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Animal World

South Africa is home to the:
largest land mammal
(The largest specimen ever recorded weighed over 8200 kg and stood more than 3.7 m at the shoulder)
African Elephant
African Elephant
African Shrew
Least Dwarf Shrew
smallest mammal
(Averaging 79 mm in length, including its tail, and weighing 3-4 gm)
tallest creature
(Males can reach as high as 6 metres)
fastest mammal
(Up to 113 km per hour)
largest reptile
(The largest specimen ever recorded was 3 meters from the tip of its beak to the tip of its tail and weighed in at 916 kg)
Leatherback Turtle
Leatherback Turtle
largest antelope
(About two metres at the shoulder and weighs up to 275 kg)
largest bird
(Average adult male can reach 1.5 metres at the shoulder, 2.7 metres in total height)
Kori Bustard
Kori Bustard
heaviest flying bird
(Males can attain a total length of 120-150 cm and a wing length of up to 260 cm, and a weight of up to 18 kg)
largest Rhino population
(Approx. 8500)
Rhino Whale Shark
Whale Shark
largest fish
(Can be up to 14 metres in length, weighing up to 13 600 kg)
Animal facts & habits:
Cape Buffalo:
A Cape Buffalo can run as fast as 50 kilometres per hour, and is extremely dangerous.  A wounded buffalo is regarded as one of the most dangerous animals that can be encountered.
Cape Buffalo Wild Dog Wild Dog:
Wild dogs are now extinct in many parts of its original range. They hunt in groups and circle their prey. There have been no known attacks on humans.
Leopards are normally solitary, secretive animals. They are opportunistic hunters, eating anything from Termites to Wildebeest. Leopards are extremely good tree climbers, and can drag a 100 kg carcass up a tree.
Leopard Hyena Hyena:
These animals prefer to scavenge from other animals, but if required, will kill their own prey. They are now known to be the Lion's worst adversary and have regularly been recorded chasing lions from a kill.
Lions feed about once every three to four days, but can go without food for more than a week. A lion's roar can be heard up to 8 kilometres away!
Lion Rhino Rhino:
There are two types; the White and the Black Rhino. There are about 6000 White and 2500 Black Rhinoceroses in South Africa.
Sable Antelope:
The horns of the Sable rise vertically, sweep backwards, are around 1 metre long and make lethal weapons.
Sable Antelope Elephant Elephant:
A large bull weighs up to 5000 kg and can drink up to 350 litres of water at a time!
A Cheetah can reach a speed of up to 113 kilometres per hour.
Cheetah Giraffe Giraffe:
A Giraffe has only seven neck vertebrae, like most mammals.


General Trivia

Transvaal ParkIf you are pining for waves, warm sands and palm trees, Transvaal Park is the place to go. This massive indoor water park, where the temperature is kept at a toasty 30 degrees Celsius year-round, lets you visit the tropics without ever leaving the city limits. Named after the former Boer Republic, the only problem you might encounter is that it is located in Moscow, Russia! African Giant EarthwormIn November, 1967, a specimen of the African Giant Earthworm Microchaetus rappi measuring 30 cm in length and 0,54 metres when naturally extended was found on the road between Alice and King William’s Town, South Africa. The average length of this species, however, is 8 to 15 cm in length, and 15 to 18 cm when naturally extended.
Graça Machel When Graça Machel married Nelson Mandela on 18 July 1998, she became the first woman in the world to have married the heads of state of two different countries. She was previously married to Samora Machel, the first president of Moçambique who was killed in a plane crash in 1986. Queen Alexandra's BirdwingThe largest known butterfly is Queen Alexandra's Birdwing from New Guinea which has a wingspan of approximately 280 mm; the smallest butterfly, the Dwarf Blue from Africa has a wingspan of only 13 mm.
Christiaan BarnardDr. Christiaan Barnard, at Groote Schuur Hospital, 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 the first to do a heart-lung transplant. South Africa is the world's leader in mining and Goldminerals. It has nearly 90% of the platinum metals on earth, 80% of the manganese, 73% of the chrome, 45% of the vanadium and 41% of the gold.
African Black-footed PenguinAfrican Black-footed Penguins, although they cannot fly, can swim up to 40 km per hour which is faster than the Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin, which can attain speeds of 29 - 37 kph. five fastest land animalsFour of the five fastest land animals live in Africa – the cheetah (100 km per hour), wildebeest, lion, and Thomson's gazelle (all about 80 kph).
IsandlwanaThe largest defeat ever suffered by a modern army at the hands of 'native' troops was Isandlwana in Southern Africa in the year 1879. The British army was fighting the Zulu empire and, during a battle between 1,400 British colonial forces armed with cannon and rifles and 30,000 Zulus armed with spears, the British lost. Deaths on the British side were estimated to be approximately 1,000 soldiers mainly from the 24th Regiment (Foot) and 300 native allies. Zulu losses were thought to be about 3,000. RooibosScientific studies from South Africa and Japan corroborate findings of potent antioxidants in an indigenous herb tea from the Southwestern Cape region of South Africa. Called Rooibos (roy-boss), this red tea is the only other tea in the world which undergoes a fermentation process like black tea. Fermentation turns the leaves of Rooibos from green to a deep red color and gives it a slightly sweet note with a deep body. Rooibos, unlike black and green tea is completely caffeine-free.
ParaglidingMore than 50% of the Paragliding world records have been set in South Africa. windmillThere are about 280 000 windmills on farms across South Africa, second in number only to Australia.
GermistonGermiston in the East Rand of Gauteng is South Africa's sixth largest city with 70% of the western world's gold passing through its gold refinery. It has South Africa's biggest railway junction and the busiest civil airport, Rand Airport. CullinanThe world's largest diamond was the Cullinan, 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 colour and clarity. They now form part of the British crown jewels.
Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu The only street in the world to house two Nobel Peace Prize winners is in Soweto. Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu both have houses in Vilakazi Street, Orlando West. Richards Bay Coal TerminalThe vast majority of South African coal exports are shipped through the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT). With the capacity to export 79.4 mmst annually, RBCT is the world’s largest coal export facility.

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