South Africa is "a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world." These are the wise words of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela, who happens to be the first elected president of South Africa. Apart from this, what other interesting facts do you know about South Africa? Test yourself and find out!
From mind-boggling historical events, intriguing figures, informative historical records, and exciting tourist attraction feature, South Africa offers continual opportunities for learning, discovering, and experiencing some of the most exceptional African genes. By reading this article, you will be uncovering 30 proudly South African facts that are sure to raise your eyebrows.
1. Most Official Languages
11 is the number of official languages spoken in South Africa. This is a world breaking record as the languages possess equal status across the country. isiZulu is the most common language closely followed by Afrikaans and isiXhosa as the second popular languages. The other eight languages spoken by the 56.72 million citizens include English ( for business, political, and media uses), Tshivenda, siSwati, Xitsonga, Sesotho, Sepedi, isiNdebele, and Setswana.
2. Two Nobel Prize Winners, one street
"One is never enough!" Thanks to their lifetime sacrifices and efforts to achieve a peaceful country that was dominated by apartheid, the Anglican cleric Desmond Tutu and the first black elected president Nelson Mandela were awarded the international Nobel Prizes in 1984 and 1993 respectively. The two legendary and outspoken peacemakers were from Vilakazi Street, Soweto, Johannesburg.
3. BRICS Super Economy
South Africa is the only African country that is part of the world emerging national Economies; the acronym BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
4. Guinness Vuvuzela record
Imagine the sound produced by 12,511 spectators blowing their vuvuzelas at ago! This was a world record fun fact achieved in the Vodacom Challenge football match held on the 23rd of July, 2009 at the legendary Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
5. Guinness record of simultaneous teeth brushing
300,000 students brushing teeth simultaneously in the rainbow nation is one of the many fun facts about South Africa.
6. 80% saved
The country's leading religion is Christianity that firmly stands at 80%. The remaining 20% is composed of Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, among others.
7. World Cup hosting record
It has hosted three different types of World Cup events. These include the recent football in 2010, cricket in 2003, and rugby in 1995.
8.World longest bicycle race
The Cape Town Cycle Tour holds the world record for its 35,000 bicycle enthusiasts who cycled across the 109-kilometer road in the South Peninsula.
9. 1st African same-sex recognizing country
2006 marks the year that any form of discrimination involving sexual orientation was categorized as a crime. This paved way to same-sex marriage hence the first African country, and the 5th international country.
10. 50 solid apartheid regime
The 1948 Afrikaaner Nationalist Party enforced fifty decades of black and white segregation. International efforts, opposition parties like African National Congress (ANC), and outspoken leaders like Nelson Mandela led to the end of apartheid hence the name "a rainbow nation."
11. 1st successful heart transplant
On the 3rd of December, 1967, the famous South African surgeon, Dr Christiaan Barnard was the first cardiac surgeon to have performed a successful heart transplant where the patient managed to regain full consciousness.
12. 1st African on a space station
Tycoon Mark Shuttleworth is recorded in South African history facts as the first African to have boarded a space jet in 2002. He was a space tourist for 9 days, 21 hours and 25 minutes under the Russian space mission Soyuz TM-33 and Soyuz TM-34.
13. Space visible fish migration
May, June, and July mark the sardine migration. The millions of fish migrate from Cape Point, Constantia, Port Elizabeth, Oudtshoorn, and Garden Route.
14. 13 years in school!
Students in the country start at the "year 0" school level and finish at the 12th grade
15. The "Mobile nation."
With smartphones taking over the communication world, the citizens in the country are known to use cellphones more than they use computers, televisions, and radio. Am talking about over 45 million cellphones are used.
16. Young Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa
At the age of 24 years, the famous Indian activist, Mahatma Gandhi, came to the rainbow nation with a 12 months plan of being a legal representative of the then Muslim-Indian entrepreneurs in the trade city of Pretoria.
17.Most colourful flag
One of the international facts about South Africa is its colorful national flag design. With a total of 6 colors. These include green (horizontal), black, yellow (triangular), red, white, and blue.
18. The continental drift
As the country is on the southern part of the continent Africa, it is calculated in 12 months; the country drifts away by two inches from South America through the continental drift.
19.A country in a country
The state of Lesotho is landlocked as the shore borders of South Africa surround it. This makes Lesotho look like it belongs as a part of the rainbow nation.
20. $1 billion US car sales
In 2010, the country achieved a car sale record that reached $1.8 billion to the United States, beating Italy.
21. Mompane worm delicacy
The country population is known for enjoying the Limpopo Mompane worms as a significant source of protein, making it one of the weird facts of South Africa.
22. Self-nuclear weapon abolishment
When it comes to world peacekeeping armoury topics, various positive things about South Africa focus on achieving peaceful relationships. The country is the only nation in the globe to have successfully built a nuclear power plant and also decided to stop the process without international interventions.
23. World record of the lavish train
As one of the interesting facts about South Africa for tourists, The Rovos Rail is considered as the world’s most lavish train to have ever been built. It attracts thousands of tourists who get the lifetime chance of experiencing different table mountain views and top star passenger and hotel services.
24. Home of dinosaur fossils and evidence of man's origin
In the Western Cape of the country resides the Karoo rocks that possess numerous fossils that prove that dinosaurs once crawled on the earth surface. The cradle of man is also supported by the early man fossils found in the country.
25. Thousands of shipwrecks
The nation's coastline has a record of over 2,000 shipwrecks that date back to the old colonial periods and above. It is estimated that the wrecks date back 500 years back with famous shipwrecks that include Grosvenor, Arniston, among others.
26. Leading Gold and Platinum mineral-producing country
Currently, the nation leads with over 90% platinum production in the world. It was also the leading gold producing country in the world until 2006.
27. World largest hotel, Lost City
Standing on a 25-hectare human-planted forest, the Lost City is regarded as the world’s largest hotel. The 5-star hotel is located in Sun City, Rustenburg.
28. Table mountain
As part of the Table Mountain National Park, the country's table mountains are a significant tourist attraction that overlooks Cape Town. Thousands of tourists visit the flat-topped mountains through the breathtaking cableway while others prefer hiking. Other table mountain facts are that it happens to be one of the oldest formed mountains in the world. Its history dates back before the Alps and Himalayas, among others.
29. Land of the Elephants
The national country parks act as the home of elephants, which are the largest land mammals. It is rich in flora and fauna such as the most abundant bird (ostrich), fastest land animal (cheetah) and its national plant called King protea.
30. Land of wine
The country has the most massive provision of wine that is found at the Cape Winelands. The country's wine industry is recorded as the second oldest after Europe. Its climate is described to be perfect for vineyards that make some of the most excellent wines in the world.
Interesting facts about South Africa range from natural, social, economic, and historical phenomena. These include the flat-topped table mountains to the country that produced some of the famous Nobel Peace Prize winners. All these facts are sufficient reasons why the rainbow nation is one of the most beautiful and exciting places on earth.