The South African coast stretches 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) and borders both the Atlantic and Indian oceans.
Modern human beings have inhabited South Africa for more than 100,000 years.
European settlement expanded during the 1820s as the Boers (original Dutch, Flemish, German and French settlers) and the British 1820 Settlers claimed land in the north and east of the country. The discovery of diamonds and gold triggered the conflict known as the Anglo-Boer War as the Boers and the British fought for the control of the South African mineral wealth.
Under colonial rule and subsequent South African governments, institutionalized segregation known as apartheid was legalized in 1948. In 1990 the then president F.W. de Klerk began to dismantle this cruelty, and in 1994 the first democratic election was held in South Africa bringing Nelson Mandela and the African National Congressto power.
Subsequently a new constitution was written that forbade discrimination of any type, including sexual orientation; it was the first-ever constitution to protect gays.