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South Africa

South Africa, situated at the southern tip of Africa, is 1,219,090 km2 in size (1,214,470 km2 of land and 4,620 km2 of water) and has 2,798 km of coastline. Most of the country is semi-arid and, in conjunction with a lack of arterial rivers and lakes, water conservation is a major issue. The rural population in South Africa is 39% of the total population, with an urbanisation rate of only 4.1%. South Africa is a culturally diverse country with many ethnic groups, religions and 11 national languages. It is also highly biologically diverse and is in fact the third most biologically diverse country in the world, comprising of Mediterranean-type, arid, alpine and tropical environments. South Africa has a vast number of species, many of which are endemic, and is also home to the Cape Floral Kingdom, one of the world’s top 25 ‘biodiversity hotspots’.