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South Africa

South Africa

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South Africa

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  1. South Africa Official name Republic of South Africa (English) Form of government multiparty republic with two legislative houses (National Council of Provinces [90]; National Assembly [400]) Head of state and government President • Capitals (de facto) Pretoria/Tshwane(1)(executive); Bloemfontein/Mangaung(1) (judicial); Cape Town (legislative) • Official languages (2) • Official religion none

  2. South AfricaThe Kruger National Park

  3. Plant and animal life • Natural vegetation varies from savanna (parklike grassland) in the Bushveld and Lowveld of Mpumalanga and Northern provinces through grassland with fewer trees in the Highveld to scrub and scattered bush in the Karoo and drier western areas. Western Cape has a distinct vegetation of grasses, shrubs, and trees able to withstand the long, dry summers and is the home of many of South Africa's 20,000 species of flowering plants. The eastern coast has a more tropical plant life. Natural forest is limited to mountainous valleys along the Great Escarpment and a few other favoured localities, in particular the Knysna area of the southern coast.

  4. Animals • South Africa has a rich and varied mammal life, with more than 200 species, including large animals such as lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, baboons, and many kinds of antelope. Smaller creatures include mongooses, jackals, and various cats. However, the numbers of animals declined greatly during the expansion of white settlement in the 18th and 19th centuries, and today large indigenous mammals occur mainly in wildlife reserves, of which Kruger National Park is the best known. There are more than 800 species of birds, many species of reptiles, including more than 100 snake species (of which one-quarter are poisonous), and an extraordinary diversity of insects.

  5. Modal verbs