South Africa

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South Africa, on Africa's southern tip, is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and by the Indian Ocean on the south and east. Its neighbours are Namibia in the northwest, Zimbabwe and Botswana in the north, and Mozambique and Swaziland in the northeast. The kingdom of Lesotho forms an enclave within the southeast part of South Africa, which occupies an area nearly three times that of California.

Chris Geary visiting Cape Town
Photo: Chris Geary

South Africa in 1996 was the first country to adopt a constitution that protects people from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Under its terms, the Constitutional Court ordered the government to legalise same sex marriage by year end.

Partly as a result, the country has the most open gay community on a continent where homosexuality is usually driven underground and portrayed as un-African - an unwanted legacy of colonialism and white culture.

Cape Town South Africa 

The climate in South Africa is typically warm and dry, with winter temperatures rarely falling below 0°C, and summer maxima frequently above 35°C. The average annual rainfall is approximately 500mm (considerably less than the world average of 860mm). Most of the central and eastern parts of the country enjoy summer rainfall, whilst the western side of the country is the winter rainfall region.

South Africa - Map
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