South Africa, which lies at the bottom tip of Africa, is often called the “Rainbow Nation,” not because of its natural beauty, but because the country has so many different groups of people and languages. More than 11 official languages are spoken in South Africa, plus many regional dialects.
South Africa is a beautiful and diverse country, with coastal plains, grassy plains and even tall mountains. Here, you’ll find many, many animals, including aardvarks, rhinos, wild dogs, zebras, lions, cheetahs and birds and fish. The government has created reserves to protect these animals, but illegal hunting continues to endanger many of them.
South Africa was colonized by the British in 1806. In 1910, the British made new rules that separated the whites from the blacks. These rules were known as apartheid and they caused years of wars and fighting. The country became a republic in 1994 when Nelson Mandela was elected president. Of all the countries in Africa, South Africa is the wealthiest. People mine gold and diamonds here. However, schools and health care are still lacking and many people have AIDS.
Fun Facts about South Africa for Kids
- 46,923,000 people live in South Africa.
- The country has 470,693 square miles of land.
- There are eleven official languages in South Africa, including Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.
- The main religions include Christianity, native religious faiths, Hinduism and Islam.
- People in South Africa can expect to live 53 years.
- 86 percent of adults can read.
South Africa Vocabulary
- Diverse: varied
- Illegal: against the law
- Endanger: potentially causing danger
- Apartheid: a form of racial segregation
Learn More All About South Africa
This is the best video we found for kids to learn about South Africa:
This is a video documentary of the South African culture and tradition.
South Africa Q&A
Question: What sports do people like to play in South Africa?
Answer: People love cricket, rugby and soccer. In 2010, South Africa hosted the World Cup.
Map of South Africa
Here’s a map of the country of South Africa and all its cities and villages. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around South Africa! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of South Africa, as though you are actually there!