South Africa, Africa's southernmost nation, is also Africa's largest and most developed economy. Its premier city, Johannesburg, and its satellite cities are home to more than eight million peoplegenerating 9 percent of all economic activity in Africa.
South Africa is a democratic country representing all its diverse peopleoften called the rainbow nation. The government recognizes 11 official languages.
Area: 470,693 square miles (1,219,090 square kilometers)
Capital: Pretoria (administrative capital), Bloemfontein (judicial capital), Cape Town (legislative capital)
Religion: Christian, indigenous beliefs, Muslim, Hindu
Languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Life Expectancy: 53
GDP per capita: the equivalent of U.S. $10,000
Economy: mining, automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, agriculture
Exports: gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment
Adapted from the National Geographic Atlas of the World
South Africa Photo Galleries
South Africa News Stories
S. Africa Weighs Killing "Excess" Elephants in Parks
Rare Two-Headed Tortoise Found in South Africa
Chinese Tigers Learn Hunting, Survival Skills in Africa
Has Rare Lion of Africa's Cape Eluded Extinction?
"Killer Bee" Touted as Economic Lifesaver in S. Africa
Cross-Border Park Is Africa's Largest Wildlife Refuge
African Air Base Loses Cheetah "Watchdog"
Africa's New Safari Trend Is for the Birds
Time Running Out for Exotic Tahrs in Cape Town
Gamblers Fuel Trade in "Lucky" Vulture Heads in Africa
Crocodile, Scientist "Communicate" by Mobile Phone
Hunters Pay to Tranquilize Game for Research
On the Trail of Africa's Endangered Wild Dogs
Tiny Bugs Enlisted to Fight Invading Water Hyacinths
Grasshoppers Used to Fight "Worst Water Weed"
Model Jerry Hall's Albatross Wins the Big Bird Race
Killer Cats Hunted Human Ancestors
Wild Dog Urine May Be Used as "Fences" in Africa
Cheetah Conservation Hopes Fall on "Ambassador" Cat
Rare Leopard Behavior Documented on Film
Meerkats Become Fat Cats in Large Cooperatives
South Africa Sardine Migration Draws Crowds
Poaching, Smuggling Threaten Abalone in S. Africa
Africa's Penguins Still Reeling From "Guano Craze"
Photographing Africa's "Flying Sharks"
Tags Hobble Penguins, Some Researchers Contend
Satellites Spy on Lives of Great White Sharks
Underwater Photographer On Swimming With Sharks
Penguin Tags Are a DragCan Rubber Improve Them?
Satellite Tags Keep Track of Great White Sharks
Rotten-Egg Gas Suffocating Fish Off African Coast
Swimming With Sharks Photo Gallery 1
Swimming With Sharks Photo Gallery 2
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