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The oceans


South Africa’s biggest neighbours are the Atlantic and Indian oceans, which meet at the south­ western corner of the continent. The warm Agulhas current skirts the east and south coasts as far as Cape Agulhas, while the cold Benguela current flows northwards along the west coast as far as southern Angola. The contrast in temperature between these two currents partly accounts for significant differences in climate and vegetation between the east and west coasts of the country. It also accounts for the differences in marine life, the cold waters of the west coast being much richer in oxygen, nitrates, phosphates and plankton than those of the east coast.

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