South Africa Garden Tour 2014
Wednesday October 8th to Thursday October 23rd, 2014
 

 

Tidbits of info…

Table Mountain in Cape Town is believed to be one of the oldest mountains in the world.

The world is divided into six floral kingdoms. All these kingdoms encompass several countries, and in some cases, several continents. South Africa, which has a floral kingdom wholly contained within the country, is the one exception. The Cape Floral Kingdom has 9,600 plant species, 70% of which are not found anywhere else in the world.

The national flower is the Protea

It has 11 official languages

Table Mountain alone has over 1,500 species of plants, more than the entire United Kingdom.

South Africa is the second largest exporter of fruit in the world.

South Africa has the longest wine route in the world.

Kruger National Park supports the greatest variety of wildlife species on the African continent.

South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique are tearing down fences between the countries' game parks to create a 13,500 square mile game park, which will become the largest conservation area in the world. It will be bigger than Switzerland, Belgium or Taiwan.

South Africa has a penguin colony, which thrives thanks to the cold Antarctic currents on the west coast near the Cape.

South Africa is rated 3rd in the world in supplying safe, drinkable tap water.

Walt Disney serves South African wine exclusively at its 73-acre Animal Kingdom Lodge in the United States.

South Africa has the cheapest electricity in the world.

The deepest mine is a gold mine in South Africa. in 1977 the Western Deep Levels Mine reached a depth of 11,749 feet. Most mines descend to about 3,300 feet.

South Africa is the only country in the world to voluntarily abandon its nuclear weapons program.

South Africa has 19,004 miles of railway track - 80% of Africa's rail infrastructure.

South Africa generates two-thirds of Africa's electricity.

Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world - and the largest green one. The Grand Canyon in the U.S. is the biggest, and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia the second, but both are very dry.

South Africa is home to the world's smallest succulent plants (less than 0.39 inches) and the largest (the baobab tree).

The only street in the world to house two Nobel Peace prizewinners is in Soweto. Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu both had/have houses on Vilakazi Street in Soweto.

South Africa is the world's largest producer of macadamia nuts.

South Africa has the third highest level of biodiversity in the world.

South Africa is the first country in Africa to host the prestigious FIFA World Cup

South African grasslands have approximately 30 species per square kilometer, greater than the biodiversity of rainforests.

South Africa is one of the most generously endowed geographic solar hotspots in the world, soaking up just over half of the world's highest category of solar wattage per square yard of land.

South Africa has deserts, mountains, escarpments, plateaus, grasslands, bush, wetlands and subtropical forests.

Most of the world's proto-mammalian fossils are found in the Karoo region.

Dr. Christiaan Barnard, at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, performed the first human heart transplant in the world in 1967. He was also the first to do a "piggyback" transplant in 1971, and he was the first to do a heart-lung transplant.

The world's largest diamond was the Cullinan Diamond, found in South Africa in 1905. It weighed 3,106.75 carats uncut. It was cut into the Great Star of Africa, weighing 530.2 carats, the Lesser Star of Africa, which weighs 317.40 carats, and 104 other diamonds of nearly flawless color and clarity. They now form part of the British crown jewels.

There are about 280,000 windmills on farms across South Africa, second in number only to Australia.

Three of the five fastest land animals live in South Africa - the cheetah (63 miles per hour), the wildebeest, and the lion.

In eastern South Africa, scientists have found traces of blue-green algae dating back 3,500 million years. This is some of the earliest evidence of life on Earth.

Although Pretoria is considered to be the capital of South Africa, the country actually has three capitals: Pretoria (executive), Cape Town (legislative), and Bloemfontein (judicial).

Approximately 900 bird species are found in South Africa alone, which represents 10% of the worlds total bird species.

Hippos are susceptible to sunburn, and spend most of their days with just their noses out of water. Their noses have special flaps that close when submerged, and they can stay under water for 25 minutes.

South Africa has the oldest wine industry outside of Europe and the Mediterranean, featuring Chardonnays, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cinsault, Riesling, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage varietals.
 

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