South Africa is a maritime nation, surrounded on all but its northern boundaries by the sea. Its geographical position at the southern tip of Africa has been a major factor determining its natural and human history as much as its climate past, present and future.
We have a strong geographic advantage for conducting research in Antarctica and the Atlantic, Indian and Southern Ocean. We are the closest African point to the South Polar region, separated from the continent of Antarctica by about 4000km of open ocean. This distance allows for a regionally unique configuration of ocean circulation to occur. South Africa as the only African nation with a foothold in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, carries a regional responsibility and obligation to serve as a channel for broader African scientific research interests in the Antarctic region. From: “Marine and Antarctic Research Strategy”
Visit the SANAP website to see current research programs of the Southern Oceans
Photo Credits: Ben van der Walt, To McSherry, Adriaan Dreyer, Alta Zietsman