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Interesting facts about South Africa

In the spirit of being Proudly South African, I have gathered some interesting facts about South Africa from all the corners of the internet. Some of these facts are quite astonishing:

1 - The world is divided into six floral kingdoms. All these kingdoms encompass several countries, and in some cases, several continents. South Africa, which has a floral kingdom wholly contained within the country, is the one exception. The Cape Floral Kingdom has 9,600 plant species, 70% of which are not found anywhere else in the world.

2 - The rocks around Barberton in Mpumalanga are some of the most ancient in the world – over three billion years old. Because they are also the most accessible such formations, NASA scientists come here to gain an idea of how life might form on distant planets.

3 – South Africa is the only country in the world to voluntarily abandon its nuclear weapons programme.

4 - There are more than 2,000 shipwrecks, dating back at least 500 years, off the South African coast. More than one of these, including the Waratah, simply vanished without a trace.

5 - According to recent studies, the star-watching town of Sutherland in the Northern Cape is one of the most geologically stable places on Earth, yet it has a 66-million year old volcano, not yet officially extinct.

6 - The only street in the world to house two Nobel Peace prizewinners is in Soweto. Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu both have houses on Vilakazi Street in Soweto.

7 - The world’s first heart transplant was done in South Africa in 1967 by South African Dr Chris Barnard.

8 - There are only 12 countries in the world that supply tap water that is fit to drink, and South Africa is one of them. Our tap water quality is third best overall in the world.

9 - South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique are tearing down fences between the countries’ game parks to create a 35 000km2 game park which will become the largest conservation area in the world. It will be bigger than Switzerland, Belgium or Taiwan.

10 - Where else is an entirely new species being recreated from scratch? The quagga vanished in a frenzy of hunting in the 1800s, but after finding that the DNA is almost identical to the common Burchell’s zebra, the species is being brought back from beyond the brink by careful breeding of stripe-challenged zebras.

The StaySYS Online Booking System is proudly South African too, being ‘born and bred’ in Cape Town.

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