Indeed, South Africa is the only country in the world that has 3 capitals, 11 different names, and the hometown of the new Miss Universe 2017.

Are you finding it interesting? In contrast to Nauru country, which has no capital, there are up to 3 capitals that coexist in South Africa. They are Pretoria – the administrative capital, Cape Town – the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein – the judicial capital. In addition to these three capital cities, South Africa also has another city that many consider being the capital. It is Johannesburg – the economic capital.

The 3 Capitals of South Africa

1. Pretoria – The Administrative Capital

Pretoria the administrative capital of South Africa
A corner of Pretoria capital.

Pretoria is located in the northernmost part of the country, in a valley surrounded by the Magaliesberg Mountains and named after Andries Pretorius, an African military hero and politician. This is the place where the presidential palace and the central government agencies, embassies of the countries are located.

Pretoria is also well-known for the purple phoenix trees. At the end of Oct, the trees are in full bloom, purple dyeing the ancient romantic city. If Johannesburg is bustle, hustle, and stuffy, Pretoria is the opposite, somewhat slow and peaceful. Although cars are pretty much, there is no traffic jam. The stores are only open at 9 am, and until 11 am on Saturdays, but they all close at 3 pm. Evenly, on Sundays, the streets are empty. Buildings, monuments, universities, Catholic churches, parks, ecological gardens, green trees, etc., all give Pretoria a European appearance. Indeed, the majority of Europeans live in this area.

2. Cape Town – The Legislative Capital

Cape Town - the legislative capital of South Africa
The capital Cape Town is one of the adventurous places on earth for traveling.

Cape Town, located in the Western Cape Province, is also home to Miss Universe 2017 – Demi Leigh Nel Peters. This city was voted by the Telegraph as one of the best cities, the most beautiful ports in the world, or a tourist city. Furthermore, it has the famous Table Mountain and Clifton Beach, which is one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world according to Forbes. Additionally, there is the Cape of Good Hope, which is the rocky headland of South Africa.

3. Bloemfontein – The Judicial Capital

Bloemfontein - The Judicial Capital
View of Bloemfontein from above.

Bloemfontein capital is known to tourists as the “Fountain of Flowers” or “The City of Roses”. Thus, there is a local event Rose Festival annually. It’s located in the Free State province and is so named because of the area’s large concentration of orange flowers. The city has been the seat of government since 1867 and is home to over 100 buildings listed on the National Heritage Register for South Africa.

The Country’s Names

South Africa actually has 11 different names, which are corresponding to 11 official languages. According to Wikipedia (Aug 2020), they are:

LanguageLong FormShort Form
AfrikaansRepubliek van Suid-AfrikaSuid-Afrika
EnglishRepublic of South AfricaSouth Africa
Northern SothoRepabliki ya Afrika-Borwa Afrika Borwa
Southern NdebeleiRiphabliki yeSewula AfrikaiSewula Afrika
Southern Sotho Rephaboliki ya Afrika BorwaAfrika Borwa
SwaziiRiphabhulikhi yeNingizimu AfrikaiNingizimu Afrika
TsongaRiphabliki ra Afrika DzongaAfrika-Dzonga
TswanaRephaboliki ya Aforika BorwaAforika Borwa
VendaRiphabuḽiki ya Afurika TshipembeAfurika Tshipembe
XhosaiRiphabliki yomZantsi AfrikauMzantsi Afrika
ZuluiRiphabhuliki yaseNingizimu AfrikaiNingizimu Afrika

Other Interesting Facts about South Africa

Yes, they are really interesting and impressive that you should know:

  • It has one of the longest “wine routes” in the world. To elaborate, the R26 route, run by Line 62 through the vast vineyards of Wellington, Tulbagh, Worcester, Robertson, and Klein Karoo. Activities along this route include wine tours, safari, museums, mountain climbing, etc.
  • South Africa has an area that four times larger than Japan, which is nearly 338,000 km2. Also, its land is twice as large as the state of Texas, USA, which is nearly 669,000 km2.
  • The country has the world’s oldest fossils. Furthermore, it is also home to 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In addition, Sudwala, the oldest cave in the world, is located in this country.
  • The world’s first heart transplant was performed in South Africa by Dr. Chris Barnard.
  • The world’s largest human-grown forest is located in Johannesburg.
  • Vilakazi in Soweto, Johannesburg is the only street in the world where two Nobel Prize winners live together.

Reference


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3 capital cities of south africa - the broad life's pinterest board
3 capitals of south africa - the broad life's pinterest board

26 COMMENTS

  1. I totally did not know this and assumed that Cape Town was South Africa’s only capital. Good trivia item to know, and makes sense to have different “functions” for each.

  2. Beautiful South Africa. Even more intriguing to find out this trivia about this country. I was thinking Cape Town or Johannesburg. South Africa’s history is even richer.

    • There’s even a considered to be the fourth but it’s unofficial.
      Read my post on the [IN FACT] series for more interesting facts.

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