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South Africa

Rainbow Nation

The Republic of South Africa lies at the southern tip of the vast African continent, flanked by the Indian Ocean to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. South Africa's area is one-eighth the size of the United States and more than five times larger than Great Britain. The various population groups of South Africa have combined to create a society of diverse historical and cultural backgrounds, which has often been described as a fascinating ethnic mosaic.

The Struggle Against Apartheid

Apartheid policies were born in 1948 when the National Party won elections. The government embarked on a policy of racial segregation and separate development that literally tore apart the very fabric of South African society. Anti-apartheid structures both within and outside of South Africa began to gather momentum and reached a peak in the late 1980's and early 1990's. These culminated in Nelson Mandela being released from 27 years imprisonment and the first truly democratic elections in 1994. A wealth of cultural diversity African Angel tours are all designed to give the traveller a deeper insight into the way South Africa's diverse cultures co-exist. Locals take travellers into the heart of some of these communities, to experience their customs and ways of life.

Origin of Man

From fossil remains, it is believed that early man in South Africa evolved in isolation from other prehistoric populations to the North. By the year 7000AD, there were two primary groups in southern Africa - the Negroid, who later be known as the Bantu's, and the Capons, who were subsequently named Hottentots and Bushmen.

Africa Visited by the West

Various migrating African tribes inhabited the tip of Africa. The first westerner-Bartholomew Dias-landed at the Cape of Good Hope accidentally whilst trying to find a short cut to the East for the lucrative spice trade. It was not until 1652 that the first Dutch settlers arrived to live in South Africa. 1688 saw the migration of French refugees, followed by an influx of British settlers in 1820.

When diamonds and gold were discovered in the late 1800's, masses of fortune hunters - mainly from Britain - poured into South Africa. They would later fight the three-year Anglo Boer war, which ended in victory for the British, and the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910. The indigenous people were marginalized from any powers of government.

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is a country located at the southern tip of Africa. It is divided into nine provinces, with 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline[8][9] on the Atlantic and Indian oceans.[10] To the north of the country lie the neighbouring territories of Namibia,Botswana and Zimbabwe; to the east are Mozambique and Swaziland; while Lesotho is an enclave surrounded by South African territory.[11]

South Africa is multi-ethnic and has diverse cultures and languages. Eleven official languages are recognised in the constitution.[10] Two of these languages are of European origin: South African English and Afrikaans, a language which originated mainly from Dutch that is spoken by the majority ofwhite and Coloured South Africans. Though English is commonly used in public and commercial life, it is only the fifth most-spoken home language.[10] All ethnic and language groups have political representation in the country's constitutional democracy comprising a parliamentary republic; unlike most parliamentary republics, the positions of head of state and head of government are merged in a parliament-dependent President.

About 79.5% of the South African population is of black African ancestry,[4] divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages, nine of which have official status.[10] South Africa also contains the largest communities of European, Asian, and racially mixed ancestry in Africa.
Today South Africa enjoys a relatively stable mixed economy that draws on its fertile agricultural lands, abundant mineral resources, tourist attractions, and highly evolved intellectual capital. Greater political equality and economic stability, however, do not necessarily mean social tranquility. South African society at the start of the 21st century continued to face steep challenges: high crime rates, ethnic tensions, great disparities in housing and educational opportunities, and the AIDS pandemic. It is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank, one of only four countries in Africa in this category (the others being Botswana, Gabon and Mauritius).[12] It has the largest economy in Africa, and the 28th-largest in the world.[13] About a quarter of the population is unemployed[14] and lives on less than US $1.25 a day.[15]

Google map of South Africa

World heritage sites

South Africa has eight world heritage sites, namely:

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Santa Monica College Students
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From the epic views of Table Mountain to the bustling streets below, Cape Town welcomes you.

See the big five and touch the soul of the African Wilderness.

Move beyond the bus window experience and connect with the people of South Africa.
Meet the proud Zulu, and Xhosa Nation.

African Angel Tours acts as an intermediary
to assist community-based micro-enterprises
Promoting responsible and sustainable tourism in South Africa

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