This is the country where the wilderness becomes a reality. Who would have thought that the ride in an Ostrich is possible? This can only be done in Oudtshoorn where Ostrich farms are found in the semi desert area. If you don’t have such luck at it, you could just sit back and try the Ostrich Biltong or Pate. Complete your ultimate South Africa adventure by staying in a tree house. This is one of the unique experiences that can be gained in this country. Different houses on stilts are built amongst the trees and some even have fireplaces and Jacuzzis. How cool is that, this is the true definition of luxury in the wilderness, all of these only in South Africa.
Important and Interesting Facts about South Africa
- South Africa is located at the southern end of Africa.
- South Africa has three capital cities- Cape Town, Bloemfontein,and Pretoria.
- The deepest mine is a gold mine in South Africa. in 1977 the Western Deep Levels Mine reached a depth of 11,749 feet. Most mines descend to about 3,300 feet.
- South Africa is the only country in the world to voluntarily abandon its nuclear weapons program.
- South Africa has 19,004 miles of railway track – 80% of Africa’s rail infrastructure.
- The Tugela Falls is the second highest waterfall in the world, where the water tumbles down 2,789 feet.
- South Africa is home to the world’s smallest succulent plants (less than 0.39 inches) and the largest (the baobab tree).
- South Africa is the world’s largest producer of macadamia nuts.
- South Africa is one of the most generously endowed geographic solar hotspots in the world, soaking up just over half of the world’s highest category of solar wattage per square yard of land.
- The Karoo region is home to some of the best fossils of early dinosaurs.
- Pietermaritzburg’s city hall is the largest red brick building in the Southern Hemisphere.
- South Africa has the largest economy of any African country.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts about South Africa
- Table Mountain in Cape Town is believed to be one of the oldest mountains in the world.
- The world is divided into six floral kingdoms. All these kingdoms encompass several countries, and in some cases, several continents. South Africa, which has a floral kingdom wholly contained within the country, is the one exception. The Cape Floral Kingdom has 9,600 plant species, 70% of which are not found anywhere else in the world.
- Table Mountain alone has over 1,500 species of plants, more than the entire United Kingdom.
- South Africa is the second largest exporter of fruit in the world.
- South Africa has the longest wine route in the world.
- South Africa has a penguin colony, which thrives thanks to the cold Antarctic currents on the west coast near the Cape.
- South Africa is rated 3rd in the world in supplying safe, drinkable tap water.
- The Palace of the Lost City resort hotel is the largest theme resort hotel in the world as well as the largest building project undertaken in the southern hemisphere.
- South Africa has the cheapest electricity in the world.
- South Africa generates two-thirds of Africa’s electricity.
- Three of the five fastest land animals live in South Africa – the cheetah (63 miles per hour), the wildebeest, and the lion.
- In eastern South Africa, scientists have found traces of blue-green algae dating back 3,500 million years. This is some of the earliest evidence of life on Earth.
- South Africa has the most luxurious train in the world, The Rovos Rail.
Historical and Cultural Facts about South Africa
- When the British abolished slavery in 1834, the pattern of white legal dominance was entrenched. In the interior, after nearly annihilating the San and Khoi, Bantu-speaking peoples and European colonists opposed one another in a series of ethnic and racial wars that continued until the democratic transformation of 1994.
- Modern South Africa emerged from these conflicts. The original Cape Colony was established though conquest of the Khoi by the Dutch in the seventeenth century and of the Xhosa by the British in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
- Natal, the second colony, emerged from the destruction of the Zulu kingdom by Afrikaners and the British between 1838 and 1879.
- The ultimate unification of the country resulted from the South African War (1899–1902) between the British and the two Afrikaner republics, which reduced the country to ruin at the beginning of the twentieth century.
- Afrikaners historically considered themselves the only true South Africans and, while granting full citizenship to all residents of European descent, denied that status to people of color until the democratic transition of 1994.
- The Bantu-speaking black peoples have long regarded themselves as South African despite the attempts of the white authorities to classify them as less than full citizens or as citizens of ethnic homelands (“Bantustans”) between 1959 and 1991.
- A specialized cuisine exists only in the Cape, with its blend of Dutch, English, and Southeast Asian cooking. Food plays a central role in the family and community life of all groups except perhaps the British.
- The gift and provision of food, centering on the ritual slaughtering of livestock, are central to all rites of passage and notable occasions in black communities.
- Afrikaners and Coloured people gather at weekends and special occasions at multifamily barbecues called braais , where community bonds are strengthened.
- Pre-Christian marriage in black communities was based on polygyny and bridewealth, which involved the transfer of wealth in the form of livestock to the family of the bride in return for her productive and reproductive services in the husband’s homestead.
- Infant care is traditionally the sphere of mothers, grandmothers, and older sisters in black and Coloured communities, and females of all ages carry infants tied with blankets on their backs.