Facts about South Africa
Interesting Facts about South Africa I am sure you did not know
For a fairly small country compared to other countries around the World. South Africais the 24th-largest country in the world. It is about the same size as Colombia, twice the size of France, three times as big as Japan, four times the size of Italy and five times the size of the United Kingdom.
But we have a lot to be proud of. Here are some facts to make you want to come and experience magic South Africa
- Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world - and the largest green one. The Grand Canyon in the U.S. is the biggest, and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia the second, but both are very dry.
- The world’s best land-based whale-watching spot is located in Hermanus in the Western Cape.
- While occupying 4% of Africa’s landmass, South Africa boasts more than 40% of the cars, phones, automatic teller machines and industrial facilities on the continent.
- South Africa has the oldest meteor scar in the world, just across the Vaal River near Parys, called the Vredefort Dome. The meteor plummeted to Earth nearly two billion years ago (Earth is said to be 4, 5 billion years old), pre-dating the heady days of oxygen and multi-celled life.
- South Africa has the highest commercial bungee jumping bridge in the world at Bloukrans.
- Table Mountain alone has more flower species than England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland combined.
- South Africa has the world's most luxurious train, the Rovos Rail.
- The world’s largest diamond was the Cullinan, found in South Africa in 1905. It weighed 3,106.75 carats uncut. It was cut into the Great Star of Africa, weighing 530.2 carats, the Lesser Star of Africa, which weighs 317.40 carats, and 104 other diamonds of nearly flawless color and clarity. They now form part of the British crown jewels.
- South Africa is the top ranked gold producing country and the biggets producer of platinum in the worl and has 80% of the world’s platinum reserves.
- Vilakazi Street in Soweto, South Africa is the one street in the world to have housed two Nobel Peace Prize winners, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.
- The Tugela Falls is the second highest waterfall in the world, where the water tumbles down 850 metres. First place goes to the Angel Falls in Venezuela at 979 metres.
- South Africa is famous for its sunshine. It’s a relatively dry country, with an average annual rainfall of about 464mm (compared to a world average of about 860mm). While the Western Cape gets most of its rainfall in winter, the rest of the country is generally a summer-rainfall region.
- Cape Town’s Castle of Good Hope is the oldest building in South Africa. It was built between 1666 and 1679.
- Route 69 in South Africa is the longest stretching wine route in the world.
- South Africa has many record-breaking animals. The largest bird, the ostrich, the largest fish, whale shark, the tallest animal, the giraffe, the largest land mammal, the elephant, the fastest land mammal, the cheetah.
- The Cape Town Cycle Tour is the largest timed cycle race in the world.
- Although Pretoria is considered to be the capital of South Africa, the country actually has three capitals: Pretoria (executive), Cape Town (legislative), and Bloemfontein (judicial).
- Pretoria has the second largest number of embassies in the world after Washington DC
- There are around 3000 shipwrecks off the coast of South Africa.
- South Africa is home to the largest wine cellar in the world. The KWV cellars in Paarl cover an area of 22 hectares (54 acres) and has a capacity of 121 million litres.
- The Cango Caves near Oudtshoorn (in the Western Cape) is the world’s longest underground cave sequence.
- J.R.R. Tolkien (author of the Lord of the Rings) was born in Bloemfontein (in the Free State province) in 1892.
- Since the 1940s, South African golfers have won more majors than any other nation, apart from the United States.
- South Africa houses one of the 3 largest telescopes in the world at Sutherland in the Karoo.
- Pratley Putty was invented by South African, George Pratley in the 1960s. It was carried by the Apollo 11 Eagle landing craft to the moon and has been used to halt cracking in main supports of the Golden Gate Bridge (in San Francisco).
- South Africa’s fish migration is so huge it can be seen from space. The Sardine run’s shoals are 15 km long, 3.5 km wide and up to 40m deep.
- South Africa has the 2nd oldest film industry in the world.
- Rooibos tea is naturally caffeine-free and is only found in the Cederberg in the Western Cape province.
- The Kruger National Park supports the greatest variety of wildlife species on the African continent.
- South Africa has hosted three different types of World Cup events. Football in 2010, cricket in 2003, and rugby in 1995. It is the only country in the world other than England to have done so.
- South Africa’s Karoo Region is home to some of the world’s best fossils.
- South Africa has the 3rd highest level of biodiversity.
Please contact us to plan your dream safari to South Africa and show you some of these facts