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Working in Africa

27 April 2005
Working in Africa

South Africa

The diversity of possible locations in South Africa is huge, ranging from the harbour of Cape Town and the vineyards of the Garden Route to the wilderness of the safari camps near the Kruger National Park.

To work surrounded by lions and elephants may sound like your dream, but remember that South Africa has an educated population of its own, so don't expect there to be a huge number of openings.

Upsides

  • Having to cope in a safari camp where resources are not always at an optimum would teach you more about yourself than any training course - your CV would certainly benefit from what you learn
  • South Africa is a fascinating country - to be a witness as it reinvents itself would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience
  • The weather is going to be a bonus for most, as it's certainly warmer than in the UK
  • It has the added bonus of being close to the same time zone as the UK, so phoning home isn't so difficult.

Downsides

  • Security is an issue to be aware of in South Africa, so research where you would like to go and get hard facts on the living conditions there
  • A safari posting would not suit everyone - know your own limitations
  • Although it is a rich country, South Africa still has intense belts of poverty, so be prepared to see shanty towns as well as skyscrapers.

General facts

Official name: Republic of South Africa
Population: 47,556,900
Capital: Pretoria (population: 1.5 million). Cape Town (pop: 3.2 million) is the legislative center, and Bloemfontein (350,000) is the judicial centre.
Currency: Rand
Languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu - all (official)
Religions: Christian (68%), others
Land area: 1,221,040 sq km (471,443 sq miles)
Climate: summers in South Africa are known to be quite hot, especially in the southern coastal areas, while inland, at the higher elevations, temperatures do moderate. Winters are generally mild countrywide, with some snow in the hills and mountains. The seasons are the reverse of those in Europe.

Where to find out more

Official country site: www.southafrica.com/
Government site: www.parliament.gov.za/
Travel site: www.southafrica.net/index.cfm
South Africa government info working: www.safrica.info/

Relocation company: www.southafricamigration.com
Jobs in Africa: www.africaguide.com/work.htm

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