Christian 68% (includes most Whites and Coloured, and about 60% of Blacks), Muslim 2% (includes most Malays, 40% of Indians and some immigrants from Africa), Hindu 1.5% (60% of Indians), indigenous beliefs, animist, other religions and people without religion 28.5% South Africa is located at the southern tip of Africa.
It is bordered by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho (which is completely surrounded by South Africa).
South Africa has the strongest economy in Africa, and is an influential player in African politics.
In 2010, South Africa hosted the first Football World Cup to be held on the African continent.
If you want to travel in southern Africa then South Africa is a good place to start.
While you can fly into any country in southern Africa, most flights will route through South Africa anyway.
The process of recovering from apartheid, which lasted almost 46 years, is quite slow.
In fact, South Africa's United Nations Human Development Index which was slowly improving in the final years of apartheid, has declined dramatically since 1996, largely due to the AIDS pandemic, and poverty levels appear to be on the increase.
South Africa boasts a well-developed infrastructure and has all the modern amenities and technologies, much of it developed during the years of white minority rule.
The government is stable, although corruption is common.
South Africa is also a good place to get used to travelling in the region (though some would argue that Namibia is better for that).