1) South Africa's government is split across several cities. The national capital is in Pretoria where the President resides, the national parliament is based in Cape town and the Constitutional Court, South Africa's highest court is located in Johannesburg, which is also the country's largest city and commercial capital.
2) South Africa is famed for its national parks and game reserves. Its largest game reserve is the Kruger National Park which at 18,989 square km (7332 square miles) is approximately the size of Wales. It runs from the Zimbabwean border south for approximately 350 km along the border with Mozambique.
3) South Africa is the one of the world largest producers of precious metals and gems. The country is the largest producer of gold and platinum, and although no longer the largest producer of diamonds still accounts for about 15% of the world's production.
4) South Africa is the largest economy in Africa, and contains several of the continents biggest companies, the largest of which is the privately held mining firm the Anglo-Amercian Corporation. The largest publicly owned firm in South Africa is the Standard Bank Group.
5) Popular sports in South Africa include Football (Soccer), Rugby Union and Cricket. Football is the most popular and South Africa has been chosen to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, football's premier competition.
6) South Africa's longest river, and Africa's sixth longest, is the Orange River which rises in the Drakensberg mountains along the border between South Africa and Lesotho and runs for 2200 km (1367 miles) westwards where it goes on to form the border between Namibia and South Africa before it eventually discharges into the Atlantic Ocean.
7) South Africa's cuisine is very diverse reflecting the varied cultural influences in the country from the indigenous African cultures to the settler Dutch, Indian and Malay cultures amongst others. Popular foods include Biltong (dried meat), Bobotie (minced meat), Boerewors (spicy sausages),Serobe (offal casserole) and Umnqusho (beans porridge).
8) South Africa is home to the world's deepest pub. The pub is located on level 5 of a mine known as Shaft 14 six kilometres from Johannesburg's city centre and is 226 metres from the surface.
9) South Africa consists of 9 provinces; Eastern Cape (Bhisho), Free State (Bloemfontein), Guateng (Johannesburg), KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg), Limpopo (Polokwane), Mpumalanga (Nelspruit), Northern Cape (Kimberley), North West (Mafikeng) and Western Cape (Cape Town). Provincial capitals are in brackets.
10) South Africa's national anthem is a combination of two anthems. Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrica and the The Call of South Africa (Die Stem van Suid Afrika). The two anthems were combined in 1996 and the result was approved by the South African government as the new national anthem.