Here are some interesting facts about South Africa for kids which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.
South Africa is the southernmost country on the African continent.
South Africa also shares borders with Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe in the North, and Mozambique in the East.
South Africa is about as big as the land area of France and Spain combined or twice the size of the state of Texas/ USA.
It takes a 12-hour flight from London/England to fly to Johannesburg or a 12-hour flight from Singapore and it takes more than 17 hours from New York/USA.
In South Africa, the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean meet off the Southern Cape coast. In the image to the right, you see Cape Point, the southernmost point of the Cape Peninsula.
The southernmost point in South Africa is, however, at Cape Agulhas which is roughly 120 km/ 75 miles to the east of Cape Town.
South Africa has various mountain ranges such as the Drakensberg or the Cederberg mountains. There is a narrow coastal stretch and in the interior of the country, you will find a high plateau.
In the north, there is the Kalahari Desert which borders Namibia and Botswana and is part of the 'highveld', the highlands of the country.
Johannesburg is the largest city of South Africa and lies on this plateau at 1,700 m/ 5,577 ft above sea level. However, most of the bigger cities such as Cape Town and Durban 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 of the Drakensberg region, there is snow in winter and you even could go skiing in South Africa. Tiffindell is the most popular winter resort town. Sometimes also the higher mountain tops in the Western Cape near Cape Town receive some snow in winter. But there is no snow in the city or in the towns along the coastline. Although the snow might be enough for a snowball fight, it certainly is not enough to go skiing.
Did you know, that the Tugela Falls in South Africa are the second-highest waterfalls in the world?
The country name is often displayed as ZA which means Zuid Africa and is Afrikaans for South Africa.
Wildlife in South Africa is abundant. There are many species of antilope such as kudu, springbok, wildebeest, impala, oryx and gemsbok. When you go on safari you can see many other South African animals like lions, elephants, giraffes and monkeys.
South Africa is home to the African Penguins and the Great White Sharks live in the ocean waters here too. Sometimes beaches are closed for bathing due to the sharks in the bays. Many beaches have shark nets. Remember to only swim in the sea where there are lifeguards on duty.
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 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 artefacts, tools and human remains 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 only 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 population group, the Zulu, mainly live in rural settlements in KwaZulu-Natal, they even have a king. The South African president, Jacob Zuma, actually belongs to the 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. The rural areas are still very poor and also in the cities many people live in shantytowns or townships.
Johannesburg is the largest city and the main industrial and economic hub, while Cape Town and Durban are also large cities with more than 1 million inhabitants.
Did you know that in South Africa, cars drive on the left side of the road as they do in the UK and Australia? However, all distance and speed signs are in metres and kilometres and km/hour and not as in England in yards and miles and miles/hour!
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 such as kudu and springbok are common. However, most people eat beef, chicken, lamb and ostrich with their meals. The people in South Africa love a BBQ (here called 'braai') and almost every house has got a fireplace which is called 'braai-place'.
Typical South African food:
… 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 Bloemfontein. 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. Read also our top 15 South Africa facts even locals often do not know here.
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