South Africa Facts For Kids | The Rainbow Nation

South Africa is the 25th largest country in the world by area. It runs along the coastlines of Indian and Atlantic Oceans. The country is ranked as the 24th most populous country with the population of almost 53 million people. Most of the individuals are black Africans. It is the land of many different races and religion.

South Africa’s flag represents many different colors; Gold stands for country’s wealth; White for peace; Blue for the sky; Green for crops and plants; black color for native African people, and finally Red stands for those who lost their lives in freedom fighting. Let’s talk about some more South Africa facts for kids.

South Africa Facts For Kids


  • Name: Republic of South Africa
  • Official Language: Afrikaans, English
  • Capital City: Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Pretoria
  • Ranking: 25nd Largest Country by land
  • Nickname: Rainbow Nation
  • Motto: Unity in Diversity


  1. South Africa has a very long history in fact it consists of the oldest human fossil sites in the world.
  2. Many years ago, Dutch people had moved in South Africa and they created a new language called ‘Afrikaans’.
  3. In 1924, the first hominin fossil was discovered near Taung. The fossil was known as Taung Child.
  4. Zulu and Xosa were the two chief ethnic groups that had traveled towards Africa.
  5. Bartolomeu Dias was the first Portuguese traveler who led the expedition to explore South Africa in 1487.
  6. Cape Town had become a British Colony in 1806.
  7. The diamond was discovered in 1867 and gold was found in 1884. The discovery of these elements led to the confrontation between indigenous people and the Europeans.
  8. South Africa initiated a program of the development of nuclear weapons in 1970s.
  9. Modern Humans have lived in South Africa some 170,000 years ago.

Geography & Size

  1. The total land area of the South Africa is 1,221,037 sq. kilometers.
  2. It is ranked as the 25th largest country by area.
  3. The total population is 52,981,991 as of 2013.
  4. The South African currency is ‘Rand’.
  5. 80% of all South Africans are black Africans.
  6. The country has got the 28th largest economy in the world.
  7. About 25% of the total population is unemployed and earning less than $1.25 a day.
  8. With the population of over 12 million, Gauteng is the largest province of South Africa by population. However, it is the smallest province by land as it covers only 1.5% of the total area.
  9. Northern Cape is the smallest province with the population of more than 1 million.
  10. iBhayi is the smallest city of South Africa with the population of 237,799 only.
  11. The country takes most of the gold from its mines.
  12. The biggest hospital in the world is Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital and it is in Soweto, SA.
  13. The largest deposits of Gold, Platinum, and Manganese are in South Africa.

People and Education

  1. The country has more than 5 million illegal immigrants out of which 3 million belongs to Zimbabwe.
  2. About 80% of the people are Christians.
  3. South Africa have 11 official languages out of which three most spoken languages are Zulu (22.7%), Afrikaans (13.5%), and Xhosa (16%).
  4. Cricket, Rugby, and Soccer are the most popular sports in South Africa.
  5. South Africa has 23 public universities.
  6. The literacy rate of adults is close 90% in South Africa.
  7. Almost one-fifth of South Africa’s economy is based on Mining.
  8. Thanks to the Mining industry in South Africa as it has employed 514,760 people.
  9. About 70% South Africans live in cities.

Fauna and Flora

  1. Many different animals feel home in South Africa such as impalas, wildebeests, white rhinos, hyenas, hippopotami, and Giraffes.
  2. Riverine Rabbit is among the critically endangered species of South Africa.
  3. About 200,000 species of fungi are found as of 2006 estimate.
  4. South Africa is abundant in plants species as there are 20,000 different species of plants that makes up the 10% of all plants of the world.
  5. Only 1% of the total South Africa’s land is forest.

Did You Know…? South Africa Facts For Kids

  1. Nelson Mandela was the first ever black president of the Republic of South Africa in 1991.
  2. Johannesburg is the largest city of South Africa.
  3. Gold and Diamond are the two elements that determine Africa’s economy.
  4. Sutherland is the coolest place of South Africa and it is located in the western Roggeveld Mountains. The temperature of Sutherland is -15o C.
  5. Upington is the hottest place with the temperature as high as 51.7o C. It is situated in the Northern Cape Kalahari.
  6. Nearly 50 murders take place each day in South Africa.
  7. The year of 2009 was the worst year in which 18,148 people were killed.
  8. The largest security industry in the world is South African’s Private Security Industry with over 400,000 security guards registered.
  9. In 1967 Christiaan Bernard performed a first human heart transplantation at Groote Schuur Hospital in South Africa.
  10. About two-third of Africa’s electricity comes from South Africa.
  11. Durban is the ninth largest port in the world. It is also the largest port of Africa.
  12. South Africa has 39 million cell phone users.
  13. The South African Power provides the fourth cheapest electricity in the world.
  14. The Congo Caves in Oudsthoorn are the longest underground caves in the world.
  15. The world’s deepest mines are Western Deep Levels. These are 3,777 meters deep.
  16. Vilakazi Street in the Orlando West, is the only street in the world to house two Noble Prize Winners; Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela used to live here.
  17. The fifth-best blue sky in the world is in Cape Town.
  18. South Africa is 12 times the size of Illinois (United States).


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