Area: 1,221,037 km2 (471,445 sq miles)
Capital City: Cape Town
Population: 55,653,654 (2016 census)
Official Languages: Afrikaans, North Sotho, English, Southern Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Boarding Countries: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho
Coastline: 2,798 km (1,739 miles)
Currency: South African Rand (ZAR)
Government: Parliamentary Constitutional Republic
South Africa lies almost wholly within the southern temperate zone. The average daily minimum temperature at Durban, on the east coast, ranges from 11°c (52°f) in July to 21°c (70°f) in February; on the west coast, at Port Nolloth, the range is from 7°c (45°f) to 12°c (54°f) during the corresponding months. Temperatures are cooler in the highlands: at Johannesburg, the average daily minimum is 4°c (39°f) in June and July and 14°c (57°f) in January.
Rainfall is unpredictable in large parts of the country, and prolonged droughts are a serious restriction on farming in such areas. While the mean annual rainfall is 46 cm (18 in), 21% of the country receives less than 20 cm (8 in) and 31% gets more than 60 cm (24 in). Much of South Africa gets its rain in the summer months, but the western coastal belt is a winter rain area. Along the Cape south coast, rain falls during both seasons.