Each of South Africa’s nine provinces contains a great history and heritage that has resulted in the vibrant, multicultural country that exists today. There is so much to do in South Africa that a single visit is just never enough. Scores of foreigners have fell in love with the place and keep coming back for more!
Before we go any further, let’s look at what a South African province is. An easy way would be to look at it as a state, much like those in America or Australia. Provinces are a term derived from the Roman Empire and as a result, it was used to describe segments of lands that British colonies own. Post-independence, America renamed its sections of lands as States, while Canada kept the term “province”. South Africa remained a British colony much longer so the term “province” as well as the basic law structure and metric system stuck. Yes, South Africa is all about centimeters, kilometers, kilograms and degrees Celsius!
South African Provinces
South Africa’s nine provinces are roughly named according to the area they fall within the country. The nine provinces of South Africa are:
- Western Cape
- Free State
- Northern Cape
- North West Province
- Eastern Cape
As you can see with the image above, the Western Cape is located to the left of South Africa toward the bottom. The Northern Cape is above it. The Eastern Cape lies on the east coast of South Africa below KwaZulu-Natal. Gauteng, Mpumalanga, the North West Province, the Free State and Limpopo are landlocked provinces but far from lacking in fauna as well as in great nature reserves.
While Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa it accounts for the majority of the country’s GDP and hosts branches of thousands of large multinational companies.
When it comes to tourism however, The Western Cape and its capital city, Cape Town, brings in the money. KwaZulu-Natal’s beaches are also attractive to tourists, especially the Durban, Umhlanga and Ballito areas. Durban is well known for having the largest concentration of Indian people outside of India, similar to the UK. As a result, the province is blessed with unique Indian cuisine that is produced to various levels of pungency according to the taste buds of locals and travellers alike.
The North West Province has the major towns of Rustenburg and Klerksdorp as well as towns with caravanning destinations like Orkney.
The Northern Cape is the largest province that has the smallest population of around 1,166,700 people. It has Kimberly, which has the famous diamond mines that ironically continue to make European companies that once colonised the land wealthy.
There is a great of information on this site about each Province which are listed in the menu above. Have fun browsing and we do hope you enjoy.