There are plenty of reasons to be proud to be a South African: we have gorgeous beaches, beautiful mountains and plenty of other things which are worth bragging about to our foreign guests. But, beyond the things we all know about, there are some unexpectedly interesting spots and facts, too.
Highest Bungee Jump in the world!
If you consider yourself a thrill-seeker or an adrenaline junkie I suggest you head on over to the Bloukrans Bridge. Here you will be wrapped up tightly in a full body harness while taking a huge leap off Africa’s highest bridge which just happens to be the World’s highest bungee jump bridge in the world! Standing 216 metres above the Bloukrans River, this bridge is certainly not for the fainthearted but will be a truly memorable experience for adventure-seekers..
World’s longest wine route
Here’s an interesting fact for all our local wine lovers: South Africa is home to the world’s longest wine route. Stretching all the way from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, the Cape’s Route 62 meanders through some of our country’s most fertile valleys where our grapes thrive. So, if you’re thinking about going on a road trip, you might want to consider the R62. (Just make sure you have a designated driver with you who won’t feel the urge to imbibe!)
Modern humans probably originated right here
This might be of interest to some of our future and current palaeontologists and historians. Did you know that there were fossilised bones which formed a part of our human evolutionary chain dating back more than 2.5 million years found in a limestone cave just outside Johannesburg? There were also tools found in the Sterkfontein Caves which were believed to be used more than 1.8 million years ago. All these discoveries are hard evidence that modern humans probably originated on the African continent.
Image take at the Sterkfontein Caves which form a part of the Cradle of Humankind. Photo: Maropeng
Windiest place in South Africa
While PE might be known for being the windy city, it isn’t the windiest place in South Africa. Cape Point is officially the windiest place. The wind speed there averages at 14.1 metres per second, but at the same time Cape Point is also one of the few places in the world with the purest air in the world, and thus it is home to one of Global Research Watch’s atmospheric research stations, whose job it is to monitor the changes in the Earth’s atmosphere.
First successful heart transplant
On 3 December 1967, the world’s first human to human heart transplant took place at Groot Schuur Hospital, Cape Town. By South African doctor, Dr Christiaan Bernard. This extraordinary event pushed the boundaries of science to a whole new level and we, as South Africans are lucky enough to say it all began here.
We as South African’s are luckier than most countries when it comes to wildlife. We’re fortunate enough to have the largest land mammal (elephant), the tallest land animal (giraffe), the largest bird (ostrich), the fastest land animal (cheetah) and the largest antelope (eland) all in our very own backyard.
The hottest place in South Africa
If you’re interested in staying in a place with extreme heat on a daily basis, you’ll have to move to Letaba in Limpopo Province, This place has officially been marked as the hottest place in the country, with an average maximum temperature of 35C. So, you might want to purchase a bottle of sunblock or two before moving there.