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South African Geography

Geography of South Africa brought to you by Conference Venues South Africa including South Africa's climate, location, topography, mountain ranges and weather.

geography south africa

South Africa is located at the southernmost part of Africa with a coastline that stretches over 2,500 (km). The South African coast is surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian oceans and at 1 219 912 (km2),  South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world. South Africa has a temperate climate being surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and by its location in the climatically milder southern hemisphere.

A great variety of climatic zones exists in South Africa, with its varied topography and oceanic influence, from the desert of the Namib to the lush subtropical climate in the eastern regions. The landscape rises over a mountainous escarpment towards the interior known as the Highveld; the interior of South Africa is a vast, flat scrubland. The extreme southwest of South Africa has a climate similar to the Mediterranean with wet winters and dry summers. This area hosts the famous Fynbos Biome and produces much of the wine in South Africa. On the southern coast of the country rainfall is distributed evenly throughout the year, producing a green landscape, also popularly known as the Garden Route.

The Free State is remarkably flat as it lies centrally on the plateau. The Highveld is better watered and seldom experiences subtropical extremes of heat. The centre of the Highveld at 1 740 (m) receives an annual rainfall of 760 mm and winters in this region are cold, but snow is rare.

Beyond the escarpment of the Highveld is the lower lying Bushveld area which has a host of wildlife. The Lowveld stretches towards the Indian Ocean in the east with particularly high temperatures and is also the location of extended subtropical agriculture.

Situated in the western Roggeveld Mountains of the Western Cape, Sutherland is the coldest place in South Africa. Midwinter temperatures in Sutherland can reach as low as −15 °C. The hottest temperature in South Africa of 51.7 °C  was recorded in the Northern Cape Kalahari near Upington in 1948.

South Africa also possesses the small sub-Antarctic islands of Marion Island and Prince Edward Island.

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