facts about South Africa you didn’t know

From Nobel Peace Prize laureates, to bungee jumps and floral kingdoms, here are the facts about South Africa you didn’t know. Image: File

TEN nutty facts about South Africa you didn’t know

From meteor strikes, to nuclear weapons and World Cups, here are ten facts about South Africa you didn’t know, and should totally celebrate.

facts about South Africa you didn’t know

From Nobel Peace Prize laureates, to bungee jumps and floral kingdoms, here are the facts about South Africa you didn’t know. Image: File

As Mzansi gets ready to vote, we wanted to celebrate the exceptional facts about South Africa you didn’t know. So, when you’re in that long queue tomorrow, deciding how to vote for the future of our country, just remember that we live in a pretty spectacular place …

TEN FACTS ABOUT SOUTH AFRICA YOU DIDN’T KNOW

World Cup at home
South Africa’s midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala, right, scores the opening goal during their Group A first round 2010 World Cup football match on 11 June 2010 at Soccer City Stadium in Soweto. Image: Omar Torres / AFP
  • 1. South Africa is the only country in the world to have hosted the Rugby, Cricket and Football World Cups.
  • 2. Mzansi is the only country in the world to have had two Nobel Peace Prize laureates living on the same street. This refers to Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu living on Vilakazi Street in Johannesburg’s Soweto township.
facts about South Africa you didn’t know
Be sure to visit Viakazi street in Soweto to experience a beautiful piece of South African history. Image: File
  • 3. The country is home to the oldest meteor scar in the world, the Vredefort Dome. Two-billion years ago a meteor roughly the size of Table Mountain hit the earth not far from where the Freestate town stands today. It is a World Heritage Site.
facts about South Africa you didn’t know
Vredefort in the Free State. Image: SA Tourism
  • 4. South Africa is the only country in the world to have voluntarily dismantled its nuclear weapons program. This took place near the end of the apartheid era. All bombs (six constructed and one under construction) were dismantled as we acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1991.
facts about South Africa you didn’t know
The National Party regime built six nuclear warheads during the apartheid era which were volantirily dismanted in the early 1990s. Image: Wikipedia

GEOLOGICAL WONDERS

facts about South Africa you didn’t know
Bloukrans Bridge on the Garden Route is must-visit for adrenaline junkies. Image: File

5. Bloukrans Bridge Bungee on the Garden Route is the highest commercial bungee jump in the world.  

6. South Africa is home to the world’s largest diamond, the Cullinan Diamond, which was cut into the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa.

facts about South Africa you didn’t know
The world-famous Cullinan Diamond. Image: FIle

7. South Africa is the only country in the world to have three capital cities: Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), and Cape Town (legislative).

8. Affectionally known as the ‘groot gat’ did you know that the Kimberley Mine is in fact the world’s largest hand-dug mine? Another fact about South Africa you didn’t know …

facts about South Africa you didn’t know
South Africa is home to 12 official languages. Image: File

9. This is one of those facts about South Africa you almost certainly do know, but South Africa is home to the most official languages of any nation in the world. The country has 12, including Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans and English, with Sign Language added in 2023.

facts about South Africa you didn’t know
South Africa won at the Chelsea Flower Show yet again in 2024. Image: File
  • 10. South Africa is the only country in the world to have an entirely unique floral ecosystem – the Cape Floral Kingdom – within its borders. Our proteas and fynbos are so world renowned they recently won awards at the 2024 Chelsea Flower Show.  

HAVE YOUR SAY

facts about South Africa you didn’t know
Time for you to have your say … Image: Duncan P Walker

What do you think of these facts about South Africa you didn’t know? Are there any we’ve missed? Be sure to share your thoughts with our audience in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow us @TheSANews on X and The South African on Facebook for the latest updates. Click the links below to check out trending stories in the last 24 hours on our website …