15 Things you need to know about South Africa
From its deep caves and fast waters to the trees and mountain tops, South Africa is a beautiful country with a broad mixture of people, languages and cultures. Renowned for its breathtaking landscape and extra-ordinary cultural heritage, this country is certainly a tourist site to visit. The country has spawned some truly gifted pioneers and inventors, as well as possessing some unique and marvellous, biological and geological attributes, this is why it’s one of the best tourist centres in the world.
Below is a list of some interesting facts about South Africa:
- South Africa currently has the second highest waterfall in the world “the Tugela falls”. Tugela Falls is the world’s second highest waterfall. The total drop in five free-leaping falls is 948 m (3,110 ft). They are located in the Drakensberg (Dragon’s Mountains) in the Royal Natal National Park in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Republic of South Africa. They are easily viewed after a heavy rain from the main travel road into the park, glistening from the reflection of the late afternoon sun. The source of the Tugela River (Zulu for ‘sudden’ is the Mont-Aux-Sources plateau which extends several kilometres beyond The Amphitheatre escarpment from which the falls drop
- Deep in the rugged bushveld, in the heart of an ancient volcano, lies the world’s most unique resort, the internationally acclaimed Sun City. The Resort has a unique heartbeat and an African rhythm of its own and is unlike any other Resort destination in the world. This is pure fantasy and your every desire is met. There are four world-class hotels including the magnificent Palace of the Lost City that glitters like a jewel beneath the African sun, brilliant in its rain forest surroundings and luxurious in its detail and design. Adjoining the Resort, is the beautiful Pilanesberg National Park, which will delight game viewers as it is a malaria free zone and home to the “Big 5” (Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion and Rhino).
- 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 color and clarity. They now form part of the British crown jewels.
- South Africa’s fruit and vegetable sector ranks among the best in the world. It may surprise you to know that the country is the second largest exporter of fruits in the world and is ranked the number one largest producer of macadamia nuts.
- South Africa has one of the best tourist centres in the world which you may want to check out “The Drakensburg Mountains”. Its geological history lends it a distinctive character amongst the mountain ranges of the world. South Africa is the first, and to date only, country to build nuclear weapons and then voluntarily dismantleits entire nuclear weapons programme.
- South Africa is the ninth largest wine producer in the world. The country is famous for its extensive production of wines and is currently the ninth largest wine producers in the world. A large number of wine producers employ over 60000 people within the industry. Most visitors to South Africa would want to find the time to tour the wine estates of the Western Cape, coupling fantastic wine with culinary art.
- South Africa is believed to have one of the oldest mountains in the world which is the “Table Mountain” in Capetown. Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa. The mountain is featured in the Flag of Cape Town and other local government insignia. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to the top. The mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park.
- Travel to South Africa and take a trip on the most luxurious train in the world. Your romantic vacation through the heart of South Africa will begin or end at the headquarters of this private railway company, Capital Park Station and Locomotive Yard situated outside Pretoria. Rovos Rail offers two beautifully rebuilt Classic trains, each carrying a maximum of 72 passengers who are accommodated in the most spacious and luxurious train suites in the world. The use of traditional furnishings and period decor ensure an atmosphere of elegance and grandeur in the Dining, Lounge and Observation cars.
- South Africa is the only country to have hosted the rugby, cricket and soccer world cups.
- South Africa has the most diverse and unique floral kingdom in the world and 70% of the Cape floral kingdom occurs nowhere else on earth.
- South Africa is the world’s leader in mining and minerals. It has nearly 90% of the platinum metals on earth, 80% of the manganese, 73% of the chrome, 45% of the vanadium and 41% of the gold. Also the Western Deep Level mines are the world’s deepest mines at approaching 4km
- Three of the five fastest land animals live in South Africa – the cheetah (63 miles per hour), the wildebeest, and the lion.
- South Africa is the sole producer of the Mercedes Benz C Class, right-hand drive vehicles .
- SA ranks 24th in terms of tourist arrivals at 11.3 million (France 79 million, UK 28 million, Switzerland 8.5 million, India 5.2 million)
- South Africa supplies two-thirds of Africa’s electricity and is one of the four cheapest electricity producers in the world. The country currently has the second cheapest electricity costs in the world behind Canada. It falls among the top nine in terms of sales, and has one of the world’s biggest dry cooled power stations- the Matimba Power Station.
With its diverse and stunning scenic landscapes, wonderful weather, friendly locals and vibrant cities, South Africa is indeed a wonderland. It is one country everyone would love to visit some day.