82 Interesting Facts About South Africa

Last updated on November 14th, 2017

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost sovereign state in Africa. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Every country has specific things about them that makes them very different to other countries in the world, and South Africa is no exception. Following is a list of:

82 Interesting facts about South Africa

#1. The longest continuous wine route on earth is found in South Africa.

#2. It is the largest meat producer in Africa.

#3. Table Mountain is one of the oldest mountains on the planet.

#4. South Africa is the only country in the world where right hand drive cars are produced by Mercedes Benz.

Flag of South Africa

Flag of South Africa
Flag of South Africa. Source – CIA

#5. The Bloukrans Bridge is the highest bridge for bungee jumping in the world.

#6. The variety of flower species found on Table Mountain number more than those found in the entire United Kingdom.

#7. Rovos Rail is the most lavish train in the world.

An inside view of the luxurious Rovos Rail, South Africa.
An inside view of the luxurious Rovos Rail. Image credit – Gary Bembridge

#8. South Africa’s lion, wildebeest, cheetah and springbok, are four of the seven fastest mammals on earth.

#9. Boulders Beach, Cape Town, is where you can swim with colonies of Jackass penguins.

#10. With more than 6 million trees in Johannesburg, it is believed to be the site of the largest man-made forest on earth.

#11. The biggest and oldest one-day marathon in the world, the Comrades Marathon, is run between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, in Kwazulu Natal.

#12. Although the Blyde River Canyon is only rated third largest in the world, it is believed to be the biggest “green” one on earth.

Interesting facts about South Africa: Blyde River Canyon
A beautiful sight of the Blyde River Canyon. Image credit – Ben Haeringer

#13. Rooibos/Redbush tea, is naturally caffeine-free, and is only found in the Cederberg, Western Cape.

#14. Despite skiing and snowboarding not being typical winter sports in the country, it is possible to enjoy them in the Drakensberg Mountains.

#15. Two thirds of Africa’s electricity is generated in South Africa.

#16. As much as 80% of Africa’s rail infrastructure is found in South Africa.

#17. Most of the world’s macadamia nuts come from South Africa.

#18. South Africa is three times bigger than Texas, and five times bigger than Japan.

#19. The world’s largest bird, the ostrich, is found here.

#20. The African elephant is the largest land mammal in the world. The African bush elephants can weigh up to 11 tons and live up to 70 years!

#21. South Africa is home to the tallest animal in the world, the giraffe.

#22. The Least Dwarf Shrew, the smallest mammal in the world, lives in South Africa.

#23. The world’s largest reptile, the Leatherback Turtle, is found in South African waters.

#24. No less than eight of the world’s heritage sites are found here.

#25. South Africa is home to the largest antelope in the world, the Eland..

#26. The whale shark is found in the ocean waters of South Africa.

#27. South Africa is home to the world’s heaviest flying bird, the Khori Bustard.

#28. About 1/5 of the world’s gold comes from mines in South Africa.

#29. About 900 different types of birds are in South Africa, which is about 10% of the total bird species on earth.

#30. The kingdom of Lesotho is completely surrounded by South Africa.

#31. South African inventions include the Kreepy Krauly automatic pool cleaner, the CAT Scan, Q20 lubricant, Pratley’s Putty, and the Smartlock Safety Syringe, among others.

#32. South Africa has wetlands, deserts, bush, grasslands, mountains, escarpments, and subtropical forests.

#33. South Africa’s tap water is considered to be the third best and safest water in the world that is ready to drink.

#34. South Africa was only one of two other countries outside of the USA, where the Hummer was manufactured by General Motors.

#35. No other country in the world abandoned its nuclear arms program voluntarily like South Africa did.

#36. The oldest human remains, more than 160,000 years old, were discovered in South Africa.

#37. There are three capital cities in South Africa, namely the Executive Capital of Pretoria, the Judicial Capital of Bloemfontein, and the Legislative Capital of Cape Town.

#38. South Africa is the only country in the world to have played host to the rugby, soccer, and cricket World Cups.

#39. Table Mountain is considered to be one of 12 main energy centers on the planet emitting spiritual, magnetic, and electric energies.

#40. SABMiller is considered to be the largest beer brewing company by volume, in the world.

#41. According to the UK’s National Physical Laboratory, Cape Town is the fifth in line for having the best blue sky on earth.

View from Chapmans Peak of Hout Bay harbour
A beautiful view from Chapmans Peak of Hout Bay harbour, South Africa. 🙂 Image credit – Ben Crouch

#42. There are only 6 floral kingdoms on the planet, and South Africa is home to one of them, namely Fynbos.

#43. With 11 official languages, South Africa has the most in the world.

#44. The Western Deep Level mines, at almost 4 km, are the deepest in the world

#45. One in five adults in South Africa attends a gym or health club at least once a month.

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