South Africa has nine provinces, which vary considerably in size. The smallest is tiny and crowded Gauteng, a highly urbanised region, and the largest the vast, arid and empty Northern Cape, which takes up almost a third of South Africa’s total land area.

Eastern Cape
Free State
Northern Cape
North West
Western Cape

Each province has its own Legislature, Premier and Executive Council. The country has common boundaries with Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, while Mozambique and Swaziland lie to the north-east. Completely enclosed by South African territory in the south-east is the mountain kingdom of Lesotho

South Africa has three capitals:

  • Cape Town, in the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality, Western Cape, is the legislative capital and is where the country’s Parliament is found.
  • Bloemfontein, in Mangaung metropolitan municipality, Free State, is the judicial capital and home to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
  • Pretoria, in the City of Tshwane metropolitan municipality, Gauteng, is the administrative capital, and the ultimate capital of the country. It is home to the Union Buildings and a large proportion of the public service.


South Africa’s provinces

South Africa has been aptly described as a microcosm of the world, a place where civilisations meet. With its spectacular views, stunning wildlife and unbeatable biodiversity in contrast with its bustling modern cities, and vibrant economy, South Africa is often described as “A world in one country.”

The country has more than 290 conservation parks. It is home to almost 300 mammal species, and about 860 bird species, and 8 000 plant species.

The annual sardine run is the biggest migration on the planet.

There are eight World Heritage Sites and seven different biomes. It is considered the cradle of humankind and boasts 40% of all hominid finds on Earth. The country has a lot to offer in the form of places of interest and varying forms of amusement