The Listing Hop

Bish Denham is celebrating 8 years of blogging with this delightful bloghop! Congratulations Bish!

As Bish says: this fest will be so easy and fun it should probably be a crime. So I’ve hopped on board at the last minute…

The rules are simple. All you have to do is sign up, grab the banner, and make a list. I suggest you keep your list to between 5 and 25 items long.

My List: 8 Interesting Facts About South Africa

There were hundreds of facts to choose from, but I decided on eight.

  1. 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. South Africa also has the longest wine route in the world.

2. South Africa is rated 3rd in the world in supplying safe, drinkable tap water. Yep, simply turn on the tap (faucet for the Americans) and drink the clean water. I do it every day!

3. South Africa has the cheapest electricity in the world.

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

5. The world’s largest diamond was the Cullinan Diamond, found in South Africa in 1905. It weighed 3,106.75 carats uncut.

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

7. There are more than 2,000 shipwrecks, dating back at least 500 years, off the South African coast. More than one of these, including the Waratah, simply vanished without a trace.

8. Two of the world’s most profoundly compassionate philosophies originated in South Africa – Ubuntu (the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity) and Gandhi’s notion of “Passive resistance” (Satyagraha), which he developed while living in South Africa.

How many of the above facts did you know? Anything that interests you that I haven’t mentioned here? Ask away… I’ll try my best to answer your questions.

Are you interested in visiting South Africa? Remember that 1USD (US dollar) = 13.649ZAR (South African rand) so tourists really score… big time! 

Now I’m off to visit some of the other participants! 


  1. Alex J. Cavanaugh on October 26, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Your water is probably safer than ours.
    Wildebeests are that fast? I didn’t know that.
    Thanks for participating in the blog hop!

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Our water is clear and very safe. We drink it directly from the faucet.

  2. Southpaw HR Sinclair on October 26, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    That is one big diamond! I didn’t know wildebeests were fast? Those are some cool facts.

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Wildebeest have a maximum running speed of around 80 km/h (50 mph).

  3. Juneta on October 26, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Very informative and interesting list. #2 & #7 were my favorites facts to learn,

    Juneta Writer’s Gambit

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      Those shipwrecks are intriguing… lots of stories waiting to be told…

  4. Patricia Lynne on October 26, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Cool facts. I sorta knew the bit about Ubuntu because I’ve used the operating system and hubby told me there was a reason behind the name and icon they used.

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      I don’t know much about that operating system… did it originate here?

  5. Yvonne V on October 26, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    Very informative! These are all interesting facts that I didn’t know…


  6. J.L. Campbell on October 27, 2015 at 12:17 am

    Wow, these are fascinating facts, Michelle. Didn’t know most of these.

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      Maybe I need to post more of these educational/informative posts…

  7. Bish Denham on October 27, 2015 at 12:21 am

    Thanks for listing with me! The only fact I knew for sure was about Ghandi. I was somewhat aware of universal bond of sharing but didn’t know the name of the tribe. I also was somewhat aware of the ship wrecks, but not the number. Very interesting all of it!

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      The term is linked to the Nguni Bantu people.
      Thank you for hosting this wonderul bloghop!

  8. L. Diane Wolfe on October 27, 2015 at 12:30 am

    I bet a lot of people come there looking for those sunken ships.

  9. Roland Yeomans on October 27, 2015 at 12:50 am

    Fast Wildebeests!! My friend uses Ubuntu so I knew that one. Could I borrow that diamond? 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:26 pm

      I’m wondering, what will you do with the diamond? 🙂

  10. Denise Covey on October 27, 2015 at 2:28 am

    Pardon my ignorance, Michelle, but if I had have known that about the wine I would have high-tailed it over there before now! I know about the diamonds (mainly thanks to The Power of One). I’m not surprised about the shipwrecks. Many a tale has been told of losing ships in the Cape of Good Hope. Now thanks for reminding me of Ubuntu, which I find fascinating. When’s the next Ubuntu hop?

    Thanks for a very interesting share.

    Denise 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      Well, you are a seasoned traveller… always on the go… be sure to let me know when you’re in my neck of the woods, Denise! 🙂

  11. Shannon Lawrence on October 27, 2015 at 6:31 am

    I’m surprised wildebeests are so fast! I’m also now curious where the #1 and #2 safe clean water joints are. Cool facts. Thanks for sharing. I’d love to see more info on South Africa. My knowledge is fairly limited.

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      My city rates high for quality water!
      There are challenges, but our tap water quality still remains among the best in the world.

  12. Madeline Mora-Summonte on October 27, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Really interesting! My nephew’s favorite animal is the cheetah, and that fact about the shipwrecks is fascinating.

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:36 pm

      The cheetah is such a beautiful animal to look at… 🙂

  13. Guilie Castillo on October 27, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    VERY cool list, Michelle! I had no idea about the clean tap water… We’re very proud of that here in Curaçao, but it’s darn expensive—and, by the way, so is electricity. I’m another surprised camper about the wildebeest, too… somehow I always envisioned them as kind of stodgy, somewhat wild and not very friendly cows 😀 Yes, I’d absolutely LOOOOVE to visit SA one day. I came close when I was in the corporate world (the company I worked for had an office there), but, alas, I quit. Now I’ll need to do some very serious writing to afford it, haha 🙂

    UBUNTU! My very favoritests of all philosophies… Yeah, when’s the next Ubuntu hop? I want in! 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      Thanks Guilie!
      Will keep you posted with regards to the next Ubuntu hop! 🙂

  14. Julie Flanders on October 27, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    These were interesting facts! I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t really know any of them.
    I am fascinated by the shipwreck that vanished – seems like there could be a great story there. I also never would have guessed that wildebeests are one of the fastest animals.

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      We learn something new… every day… 🙂
      I could imagine you writing a great story based on a shipwreck… involving a ghost, maybe?

  15. Tyrean on October 27, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Cool facts! I admit, I didn’t know many of them and I didn’t know the wildebeest is fast. That last one feels especially bad since I used to take my kids for near-weekly visits at a nearby zoo and aquarium and we used to read a lot of animal fact books.

    And those shipwrecks – that just sounds like awesome story fodder. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      I need to look into the shipwreck stories… do some investigation… you never know what it may trigger… 🙂

  16. Arlee Bird on October 27, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    I didn’t know most of these. South Africa sounds like a pretty interesting place to visit. I’d be nervous about visiting in a ship.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      Flying would be the best option… all those shipwrecks are scary… 🙂

  17. Crystal Collier on October 28, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Ohh! That shipwreck detail makes me want to take a scuba trip.

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      I wonder how many people go scuba diving at the site of these shipwrecks? And what have they discovered? I’ll have to do a bit of research…

  18. Michael Di Gesu on October 28, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    I would love to visit South Africa… It sounds like an amazing place and would’ve quite the adventure! One day when I can afford the camera I want, I will hop on a plan and visit… I so want to go on a photographic safari!

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      You would LOVE the safari adventure, Michael!
      I can picture you with your camera… 🙂

  19. Mary Pax on October 28, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    It seems like it’d be a neat place to live. I’d love to visit someday. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on October 28, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      The South African Astronomical Observatory would interest you, Mary. It promotes astronomy and astrophysics in Southern Africa, by sharing research findings and discoveries. 🙂

  20. S. Katherine Anthony on October 31, 2015 at 3:03 am

    Hmm . . . I don’t believe that diamond exists. Have someone send it over to me for inspection, I’ll charge them a dollar per carat and I’ll make up a certificate of authenticity if it passes my tests.

    That’s crazy about the ships!

    • Michelle Wallace on November 4, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      You don’t believe it exists? Read Hilary’s comment below… 🙂

  21. LX Cain on October 31, 2015 at 4:45 am

    I love all the info about SA. I didn’t know any of that. I really like the fact that it has such variety of land, sea, and climate. That makes it great for vacations. Happy Halloween weekend! 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on November 4, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      Good to see your comment here, Lexa!
      SA is a prime holiday destination! With the gorgeous weather and the exchange rate which favors visitors, it’s a win-win! 🙂

  22. Cherie Reich on October 31, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    I loved learning about the facts about South Africa. I think I knew the diamond fact. It sounds familiar. That’s so cool you have cheetahs there. They’re my favorite wild cat.

  23. Yolanda Renee on October 31, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Great list, I love learning about places I’ve never been. So many ships, how mysterious.
    We have a well, but still drink bottled water, it’s safer. Would love to come across a diamond that big. 🙂

  24. Hilary on November 1, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Hi Michelle – the Ubuntu philosophy has come round once again … and you’ve some extra interested participants on offer here. I love SA as you know – the Skeleton Coast of Namibia has always intrigued – and I’ve been lucky enough to visit … I also read a very good book recently on it … I’d better write up about it —- sometime!

    I’m glad the water is working, I gather electricity is spasmodic, while the postal system is zero or thereabouts … depressing really … I know the Cullinan is in our Crown Jewels … hence the locking of the Tower of London so effectively each night!! Huge safe like metal box, within the Tower … which gets a lock-down … cheers Hilary

    • Michelle Wallace on November 4, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      I’m sure that diamond is well guarded. As you said, lock-down each night!
      Electricity is “up and down” but at least the water is okay… for now… who knows what the new year will bring… but we’ll remain positive… 🙂

  25. Christine Rains on November 2, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Fascinating list. I only knew a few of those things. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  26. Damyanti on November 4, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Love that bit about the cheap electricity, and the safe water. Wish we had those all over the world.

    And thanks for all your support in the last few days, Michelle!

    • Michelle Wallace on November 4, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      Electricity and water – two basic commodities that every country should have in place. Our electricity is the cheapest BUT we still have the load-shedding system… not on a continuous basis though… it comes and goes *sigh*
      You’re welcome, Damyanti!

  27. joylene on November 4, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Sorry I’m late, Michelle. I’m borrowing internet from my neighbour and trying not to overwhelm their usage. This is a very interesting list. I knew about the diamond, but not about the electricity.

  28. Medeia Sharif on November 21, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    That’s an amazing rate for the dollar. I didn’t know any of these facts.

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