Last week I arrived in South Africa for a short break. While I was on the plane from Joburg to PE I started chatting to a Scottish mother and daughter who were visiting for the Iron Man competition. The mother asked me how many people there were in PE. I shyly told her that I didn’t actually know. A while ago I was interested to know what the population count was in South Africa but that piece of information failed to get filed away in my brain. The conversation with these two Scottish women prompted me to write this post about some South African stats and other interesting facts:
- According to Census 2011 there were an estimated 53 million people in South Africa. In 2014 the population in the UK was 64.6 million.
- According to Census 2011 there were 312392 people in Port Elizabeth. In 2015 there were an estimated 8.63 million people living in London.
- South Africa is the only African country that is a member of the G20. The G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies.
- South Africa is home to the world’s largest individually timed cycle race (the Cape Argus Cycle Race), the world’s largest open water swim (the Midmar Mile) and the world’s largest ultra-marathon (the Comrades Marathon).
- South Africa is the only country in the world to have two nobel peace prize winners who had houses on the same street. The nobel prize winners Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu both lived on Vilakazi Street in Soweto.
- South Africa is now the only country in the world to have hosted the Soccer, Cricket and Rugby World Cup!
- Table Mountain in Cape Town is believed to be one of the oldest mountains in the world and one of the planet’s 12 main energy centres, radiating magnetic, electric or spiritual energy.
- South Africa has the second highest number of official languages, with India in first place with 22 official languages. The 11 official languages recognized in the constitution of South Africa are: English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Venda, Xhosa, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana and Zulu.
- The Mompane (or Mompani) worms of Limpopo is a well deserved meal in South Africa. Apart from being a great source of protein when it meets the ill fate of ravaging humans, it turns out to be a beautiful moth. The Mompane is often eaten as it is or fried and prepared into a crispy snack.
- The Cape Floral Kingdom is one of the world’s six floral kingdoms – and the only one which is wholly contained within a single country.
- South Africa has the longest stretching wine route in the world encompassing the areas of Wellington, Tulbagh, Worcester, Robertson and the Klein Karoo
- South Africa really is the only place in the world where you can shop at the robot(traffic light). Be it for a newspaper, cellphone charger, sunglasses, beaded art work, toys or even a copy of the Big Issue.
- There are 3 capital cities – Pretoria, Cape Town and Bloemfontein.
- Red Bush tea, known locally as Rooibos, is a unique refreshing blend of tea grown only in the Cederberg area of the Western Cape – the only place in the world where this blend is grown.
- The first ever human heart transplant was performed by South African surgeon, Dr Christiaan Barnard, at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town in 1967.
- The country’s national symbols are: flower (king protea), bird (blue crane), tree (real yellowwood), animal (springbok) and fish (galjoen)
- Bloukrans is the highest commercial bungee jumping bridge in the world.
- Some countries have deserts; some have subtropical forests, South Africa has: deserts, wetlands, grasslands, bush, subtropical forests, mountains and escarpments.
Hopefully like me, you’ve now also learnt a few new interesting facts about South Africa. If you enjoyed this post please hit the Like button or feel free to share!