South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is the Southernmost country in Africa.
It is bounded, on the South, by 2,800 km (1,750 mls) of coastline along the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and bordered by Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
South Africa has several distinct areas:
Kruger National Park is populated by big game.
The Western Cape has vineyards, the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Town (beneath Table Mountain).
The story of South Africa diamond begins in 1866 and when 15 year old Erasmus Jacobs found a transparent rock on his father’s farm, on the the Orange River bank. Over the next few years, South Africa yielded more diamond than India had in over 2,000 years.
The 5 Cs of diamond are carat, colour, clarity, cut and certificate.
Carat is the size of the diamond, which can have a major effect on the price. A 1 carat white diamond is around four times as expensive as a 1/2 carat white diamond.
The colour of a white diamond is graded D to G - the GIA scale starts with the letter D.
Clarity refers to how pure the stone is.
Only standard round brilliant diamonds come with a cut grade. Cut represents a diamond’s ability to reflect light. The lower the cut grade, the less the diamond will sparkle.
Because most of the water is extracted from dried fruits, their nutrients are condensed into a small package. Dried fruits like apricots, raisins, prunes and figs contain high amounts of beta carotene, vitamin E, niacin, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium.
Rooibos (Red Bush) is not a true tea, but a herb. It is grown high in an area 200 km north of Cape Town, South Africa, in the Cedarberg Mountains.
The brew made from the dried Rooibos leaves is, therefore, a herbal infusion rather than a tea, but is widely known as Rooibos tea.
Rooibos has a distinctive colour, flavour and aroma, which differentiates it from most other teas. The flavour can be described as slightly sweet and fruity.
The vibrant amber colour of Rooibos comes from the natural colour that develops during the post-harvest "fermentation" (oxidation) process, brought about by natural enzymes in the plant.
Rooibos ages well and can be stored for long periods without any deterioration in quality, flavour and taste.
Rooibos is a pure and natural product as it contains no colourants, additives or preservatives.
Unlike black and green teas, Rooibos is naturally caffeine free (not decaffeinated) and therefore suitable for children, infants and breast-feeding mothers.
The first record of South African wine is on the 2nd Feb 1659, So the wine industry in South Africa is best summarised as 'the old new world'.
Cape Point is where two oceans meet – the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean on the West and the warmer Indian Ocean waters on the East. The Western Cape is therefore cooler than its position might suggest, with conditions that are ideal for a wide range of noble vine varieties. The traditional wine growing areas along the coastal zone are seldom more than 50 km from the ocean and experience beneficial breezes blowing in from the sea.
Visitors take advantage of the stunning climate, natural attractions and game reserves with their huge variety of wildlife.
Best known are the mammals, and the best known of these are the famous Big Five: elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo.
The white rhino has also been brought back from the brink of extinction, attention now is on protecting the black rhino.
Lion now remains almost exclusively in conservation areas. The beautiful leopard survives in a larger area, although numbers are small in some places. The cheetah is the speed champ, capable of almost 100 kph. Its population is comparatively small and confined mostly to the far north.
Other African large animals are the hippo, giraffe, kudu, wildebeest (the famous gnu), zebra and the wild dog or Cape hunting dog which require vast territories.
Birders from around the world come to South Africa to experience the country’s great variety of African birds. Of the 850 species that have been recorded, about 725 are resident or annual visitors.
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