South Africa - what to expect

Advice to help you settle smoothly

In South Africa, one can experience a multitude of environments all in one country - from beaches for sunbathing, swimming and surfing; to bushveld, a sub-tropical woodland unique to South Africa, for tracking the Big Five; to tropical wetlands; and ranges of mountains for hiking.

When faced with the prospect of relocating to South Africa, foreigners often wonder what to expect and resort to the Internet for information.They often wonder whether South Africans have proper medical care or if drinking the water is safe. The good news is that we do have all of the above and, usually, more than what an average European is used to as a standard of life.

Key facts

Area: 1,221,037sq metres (the size of Germany, France and Italy together)
Coastline: 3,000 kms long
Biggest cities: Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban
Population: 45 million
Most common languages: English, Xhosa and Zulu
Most common religion: Christianity
Provinces: Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Free State, North-West, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Kwa-Zulu Natal
President: Jacob Zuma
Main economic sectors: Mining, manufacturing, financial services, motor industry and tourism
Climate: Moderate. Summer rainfall area, except in Western Cape
Summer: October to April
Winter: May to August
Best time to visit: Sept/Oct and Apr/May
Currency: Rand. 100 cents = R1.00
Time: GMT + 2


Domestic worker



This article has been submitted by Marussia van der Merwe, Stepping South Relocation and Immigration Services © 2003-2021 Just Landed