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What makes South Africa Unique, Part 1

WHAT MAKES SOUTH AFRICA UNIQUE? South Africa is unique in so many ways, almost too many to name! In this series we will be looking at different aspects of “What makes South Africa Unique”. In this 1st post, we will be looking at our Biodiversity.

BIODIVERSITY The Kruger National Park nature reserve supports the greatest variety of wildlife species on the African continent. It is roughly the size of Wales, or the state of Massachusetts (USA), which makes it the eighth largest reserve in the world. Home to one of the world’s 6 floral kingdoms, South Africa has one-tenth (23 200) of the world’s flowering plants, of which nearly 19 000 are endemic, making it the richest region in the world in terms of species to area – 1.7 times richer even than Brazil. It is the only country in the world to contain an entire floral kingdom. It is home to more kinds of mammals than North and South America combined; or Europe and Asia together. South African grasslands have approximately 30 species per square kilometer. South Africa has the third highest level of biodiversity in the world. Hermanus in the Western Cape is regarded as having one of the world’s best land-based whale-watching spots. Seal Island in False Bay is the only place in the world where Great Whites consistently breach (leap completely out of the water) to catch their prey, mainly seals. It also boasts the highest frequency of Great White shark attacks in the world. In 1991, South Africa became the first country in the world to protect the Great White shark. According to ‘Trivial Pursuit’, Graaf-Reinett in the Western Cape has the world’s biggest grapevine. South Africa is home to the world’s smallest succulent plants (less than 0.39 inches) and the largest (the baobab tree). The above covers some unique features of our BIODIVERSITY, something to be proud of, you’ll agree. In the next issues you will read about what makes South Africa unique in its: ARCHEOLOGY, GEOGRAPHY, GEOLOGY, BUSINESS, PEOPLE, ETC!! Remember to come back to read more…

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