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7 fascinating facts about South Africa

South Africa is known for its natural resources, incredible beauty, big five safari and of course Nelson Mandela but there is a lot more to find out. Read more below.

If there is something that South Africans love, then it’s got to be sport. The football, rugby and cricket world cups have all been held here.

 

2. South Africa is home to some remarkable wildlife including four of the five fastest land mammals, which are the cheetah, wildebeest, lion, and Thomson's gazelle.

 

3. The Cullinan 1, also known as the star of Africa, is the largest rough gem quality diamond in the world and was found in the small town of Cullinan, near Pretoria. It now forms part of the British crown jewels.

 

4. Like to enjoy a glass of wine or two? Then South Africa is the place for you as the Route 62 wine route is the longest in the world.

 

5. South Africa has eight UNESCO World Heritage sites including the Cape Floral region, which is one of the most biodiverse hotspots for plants in the world. Nearly 20% of Africa's flora is located here, although the area only amounts to 0.5% of the continent.

 

6. It was a South African surgeon, Dr Christiaan Barnard, who performed the first ever adult heart transplant in 1967 at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. 

 

  

7. Red bush tea (known locally as Rooibos) is only grown in the Western Cape of South Africa. The health benefits of this naturally caffeine-free drink have made it popular around the world and the industry is now worth $23 billion.

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