Language: There are 11 official languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Xhosa, Zulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Swati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga.

Climate: Most of the country has warm, sunny days and cool nights. Rainfall generally occurs during the summer (November-March), although in the southwest, around Cape Town, rainfall occurs in winter (June-August). Temperatures are influenced by variations in elevation, terrain and ocean currents more than latitude.

Time Zone: SAST — South Africa Standard Time

International phone code: 27

Currency: Rand (ZAR)

Capital: Pretoria (administrative), Cape Town (legislative) and Bloemfontein (judicial).

Transportation: South Africa has 10 international airports, the two major ones being Cape Town International and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. There are multiple daily flights to all the major airports within the country. Contact any of the airlines for details. The low-cost airlines 1 Time, Kulula and Mango are usually the cheapest and prices can be compared online. Most of the larger cruise lines, such as Princess Cruises, offer Cape Town as one of their destinations. Renting a car is fairly easy and bookings can be made online and in all major cities. Most rental fleets in South Africa largely have manual transmissions. There are scheduled bus services between Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and other cities (with stops in between), as well as connections to neighbouring countries. The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa is the national rail operator. There are budget passenger services between major South African cities as well as luxury services between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

Gay South Africa

South Africa's rich and volatile history has resulted in a post-apartheid constitution that is one of the most liberal in the world. They were the fifth country internationally (and the first in Africa) to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.

With an officially recognized Gay Flag, South Africa should be a bastion of tolerance. At least in theory. In practice, however, social acceptance is generally lacking outside the more cosmopolitan and gay-friendly areas of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

Cape Town, with its white sandy beaches and mild climate, is the most popular gay destination. Regarded as the gay capital of Africa, the city hosts the Cape Town Pride festival in February, the Mother City Queer Costume Party in December, and the Out in Africa Film Festival in September/October every year. De Waterkant — the area alongside the city centre and en route to the Green Point Stadium — is referred to as the Pink Village with a high concentration of guest houses, hotels, pubs and clubs.