South Africa for Kids

Interesting Facts for Kids

Here are some interesting Facts about South Africa for Kids which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.

• Population: 52 million people live in South Africa (2013)

• Capital: Pretoria "The Jacaranda City", which changed its name into Tswane in 2007, has got 2,5 mio inhabitants.

• Name: Republic of South Africa, RSA, ZA ("Zuid Afrika")

• Government: Democracy

• Languages: 11 official languages: Zulu, Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Siswathi, Sesotho, Tsonga, Sepedi, Ndebele, Setswana, Tsivenda

• Religion: mainly Christians and Muslims, but also Jews and other faiths.

• Currency: 1 South African Rand (ZAR)= 100 Cents

• History: South Africa was led by Apartheid leaders until Nelson Mandela came free from prison and became the first democratic leader in South Africa in 1994.

• National SymbolsProtea, Springbok and others see here.

South Africa for Kids:
South Africa Geography

South Africa is the most southern country on the African Continent. 

It takes a 12hr flight from London/England, 12 hrs flight from Singapore and more than 17hrs from New York/USA to get there.

South Africa encloses two landlogged African countries which are Swaziland and Lesotho. Both countries are ruled by kings and the people there are very poor.

South Africa shares borders also with Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe in the North, and Mozambique in the East. In South Africa the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean meet off the Southern Cape coast. In the image you see Cape Point, the southernmost point of the Cape Peninsula. The southernmost point in South Africa is however Cape Agulhas which is roughly 120km east of Cape Town. 

In South Africa you will find a high plateau in the interior of the country. The Kalahari Desert in the North is part of the "Highveld", then there are various mountain ranges and the grasslands. Johannesburg lies on this plateau at 1,700m above sea level, but most of the bigger cities are located near the coast in low-lying areas.

The longest river in South Africa is the Orange River which forms also part of the border between Namibia from South Africa.

In the mountain ranges in the Drakensberg region especially in the Lesotho mountains there is snow in winter and you even could go skiing. Sometimes also the higher mountain tops in the Western Cape near Cape Town have some snow for a snowball fight, but not enough to go skiing.

Did you know, that the Tugela Falls in South Africa are the second-highest waterfalls in the world?

South Africa for Kids:
South Africa Attractions

• Cape Town: Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront, Beaches

• Krueger National Park for safaris and great wildlife viewing

• Durban for surfing and great beaches and the hinterland for some insights into Zulu culture and South African history

• Sun City near Pretoria for fun and games galore

• St Lucia Wetlands for wildlife viewing and unspoilt nature

• Drakensberg Mountains for hiking and nearby Lesotho for skiing in Africa

• Addo National Park near Port Elizabeth for elefant-spotting

South Africa for Kids: Animals

Wildlife in South Africa is abundant. There are many species of antilope like kudu, springbok, wildebeest, impalas, oryx and gemsbok. When you go on safari you can see many other South African animals like lions, elefants, giraffes and monkeys.

South Africa is home to the African Penguins and the Great White Sharks are living in the ocean waters here too. Sometimes beaches are closed for bathing due to the sharks in the bays.

Whale Watching is very popular in South Africa too and you will encounter an enormous sea life in South Africa when you go on a boat trip.

South Africa People

South Africa is often called the "Rainbow Nation", because there are so many different languages are spoken and different cultural traditions are lived. Below you see people of the Ndebele tribe.

South Africa is often called "The Cradle of Humankind", because archaeological findings proof that people lived in the area more than 100,000 years ago. The ancient San and the Khoi were the early African civilizations settling the Cape. There are still a few descendants of the local San people living in remote areas in the Karoo desert and near the Cape West Coast.

The biggest South African group, the Zulu, mainly live in rural settlements in KwaZulu Natal, they even have a king. The South African president Jacob Zuma actually is one of the royal Zulu leaders. Portuguese, Dutch, British, French and German Explorers have traveled and populated Southern Africa in the 17th and 18th century and therefore you can find many European influences in South Africa too.

Nowadays most of the people in South Africa live in or near the big cities: Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town.

South Africa for Kids: Food

Like its inhabitants also the food the people eat in South Africa is very diverse. The South African staple food for the locals is mealies, which is corn, and seasonal vegetables, like potatoes, beans, carrots and peas.

South Africans love their meat and game meat like kudu, springbok are common. However most people eat beef, chicken, lamb and ostrich for their meats. The people in South Africa love to grill their food and almost every house has got a fireplace which is called braai on the verandah.

Typical South African food:

• bobotie: typica Cape Malay food containing rice, lamb and fragrant spices

• koeksisters: tastes like donuts soaked in sticky sweet sauce. Yummy!

• mealie pap: corn porridge

• biltong: a cured and dried meat that is a typical South African snack and similar to beef jerky

Did you know that...?

… most people speak at least two or three languages, one of them usually English or Afrikaans

… South Africa has really three capital cities. The powers are distributed between Pretoria, Cape Town and Bloomfontein. The parliament meets for six months in Pretoria and the other half of the year in Cape Town. 

We hope you enjoyed our information on South Africa for Kids. Make sure you bookmark this page, as we will add more information for children on these pages.

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