Languages in South Africa

Languages in South Africa South Africa is a linguistically diverse nation with 11 official languages, more than any other country, and several other minor regional tongues. The most numerically significant language is isiZulu, which is the mother tongue of roughly 22.5% of South Africans, follows by IsiXhosa (16%) and Dutch-based Afrikaans (13.5%).

English, the first language of 9.5% of South Africans, is the lingua franca of the tourist industry and will be spoken to a high to middling standard by practically all waiters, bartenders, shop assistants and staff of hotel and other tourist-oriented institutions.

The other official languages are SeSotho, Sepedi (also known as North SeSotho), IsiNdebele, Tshivenda, Setswana, Xitsonga and siSwati.


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LGBT safari holidays in South Africa

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The Garden Route

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Popular South Africa Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

Stunning view from the Rovos Rail | Luxury South Africa (SA 11 days)

Luxury South Africa

Combine Cape Town chic with Africa's most luxurious train and an elegant Big Five safari for a stylish South African holiday...

 | Cape Town & Kruger Family Safari (SA 8 days)

Cape Town and Kruger family safari

Combine the best that Cape Town and the Kruger National Park have to offer – beach and bush – for the ideal family holiday...

 | Sabi Sands & Madikwe Combo

Sabi Sands & Madikwe Combo

Our selection of South Africa's top safari lodges and game reserves are guaranteed to suit every taste and budget. Consider this exciting safari package...

Mountain Walk | Deluxe Victoria Falls, Cape Town and Hermanus Odyssey

Deluxe Victoria Falls, Cape Town and Hermanus Odyssey

Experience a safari adventure that combines the very best of Victoria Falls with the undeniable highlights of Cape Town and the Whale Coast....

 | Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa safari

Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa safari

This Southern Africa safari adventure will take you to the tip of the African continent...

 | 5 Day Greater Kruger & Sabi Sands safari

5 Day Greater Kruger & Sabi Sands safari

Enjoy an authentic African safari. Game viewing possibilities are unparalleled and include the Big Five in the Sabi Sands and white lions in the Timbavati Nature Reserve....

Elephant on Game Drive | Cape Town & Kruger Luxury Safari

Cape Town and Kruger Luxury Safari

Combine Cape Town and the surrounding Cape Winelands with a safari in the Kruger National Park for a relaxing and exhilarating South African safari...

 | Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve and Okavango Delta safari

Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve and Okavango Delta Safari

Explore the famous reserve that offers exceptional game viewing and sight the elusive Sitatunga antelope...

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Experience the Cape and Garden Route in a thrilling motorcycle safari ...

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South Africa and Botswana safari

Experience the best of two of southern Africa's gems ...