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 Interesting Facts about South Africa


South African records

  1. South Africa is a home to one of the 3 largest telescopes in the world at Sutherland in the Karoo.
  2. South Africa is the first and to date the only country to build nuclear weapons, and to voluntarily dismantle its entire nuclear weapons programme.
  3. Drawing from experiences of the world’s most advanced democracies, The South African Constitution is broadly regarded as being one of the most progressive in the world.
  4. The very first world’s heart transplant was done in South Africa on the 3rd December 1967, performed on Louis Washkanksy at the Groot Schuur Hospital in Cape Town by Dr. Christiaan Barnard, and he was the first to do a heart-lung transplant.
  5. The Karoo region in the Western Cape is home to some of the best fossils of early dinosaurs, it is estimated that 80% of the fossils found to date were found in the Karoo.
  6. By far South Africa is the sole producer of the Mercedes Benz C Class, right-hand drive vehicles.
  7. General Motors South Africa is the only manufacture of the Hummer H3 vehicle outside of the United States.
  8. South Africa has the oldest meteor scar in the world, just across the Vaal River near Parys, called the Vredefort Dome. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  9. The world's largest diamond was the Cullinan Diamond, 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 colour and clarity. They now form part of the British crown jewels.
  10. The oldest remains of modern humans were found in Klasies River Cave in the Eastern Cape. They are well over 100,000 years old.
interesting facts about south africa

Sports

  1. Since the 1940s, South African golfers have won more majors than any other nation, apart from the United States.
  2. South Africa stage the largest timed cycle race in the world (the Cape Argus), the world’s oldest and largest ultra-marathon (the Comrades) and the world’s largest open water swimming event (the Midmar Mile).
  3. South Africa became the very first African country to host the Soccer World Cup in 2010, and only the 2nd country in the world to have hosted the Cricket, Rugby and Soccer World Cups.
  4. After so many years banned by FIFA, the South African soccer team won the African Cup of Nations in 1996, just two years after the banning was withdrawn.
  5. The South African rugby team won the 1995 and 2007 Rugby World Cup edition.
  6. Rolene Strauss, a South African was crowned Miss World 2014 in the 65th edition of the Miss World pageant.

Tourism

  1. The world’s best land-based whale-watching spot is located in Hermanus in South Africa, the Western Cape.
  2. In 2002, South Africa was the world’s fastest growing tourist destination. In 2006, South Africa’s tourism grew at 3 times the global average.
  3. South Africa’s Singita game reserve was voted the best hotel in the world by the readers of a leading travel magazine. (Conde Nast Traveller)
  4. The highest commercial bungi jump in the world (710 feet) is found in South Africa.

Economy

  1. South Africa is extremely rich in mining and minerals, and considered the world’s leader with nearly 90% of all the platinum metals on earth and the top ranked gold producing country producing around 41% of all worlds’ gold. South Africa is one of the top mineral exporters in the whole world.
  2. South Africa is the number one contributor of the African continent’s GDP with over 25%, which is more than twice the size of the second biggest contributor, Algeria.

Nature

  1. South Africa has the 3rd highest level of biodiversity.
  2. South Africa is the second largest fruit producers in the whole world.
  3. The world’s longest underground cave sequence is found in South Africa near Oudsthoorn, it’s called The Cango Caves.
  4. In 1991, South Africa became the first country in the world to protect the Great White Shark.
  5. The South Africa’s Palace of the Lost City is the world’s largest themed resort hotel in the world. The palace is surrounded by 25 hectare man-made botanical jungle with almost 2 million plants. Over 85% of the Hollywood’s movie, Blended by Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore and Terry Crews was acted in the place.
  6. Kruger National Park supports the greatest variety of wildlife species on the African continent.
  7. Three of the five fastest land animals live in South Africa - the cheetah (63 miles per hour), the wildebeest, and the lion.
  8. One of the oldest mountains in the world is Table Mountain in Cape Town. Table Mountain alone has over 1,500 species of plants, more than the entire United Kingdom.
  9. The Tugela Falls is ranked the second highest waterfall in the world, where the water tumbles down 2,789 feet. First place goes to the Angel Falls in Venezuela at 3,212 feet.
  10. Cape Town has the 5th best blue sky in the world, according to the UK’s National Physical Laboratory.
  11. South Africa is the largest producer of macadamia nuts in the whole world.
  12. 10% of the worlds’ total bird species is found in South Africa, with approximately 900 bird species found in South Africa alone.

Infrastructure

  1. Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital in South Africa Soweto is the biggest hospital in the world.
  2. South Africa’s power supplier Eskom is the 4th cheapest electricity supplier in the world, and it generates two-thirds of Africa’s electricity.
  3. Durban is the largest port in Africa and the 9th largest in the world.
  4. Sasol, a South African oil company is the first country to develop an unimaginably rare and the only commercially viable coal-to-oil technology operations in the world.
  5. South African power supplier provides the 4th cheapest electricity in the world, and generates two-thirds of Africa’s electricity. (Eskom)
  6. There are over 40 million cell phone users in South Africa (International Telecommunication Union)
  7. Over 50% of China’s beer is supplied by the South African Breweries (SABMiller) which ranks as the 2nd largest brewing company in the world.
  8. South Africa’s Western Deep Levels is the world’s deepest mine at 3777 metres.
  9. The South African Rovos Rail is the most luxurious train in the world.
  10. Pietermaritzburg's city hall is the largest red brick building in the Southern Hemisphere.
  11. South Africa has the oldest wine industry outside of Europe

Education

  1. The University of South Africa (UNISA) is the largest correspondence university in the world with over 250,000 students, and is a pioneer of tertiary distance education.
  2. The first MBA programme outside the United States was started by South Africa’s very own University of Pretoria in 1949.
  3. Almost a quarter of South Africa’s non-interest budget is spent on education.

Social

  1. Over 13 million South Africans (a quarter of the population) have access to social grants (old age, disability, child support grant etc.)
  2. Since 1994, 500 houses have been built each day for the poor and 1,000 houses per day have received electricity.
  3. Over seventy percent of South Africa’s population is urbanised.

General

  1. 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).
  2. South Africa in the only country where a single street has produced two Noble price winners in history, Both Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu has houses in on the same street of Vilakazi Street in Soweto.
  3. Drawing from experiences of the world’s most advanced democracies; the South African Constitution is widely regarded as one of the most progressive in the world.
  4. The province of KZN has a monarchy system of government that is specially provided for by the Constitution. Goodwill Zwelithing kaBhekuzulu is the King of the Zulu Nation, he has 27 children and 6 wives.
  5. South Africa has the oldest meteor scar in the world, at the Vredefort Dome near Parys. The scar is over 2 billion years old.
  6. It is against the law to sit less than 2 meters closer to any individual of the opposite sex if he or she wears nothing but a swimming dress.
  7. Established in 1920, the South Africa Air Force is the world’s second oldest.
  8. South Africa has the second oldest film industry in the world.
  9. South Africa has the longest wine route in the world.
  10. South Africa is rated third in the world in supplying safe and drinkable tap water.
  11. South Africa’s Mossel Bay is in the Guinness Book of records as having the second most moderate climate in the world.
  12. Walt Disney serves South African wine exclusively at its 73-acre Animal Kingdom Lodge in the United States.
  13. There are about 280,000 windmills on farms across South Africa, second in number behind Australia.
  14. 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.
  15. Another African country called Lesotho is entirely surrounds by South Africa.
  16. In 2007 South African businessman and Deputy President of the country Cyril Ramaphosa was included in the list of the 100 most influential people in the world, list assembled by Time Magazine.
  17. According to DestinyMan, South African President Jacob Zuma is the fourth highest paid president in the world behind the United States President Barack Obama ($400 000), Canadian President Stephen Harper ($260 000), and Germany’s President Angela Markel ($234 400). President Zuma takes home $223 500 (2.2 million in South African rands).
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