7 reasons to be proud of SA

There are plenty of reasons to be proud to be South African: we have gorgeous beaches, beautiful mountains and plenty of other things 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. 216 m 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 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 partake in wine tastings!)

Modern humans probably originated right here 

This might be of interest to some of our future and current paleontologists and historians. Did you know that there were fossilised bones that 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 believed to be used more than 1.8 million years ago. All these discoveries are hard evidence that modern humans probably originated in Africa.

Windiest place in South Africa

While PE might be known for being the windy city, it isn’t the windiest place in South Africa, with Cape Point taking the official title. The wind speed averages 14.1 m per second. At the same time, Cape Point is also one of the places with the purest air in the world, and thus 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. 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.

Record-breaking animals

We as South Africans 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. It has officially been marked as the hottest place in the country, with an average maximum temperature of 35 degrees Celsius. So, you might want to purchase an extra few bottles of sunblock before moving there.

 

Image source: Flickr/ South African Tourism

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