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Top 10 interesting South Africa facts

On the southernmost tip of the African continent lies South Africa. Diverse and beautiful in every aspect, can make your holiday memorable for the rest of your life.
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South Africa has 11 official languages, almost 3000 km of coastline, it’s the 25th largest country in the world and has over 57 million people. But South Africa is most famous for its national parks where you can enjoy the perfect safari, the Kalahari Desert with star-studded desert skies and its Winelands. 

If you plan a visit to South Africa, we propose you prolong the vacation as much as possible, since with its 1,221,037 km2(471,445 sq. mi) you have plenty to see and experience. To make you travel even more interesting we have gathered some South Africa interesting facts.

#1 South Africa fact: South Africa is full of record-breaking animals.

In South Africa, you’ll find the largest land mammal (elephant), the largest bird (ostrich), the tallest animal (giraffe), the largest fish (whale shark), the largest reptile (leather-back turtle), the fastest land mammal (cheetah) and the largest antelope (eland).

Due to poaching across Africa, many wildlife has been endangered, but fortunately, wild animals in South Africa are protected in national parks and game and wildlife farms. One of the main goals of your travel can be spotting the Big Five: the lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo. They are the most loved, difficult to spot and the wild animals bringing visitors to this beautiful country.


#2 South Africa fact: In Cape Town everyone is young. 

Despite being the oldest city in South Africa, more than 40% of Western Cape’s population is below the age of 25. As per Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations Goalkeepers Report, Africa’s young population will increase by nearly 50 per cent by 2050, so this continent will have the largest number of young people.

#3 South Africa fact: There are more than 3000 shipwrecks off the South African coast, most dating back at least 500 years.

The coastline is dangerous in parts and has claimed many vessels over the centuries. Shipwrecks are from Portuguese, Dutch, English and many more explorers. The Cape of Good Hope particularly is infamously known as the "graveyard of ships"

If you have the time, visit The Kakapo Wreck at Noordhoek Beach, Cape Town. It was a 665-ton rigged steel steamship which left Cape Town harbour in 1900 for its voyage to Australia, but due to heavy rain smacked straight into the beach. Many attempts were made to pull the Kakapo back into the water, but it would not budge.


#4 South Africa fact: SA has three capital cities. 

Pretoria is the Executive Capital, Cape Town the Legislative Capital and Bloemfontein the judicial Capital. The three cities are strategically placed throughout the country, in addition, the country is divided into nine provinces, each with their own capital city.

#5 South Africa fact: South Africa has one of the oldest mountains.

Table Mountain in Cape Town is believed to be one of the oldest mountains in the world and one of the planet’s 12 main energy centres, radiating magnetic, electric or spiritual energy.

This flat-top mountain is overlooking the city of Cape Town and there are numerous ways to get there. You can drive up with your rental car and then use the Cableway or you can try many public transport options such as City Sightseeing bus or local taxi services.

We propose you plan a visit in the afternoon when the Cableway is generally quieter and there are fewer visitors. Of course, it is also the perfect spot to view a truly spectacular sunset.


#6 South Africa fact: South Africa is extremely rich in mining and minerals.

South Africa is considered the world’s leader with nearly 90% of all the platinum metals on earth and around 41% of all the world’s Gold. The first diamond was discovered in 1867 in Hopetown and from then on mining in South Africa has been one of the biggest contributors to the country’s economy.

#7 South Africa fact: South Africa has the longest wine route in the world.

Wine lovers will enjoy the holidays in South Africa and can pamper their taste buds with wines from 560 wineries and 4400 producers. 

Route 62 in the Cape Winelands is a tourist route between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn, the Langkloof and Port Elizabeth. It offers magnificent landscapes with majestic mountains, scenic passes, vineyards and orchards and many attractions to make your holidays an unforgettable adventure. You can visit wineries and game reserves, enjoy cultural tours or experience mountain climbing, canoeing, ostrich riding and many more.


#8 South Africa fact: South Africa has the highest commercial bungee jump in the world. 

The highest commercial bungee jump in the world with its 709 feet (216 metres) is Bloukrans Bridge Bungee above the Bloukrans River at the border between Eastern Cape and the Western Cape in the Tsitsikamma area. Since if its extreme height a full-body harness is used instead of the traditional ankle harness. If you are the adventurous type don’t miss the jump!

#9 South Africa fact: South Africa has another country within its borders.

The mountainous kingdom of Lesotho nestled in the Drakensberg is also known as the “Kingdom of the Sky” and it is the only country in the world to lie entirely over 1,000m above the sea level. The Kingdom has tall mountains and narrow valleys and is best known as the source of South Africa’s two largest rivers – Tugela and Orange.

#10 South Africa fact: Bo-Kaap in Cape Town is one of the most colourful neighbourhoods in South Africa.

At the foot of Signal Hill in the 1760s, numerous “huurhuisjes” (rental houses) were leased to Muslim slaves. All the houses had to be white. When this rule was eventually lifted, and the slaves could buy the properties, all the houses were painted in bright colours by their owners as an expression of their freedom.

While you are there you can visit the Bo-Kaap Museum or just wander along Wale Street and explore the mosques, craft markets or discover the delicious Cape Malay cooking style. The perfect colourful scenery offers many photographic opportunities so a visit to the Bo-Kaap should be on everyone’s bucket list!


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