The Truth Is, Africa Is In Me

The Truth Is, Africa Is In Me

#SouthAfrica is a #nature lovers paradise. But that's not all the country offers. Here are 5 impressive facts you may not know about South Africa, the 25th largest country in the world. With 11 official #active languages, and 41 places with Blue Flag Status, not to mention 8 World Heritage Sites, there's more than safaris on offer here.


Steuart Pennington, CEO of South Africa: The Good News, recently shared his wealth of knowledge about South Africa. An authority on Africa and South Africa and an author of a number of books on the country, Steuart shared fascinating insights about South Africa’s population, economy, heath sector, transport access and more.

Some Say, "I Am In Africa. The Truth Is, Africa Is In Me."

Steuart’s inspiration for his work came about, a couple of years ago, after having attended a dinner party where the conversation at the time turned to the negative issues that were being broadcast about South Africa, its leadership and safety. 

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Microlight Flight Over Blyde River Canyon

Active
 Blyde River Canyon, Sabie, Mpumalanga, South Africa
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Not one person at the table had anything positive to say about the country and this angered him. “I was adamant that I would change this negative perception and set out investigating the good news, showing people just how much we have to appreciate.” 

The greenest canyon in the world – the Blyde River Canyon 
The greenest canyon in the world – the Blyde River Canyon

His talk made me think about the many incredible reasons that we have to love our country and why South Africa is simply awesome. Here are just a few impressive facts to start the first of our "South Africa is Awesome" series: 

South Africa Has 11 Official Languages

South Africa is rich in culture and boasts equal status to 11 official languages. The languages include: English, Sesotho, Sepedi, Xitsonga, Siswati, Afrikaans, Tshivenda, isiXhosa, isiNdeble, isiZulu and Setswana. The Xitsonga language is spoken by as many as 2.3 million people and is the home language of the majority of Shangaan staff working at Londolozi. 

Local culture
Local culture

Blue Flag Status

The Blue Flag is an award in recognition of beaches and marinas where a standard of excellence meets all 27 criteria of coastal management including safety, services, water quality and cleanness. South Africa is the first country outside Europe to gain Blue Flag Status for Coastal Management. The country has as many as 41 beaches and five marinas with this status. 

Long Beach, Noordhoek, Western Cape
Long Beach, Noordhoek, Western Cape

Home To 8 World Heritage Sites

South Africa is a place of great beauty and this has been recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) that bestowed eight sites with World Heritage status. The following eight destinations in South Africa are World Heritage Sites: Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape, Cape Floral Kingdom, Mapungubwe National Park, iSimagaliso Wetland Park, Robben Island, The Vredefort Dome, The Cradle of Humankind and uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park.

The scenery of the Khahlamba Drakensberg Park 
The scenery of the Khahlamba Drakensberg Park 

The Biggest Man-Made Forest In The World 

Johannesburg is the economic hub of the country but it is also famous as the biggest man-made forest in the world. The next time you visit this city take note of how many beautiful trees can be seen along pavements and in people’s homes. 

The scenerity of the Khahlamba Drakensberg Park. Amazing view
Just a few of the 10 million trees around Johannesburg

It is estimated that there are around 10 million trees in Johannesburg from pavements and sidewalks to trees in private homes. 

The Largest Green Canyon In The World

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Boat Trip on Blyde River

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 Blyde River Canyon, Sabie, Mpumalanga, South Africa
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The Blyderiver Canyon in Mpumalanga forms part of the northern Drakensberg escarpment and boasts verdant landscapes, unearthly rock formations and animals such as hippos, monkey, crocodiles and antelope to name a few of its residents. Bird watchers must look out for eagles and falcons.

Apart from being the greenest, the canyon is also the third largest in the world. 

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