Maps and facts of South Africa

Maps and facts of South Africa

Physical map of South Africa with state boundaries.  It shows the physical features of South Africa including the terrain, mountain ranges, rivers, islands and major cities.







indian ocean

atlantic ocean


South Africa, a country located in the southernmost part of Africa, shares its borders with six countries in addition to the Indian and Atlantic oceans. Namibia lies to the northwest, Botswana to the north, and Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland) to the northeast. A completely closed sovereign state, Lesotho, lies within its territory. The total area of ​​South Africa is 1,221,037 square kilometres2 (471,445 miles2).

The country’s coastal border extends for more than 2,800 kilometers (1,770 mi) along the southwestern edge of the African continent. The Indian Ocean is located to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean is located to the southwest. Where these two oceans meet, the warm Agulhas Current from the Indian Ocean mixes with the cold Benguela Current from the Atlantic Ocean, along the ecologically rich and volatile Agulhas Front.

Highlights: Table Mountain is a prominent geographical landmark in South Africa. It is a flat-topped mountain and is part of Table Mountain National Park. It overlooks the city of Cape Town on the southwest coast and attracts many visitors. In addition, an outstanding example of South Africa’s terrain and wildlife is on display in the 19,623-square-kilometre Kruger National Park.2 (7,576 mi2) A game reserve in the northeastern corner of the country.Highveld, a plateau area inland, located at an altitude of about 1,200 meters (3,937 ft). It extends to the bushveld area towards the north, which extends into the Limpopo River Basin. The Lowveld, another major geographic region, lies to the northeast of the Highveld.

Eastern Highlands It runs along the edge of the Highveld, and includes prominent mountain ranges such as the Drakensberg. These mountains include some of the highest peaks in Africa south of Kilimanjaro, reaching 3,482 meters (11,423 feet).

Western CapeAt the same time, it includes the Cape Fold Mountains, creating a series of parallel ranges that run east to west along the coast. This area is characterized by the fynbos biome, which contains a large proportion of endemic plant species.Waterbodies: In terms of bodies of water, the country has few natural lakes, but it has an extensive system of reservoirs and dams, such as the Gariep Dam on the Orange River, which is the largest in the country. In addition, the eastern coast of South Africa is dotted with estuaries, which play an essential role in local ecosystems, contribute to biodiversity and serve as nurseries for many fish species.

Many important rivers flow across the country’s area. The largest, the Orange River, extends about 2,200 km (1,367 mi), originates in the Drakensberg Mountains and meanders westward to empty into the Atlantic Ocean. Other important rivers include the Limpopo River, which serves as the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe, and the Vaal River, an important tributary of the Orange River and an essential water source for the densely populated Gauteng Province.

South Africa is not usually known for its islands; However, it has a few important ones. Robben Island, located off the coast of Cape Town, has enormous historical value as the site where Nelson Mandela and other anti-apartheid activists were imprisoned; It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Prince Edward Islands, a pair of sub-Antarctic islands in the Indian Ocean, are another notable group. Marion Island, the larger of the two islands, is the site of a meteorological and biological research station.

Map of South African provinces

South Africa is divided into nine provinces as shown in the political map above. These are the Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, and Western Cape. The provinces are further divided into metropolitan and district municipalities. The latter is divided into local municipalities. All municipalities are divided into smaller units called wards.

With an area of ​​372,889 square kilometres, the Northern Cape Province is the largest province in South Africa while Gauteng Province is the most populous province.

The country has three capitals. Pretoria, Cape Town and Bloemfontein served as the country’s executive, legislative and judicial capitals respectively. Johannesburg is the largest city in the country.

Where is South Africa located?

A map showing the location of South Africa in the world.

Europe Middle East Africa Atlantic Ocean Atlantic Ocean Mediterranean Sea Arabian Sea Indian Ocean Tropic of Capricorn Equator Prime Meridian Tropic of Cancer

The country of South Africa is located in the far south of Africa, in the southern and eastern hemispheres of the world. It is also the southernmost country in the Eastern Hemisphere. South Africa shares borders with six countries. It surrounds the enclave of Lesotho. It is bordered by Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the north. It is bordered by Mozambique and Eswatini to the east and northeast respectively. South Africa has coastlines on the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean to the south.

South Africa contiguous countries: Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini.

Regional maps: African map

Outline map of South Africa

Key facts

Legal name Republic of South Africa
Flag of South Africa
Capital Pretoria (administrative capital); Cape Town (legislative capital); Bloemfontein (judicial capital)
25 42 S, 28 13 AH
The total area 1,219,090.00 km2
Land area 1,214,470.00 km2
Water area 4,620.00 km2
population 58,558,270

Major cities

  1. Johannesburg (6,198,016)
  2. Cape Town (4,890,280)
  3. Withdrawals (4,118,327)
  4. Durban (Durban) (3,228,003)
  5. Pretoria (2,818,100)
  6. Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay) (1,295,928)
  7. West Rand (934,341)
  8. Soshanguve (892,254)
  9. Assembly (793,927)
  10. East London (City of Buffalo) (735,692)
currency Rand (ZAR)
gross domestic product $351.43 billion
GDP per capita $6,001.40

This page was last updated on July 11, 2023

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