What comes to mind when you think of South Africa? Amazing African animals, such as elephants or lions? Nelson Mandela? Or perhaps diamonds and gold? South Africa is famous for all these things and more. Its difficult political history, in particular the years of apartheid, has cast a shadow over what is one of the most interesting countries in the world.
South Africa lies at the bottom of Africa. It is over seven times the size of California. The Prince Edward Islands in the southern Indian Ocean also belong to the country. South Africa shares a border with Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, and Swaziland. The Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean meet at the southernmost tip of the country.
People have lived in South Africa for thousands of years. Fossils of the earliest humans have been found there. It has the biggest economy in Africa, and its people come from a range of backgrounds. This is shown by the fact that the country has 11 official languages!
Variety and tradition South Africa is a great attraction for tourists who want to experience the variety of geographical landscapes and learn more about the traditional African way of life. However, it is also a country that is still trying to improve the lives of the many South Africans who suffered during apartheid.
Scientists agree that the earliest modern humans existed in South Africa 100,000 to 200.000 years ago. Early communities that lived in South Africa included the San, who were hunter-gatherers, and the Khoikhoi, who were animal herders. From about the 3rd century cr, they began to trade with people who brought new ideas about agriculture.
The Europeans arrive In the mid-1600s, the Dutch East India Company set up what is now Cape town and traded with the Khoikhol. By the 1700s, the Dutch descendants—called trekboers or Boers (later called Afrikaners)—were independent farmers. Gradually, the Africans lost their lands and were forced to become servants.
After the British took over the Cape area in 1806, the Boers moved farther north, as part of what became known as the Great Trek. They eventually set up :w .•i republics. t ailed the Transvaal and the Orange Free State.
(ABOUT 1787-1828) Shaka kaSenzangakhona was a Zulu leader. He brought many neighboring groups into his Zulu kingdom through conquest and assimilation. Shaka came to power by staging a takeover after the death of his father. He was eventually killed by his half-brother. In 1830 the Zulu nation formed the most powerful independent African kingdom in southern Africa.
Diamonds and gold
The discovery of diamonds in 1867 and gold in 1886 changed South Africa’s economy hugely. this once-agricultural country changed to one based on industry and trade. At first, people flocked to South Africa to make their fortunes from the diamond and gold mines. Eventually, all the mines were bought up by large companies.