20 Interesting And Fun Facts About South Africa [Explained]

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South Africa is a fantastic destination that offers cultural diversity, natural beauty, unique landscapes, and much more. However, to take in all the country has to offer, it is always an advantage to know about some of the cultural and fun facts about South Africa.

So, if you are planning a trip and want to boost your knowledge of this African gem; here are some of the interesting South African facts that make this country what it is.

Several countries in Africa are prone to armed conflicts and civil/social unrest. Always double check the latest situations from both your government and the local government advisories.

Common Facts About South Africa

These are some of the general things to know about South Africa for some insight into the country and its people.

The Drinking Water Is Rated As Third-Best In The World


The drinking water in South Africa is actually one of the best in the world. It is one of the few countries where you can consume tap water without any issues. All the water sources are safely managed.

However, if you are not used to drinking straight from the tap, it is always a smart traveler move to transit slowly. You can start with boiled water to a mixture and then direct from tap and see how your body adapts.

It Has Three Capital Cities

One of the interesting facts about South Africa is that it has three capital cities, which include Bloemfontein, Cape Town, and Pretoria. This is because the different major government sectors are strategically located across the three cities. There are also nine provinces in the country. Of course, each province also has its own government to ensure smooth operations.

The Springbok Is The National Animal


Springbok is the only and only South African gazelle, and you can spot them all around the country. You will find them in the open bush or near the water in the grasslands. Besides that, it is also the nickname and the emblem for the national rugby team of the country.

South Africa Has Eleven Official Languages

One of the most impressive facts about South Africa is that it has eleven official languages, and English is one of them. That is because English is required for speaking and writing in the media, business, and political industries. You will notice that most African people are fluent in more than one language.

Fun Facts About South Africa For Tourists

Anyone planning on going to the country wants to experience all the iconic things South Africa is famous for. Here are some fun facts about South Africa that will help you create an exciting itinerary.

The Most Iconic Landmark In South Africa Is Table Mountain


Table Mountain is one of the oldest mountains worldwide, and you will find it here in South Africa. The landscape has more than two-thousand plant species. Out of all of them, at least 70% of these plant species are endemic. It is one of the most famous landmarks in South Africa.

You Will Also Find The World’s Longest Wine Route Here


Wine lovers will find this to be one of the fantastic South Africa fun facts. The longest wine route in the world is here, which goes from Cape Town, Constantia, and many other such places. The road spans more than eight hundred kilometers, and it is a beauty to look at.

The route embraces more than three hundred years of wine-making. You will find mountains, over two hundred cellars, and more. So, don’t forget to come here to experience the longest wine route.

That said, don’t just indulge in wine. South African food is delicious and varied. From snacks to desserts in South Africa, don’t forget to give your taste buds to treat.

South Africa Has Unique And Various Landscapes


The landscapes of South Africa make it one of the most beautiful destinations for you to visit. You will find grasslands, plateaus, plains, and much more. There are also many mountains that you can experience while you make your way through the country.

It Has The World’s Largest Themed Resort Hotel

Curiously named The Palace of The Lost City, this is one of the facts about South Africa to know, particularly if you are into unique accommodations. It is the largest themed resort hotel you will find anywhere in the world. There is also a manmade jungle that surrounds the hotel, which includes over two million shrubs, trees, plants, and more.

Interesting Facts About South Africa You Won’t Know

There are so many interesting facts about South Africa that not everyone will be familiar with all of them. Here are some peculiar ones.

Archaeological Finds Support The Theory That Modern Humans Originated Here


There have been fossilized bones found in South Africa that go back more than two million years. These were found in the limestone caves, and they point towards the fact that modern humans originated in South Africa. There are also findings of stone tools that humans used millions of years ago.

You Can See The Fish Migration From Space


One of the fascinating South Africa facts is the massive fish migration. It is so prominent that you can see it from space.

That is because the shoals are more than fifteen kilometers long, and you can view them through a satellite. These fish travel between May and July, and they go from Cape Point to the Northern Eastern Cape.  

The Largest Visible Crater In The World Is Here

More than two thousand million years ago, a meteor fell in South Africa that created a crater of more than three hundred kilometers. It is the oldest and largest visible crater in the world.

You can view it when you visit the country. Anyone that loves science and history will enjoy visiting this site created by natural wonder.

It Has The Highest Commercial Natural Bungee Jump


The Bloukrans Bridge provides people with the highest commercial natural bungee jump in the world. It is more than seven hundred feet above the Bloukrans River. Brave travelers that love some adventure will find this to be a thrilling experience.

Cultural Facts About South Africa

Facts about South African culture will give you an insight into the country, its people, traditions, and much more. This will help you navigate with ease as you will understand everyone better. Here are some important South Africa culture facts to know about.

It Is Known As The Rainbow Nation

South Africa is also known as the Rainbow Nation because there are many cultures living here in peace ever since Apartheid ended in 1994. This term was also used a lot by Nelson Mandela. Now, people live in harmony here, regardless of their background or culture.

When People Turn 21, They Are Given A Key

An interesting South African fact and tradition is that kids are given a key when they turn 21 by their parents. The key is supposed to symbolize that they will be opening new doors and opportunities as they become an adult. These long-lasting traditions are at the heart of what makes this country beautiful.

An Important Part Of The Culture Is Ceremonial Clothing


Ceremonial clothing plays a crucial role in the culture. The clothing will also vary, depending on the marital status of the person and their age. People like adorning themselves in these beautiful clothing as it represents something symbolic to them.

The Tooth Fairy Myth Is Different Here

Interesting cultural facts about South Africa include that when a child loses a tooth, they will leave it inside a slipper in the room. Then, a mouse will come in the night, take the tooth, and leave a gift instead. Yes, this is much different than the standard fairy version Westerners receive.

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South Africa Facts For Kids

If you want your kids or students to learn more about the country, here are some simple yet interesting South Africa facts for kids.

It Shares Borders With Six Countries

There are six countries that South Africa shares its borders with. These include Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, and Mozambique. You can also go from one country to another while traveling.

It Has The 3rd Longest Coastline In Africa


South Africa has the third-largest coastline in Africa, as it runs for more than three thousand kilometers. Besides that, the coastlines of Somalia and Madagascar are longer than South Africa. So, there are a lot of beaches throughout the country that people can visit and enjoy.

Here are some of the best beaches in Cape Town that are popular among locals and visitors.

Over Sixty Million People Live Here


There are more than sixty million people that live in this country. The least populated province has more than a million people, and the smallest province has more than fifteen million people living in it. Yes, there is an unequal distribution of population throughout the country.

Most Old Mountains Are Here


Most of the oldest mountains in the world are located in South Africa, as their history spans back over three billion years. These are even older than the mountains in the Alps or the Himalayas. Such old rocks are found in the Barberton and Makhonjwa mountains of South Africa.

Discovering More Fun Facts About South Africa

These are just some of the interesting facts about South Africa. It is one of the top bucket list destinations for many because of the incredible wildlife, beaches, and nature. The nation is extremely diverse and when you visit, you are bound to experience and discover deeper facts about South Africa.



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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