Things you may have already known, but maybe not yet. 10 useful and less useful facts about South Africa:
1. In South Africa 11 official languages are spoken. Of which 40% of the population speak Zulu or Xhosa. Fortunately, almost everybody speaks English and is also Afrikaans as a main language. This seems a lot in Dutch. In particular, traffic signs that you encounter in Afrikaans too are funny and recognizable.
2. The well-known apartheid warrior Nelson Mandela was once married to Winnie Mandela. In the time when she became popular in the news, Herman van Veen played her role in the cartoon film series Alfred Jodocus Kwak as Winnie, Alfred’s girlfriend.
3. When you are invited to South Africans to eat there is a high chance that the Braai will be lit. This African variant on the barbecue is very popular. Like us, it is seen as a social event. Cozy with a wine to enjoy ostrich steak, ribs or boerewors.
4. At the end of the 1950s, your skin color determined which school you had to go. In practice, only whites were admitted to the major universities. Blacks and colored people were excluded from this. This apartheid politics lasted until the early 1990s.
5. On 9th August, National Women’s Day is celebrated, which means that women usually have free entrance in different parks and museums.
6. South Africa is more than 30 times larger than the Netherlands and has an area of 1,123,226 km2. The inhabitant is almost 45 million inhabitants, which is about three times higher than that of the Netherlands.
7. You would expect crocodiles to be dangerous animals. But not the crocodile but the hippo causes the most deadly victims annually. With about 200 deaths a year (and less than 10 by crocodiles) the hippopotamus is seen as Africa’s most dangerous animal.
8. Since South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are also reversed. When it is winter in Europe, it is summer in South Africa and vice versa.
9. In the Knysna area , the special bird ‘Knysna Loerie’ is spot on. You have to look good, because in spite of its bright colors, it is not between the green leaves. According to locals it’s a unicum to put one in the picture. I did it!
10. The Table Mountain in Cape Town has belonged to the seven new world wonders of nature since November 11, 2011. Along with the Amazon River, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Volcan Island Jeju, Komodo National Park & Islands and the underground Puerto Princesa River.