South African Things

What South Africa is Known For: A Comprehensive Guide

South Africa is a country that is rich in culture, history and natural resources. Its unique blend of ethnic groups, art, music, cuisine, wildlife and nature, sports, infrastructure and tourism make it a fascinating destination for both locals and international travellers. Here, we explore what South Africa is known for in-depth.

History of South Africa

South Africa’s fascinating history dates back to the pre-colonial era. The first humans are believed to have lived in the region over 100,000 years ago. However, it wasn't until the 17th century that European explorers began to colonise and settle in South Africa. The next few centuries were marked by the discovery of mining resources, colonisation by the Dutch and British, and the struggle against apartheid. Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, played a pivotal role in ending apartheid in the 1990s.

Culture of South Africa

South Africa is a country that is overwhelmingly rich in diversity and heritage. It has 11 official languages and more than 20 ethnic groups. South Africa's culture is a melting pot of various cultures and traditions, influenced by African, European and Asian cultures. Art and music are highly celebrated in South Africa, which has produced world-famous artists like William Kentridge and Miriam Makeba. South African cuisine is flavourful and a blend of indigenous ingredients and dishes influenced by different cultures.

Wildlife & Nature

South Africa is a wildlife and nature paradise, with a range of national parks and nature reserves that are home to many indigenous animals. It has the world's largest land mammal, the elephant, and the tallest animal, the giraffe. South Africa is also home to the Big Five – the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and buffalo. South Africans are committed to nature conservation and biodiversity protection programs.


South Africa has been a significant producer of gold and diamonds for many years. It is also abundant in other essential minerals such as platinum, manganese, and chromium, amongst others. The mining sector is a significant contributor to the country's economy, and South Africa is considered a significant player in the global mining industry.


Sports are a crucial aspect of South African life, with rugby, cricket and soccer being the most popular. The South African rugby team, the Springboks, has won the Rugby World Cup twice, while the cricket and soccer teams have also enjoyed success on the international stage. South Africa is also the only African country to have hosted the FIFA World Cup.


South Africa has a well-developed infrastructure characterised by modern highways, railways and airports, making movement and transportation relatively easy. The country boasts an advanced telecommunications network and is the only African country with two commercial airports rated among the world's top 100.


South Africa attracts millions of tourists every year, thanks to its diverse culture, wildlife and nature, sports, food, infrastructure and landmarks. Major attractions include Table Mountain, Kruger National Park, and the Cape of Good Hope, amongst others. South Africa's beaches are also famous and attract visitors from all over the world for activities like surfing, fishing, and sunbathing.

Economic Status

South Africa's diversified economy based on agriculture, industry and international trade. The country is one of the world's largest producers of wine, citrus fruits and maize. South Africa's strategic mineral resources provide leverage in the global economy, with minerals, such as gold, playing an essential role in the country’s economy.


What is the capital of South Africa?

The capital of South Africa is Pretoria, while Johannesburg is the largest city.

What language do they speak in South Africa?

South Africa has 11 official languages, including isiZulu, Afrikaans and English.

What is the highest mountain in South Africa?

The highest mountain in South Africa is Mafadi, standing at 3,450 metres (11,320 feet).

What is the population of South Africa?

As of 2021, South Africa's population is estimated to be 59.31 million people.

What is the currency of South Africa?

The currency of South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR).