Quite often, when South Africa is discussed by those outside Africa, it is done so in a political context.
While the political backdrop to South Africa’s history is most certainly a defining characteristic of the nation, others often forget to reflect upon some of the more light-hearted things which make South Africa unique. Here, we offer 5 interesting facts about the rainbow nation, that you can drop at the next dinner party when the topic of South Africa comes up.
World’s Mining Capital
South Africa is responsible for most of the world’s mining and minerals. She boasts almost 90% of the platinum metals found on earth, as much as 80% of the manganese, and almost half of all the gold in the world come from South African. It would then make sense that the deepest mine in the world can also be found in SA, reaching a depth of 11,749 feet, the Western Deep Levels Mine in Carletonville surpasses the depth of an ordinary mine by some 8,500 feet.
One Street – 2 Nobel Peace Prize Winners
There is only one street in the world which was once home to two Nobel Peace Prize winners, and you can find it in South Africa. Both Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmomd Tutu once called Vilakayi Street in Soweto home.
World’s Oldest Mountain
Towering over the 2nd most populous city in South Africa – Cape Town – Table Mountain is widely regarded to be the oldest mountain in the world.
The mountain possesses 1,500 species of plants – that’s more than you can find in the entire United Kingdom. Images of Table Mountain are amongst the most reproduced of South African landmarks. Postcards, t-shirts and other memorabilia bare the famous Table Cloth peak, making it one of South Africa’s most identifiable symbols.
Those living in the mountains shadow have the privilege of looking at her beauty every day and claim there’s no better way to start each morning. While this may not be possible for you, why not pick up a poster just now and you can hang it on your wall while you save up for your trip to the Cape!
Africa’s Largest Railway Infrastructure
South Africa is responsible for over 80% of the entire continents railway infrastructure. Over 19,000 miles of railway track weave in and out of South Africa’s beautiful landscape.
Largest Game Reserve in the World
South Africa teamed up with Mozambique and Zimbabwe to create the largest game reserve in the world. The reserve spans 159,399 square kilometres.