Figure: Wikipedia


Southern Africa


Ranked 25th.


  • Pretoria
  • Cape Town
  • Bloemfontein



Bordering Countries:

  • Botswana,
  • Lesotho,
  • Mozambique,
  • Namibia,
  • Swaziland,
  • Zimbabwe.

Total Size:

1,221,037 km2

Geographical Coordinates:

29°00′S 24°00′E

World Region or Continent:


General Terrain:

Most of South Africa’s landscape is made up of high, flat areas called plateaus. These lands are covered with rolling grasslands, called highveld, and tree-dotted plains called bushveld. To the east, south, and west of the plateau lands is a mountainous region called the Great Escarpment.

Geographical Low Point:

Sea level

Geographical High Point:



  • South Africa is largely a dry country, with most of its western regions being semi-desert. The rainfall increases in the east, and falls primarily in summer.
  • The summers are warm to hot, while the winter temperatures can vary, depending on locality from bitterly cold to cool.
  • The southern coast, part of which is known as the Garden Route, is temperate and green.
  • The Cape Peninsula and surrounds have a Mediterranean climate, with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers (becoming hotter in interior valleys).
  • The eastern section of the Karoo does not extend as far north as the western part, giving way to the flat landscape of the Free State, which – though still semi-arid – receives somewhat more rain.

Major cities:

Major Cities in South Africa
Dar es Salaam
Addis Ababa

Major Land forms:

  • Stretching latitudinally from 22°S to 35°S and longitudinally from 17°E to 33°E, South Africa’s surface area covers 1 219 602 km2.
  • Physical features range from bushveld, grasslands, forests, deserts and majestic mountain peaks, to wide unspoilt beaches and coastal wetlands.
  • The country shares common boundaries with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland, while the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho is landlocked by South African territory in the south-east.

Major Rivers and Lakes:

Longest river:

  • Orange River.

Largest lake:

  • Lake Chrissie

Natural Resources:

  • Diamonds.
  • Gold,
  • iron ore,
  • Platinum,
  • Manganese,
  • Chromium,
  • Copper,
  • Uranium,
  • Silver,
  • Beryllium, and
  • Titanium.

Major Geographical Features:

Biomes & Ecosystems:

  • Grassland
  • Savanna
  • Succulent Karoo
  • Nama Karoo
  • Forest
  • Fynbos
  • Desert
  • Thicket.


  • South Atlantic Ocean,
  • The Indian Ocean and
  • The Southern Ocean.


  • Bird Island
  • Stag Island
  • Seal Island
  • Dassen Island
  • Duiker Island

Mountain in South Africa:

List of Mountains in South Africa
Thabana Ntlenyana
Thaba Putsoa
Champagne Castle
kaNtuba Peak
Trojan Wall
kaNtuba Buttress
Yodler’s Peak I
Yodler’s Peak II
Red Wall Peak

Provinces of South Africa:

  • Eastern Cape,
  • Free State,
  • Gauteng,
  • KwaZulu-Natal,
  • Limpopo,
  • Mpumalanga,
  • Northern Cape,
  • North West and
  • Western Cape.

See Also:

World Map

Web References:

Naveed Tawargeri

Hi, I'm Naveed Tawargeri, and I'm the owner and creator of this blog. I'm a Software Developer with a passion for Programming. 

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