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South Africa

South Africa: Political System

South Africa is a parliamentary republic in the Commonwealth of Nations. The bicameral parliament consists of the National Assembly with 360 to 400 members elected by proportional representation and the National Council with 90 members, of which each of the nine provinces elects ten deputies. The President is both head of state and head of government and is elected every five years by the National Assembly. The country is divided into 9 provinces.

South Africa: Political System

In the election to the country's parliament on April 22, 2009, the ANC, under the leadership of Jacob Zuma, gained around 65.9% of the vote. The Demakratische Allianz, led by the white Mayor Helen Zille of Cape Town, won around 16.66% and the break-off of Cope from the ANC received around 8% of the vote. Helen Zille has her roots in Berlin and is a great niece of the painter Heinrich Zille. Her parents had fled Germany from the Nazis in the 1930s. On May 6, 2009 Zuma was elected as the new president of the country with around 66% of the votes of the members of the newly elected parliament. His swearing-in took place on May 9th. According to Digopaul.com, the official name of the country is:

Republic of South Africa

National anthem

From 1936 to 1994 "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" (The Call of South Africa) was the official national anthem of South Africa. The text, originally in Afrikaans, came from Cornelius Jacob Langenhoven, the music was composed by Marthinus Lourens de Villiers. Part of this is included in the current anthem, which was introduced in 1994. The unofficial anthem of the black population during the apartheid regime was "N'kosi Sikelel 'iAfrica" (God bless Africa), it has the same melody and almost the same text as the anthem of Tanzania, Zambia and currently also Zimbabwe.

The new national anthem of South Africa is a compromise between this and the old anthem. The first stanza is "God bless Africa" in Xhosa, the second another stanza in Sesotho, followed by a stanza from "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" in Afrikaans and another in English. The text of the new hymn comes from Enoch Mankayi and Cornelius Jacob Langenhoven, the music from Enoch Mankayi and Marthinus Lourens de Villiers.

The national anthem in the original text In the English translation
Nkosi sikelel '

iAfrica Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,

Yizwa imithandazo yethu,

Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,

O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,

O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,

Setjhaba sa South Africa - South Africa.

Uit die blou van onse hemel,

Uit diepte van ons see,

Oor ons etwige gebergtes,

Waar die kranse antwoord gee,

Sounds the call to come together,

And united we shall stand,

Let us live and strive for freedom,

In South Africa our land.

God bless Africa,

raise your horn,

hear our prayers.

God bless us

we are your people.God bless our nation

End war and strife.

South Africa.

It echoes down from the blue sky,

sounds from the depths of our seas,

from our eternal mountains

where the echo resounds from the rocks.

There is a call to come together,

and together we should exist,

let us live and fight for freedom

in South Africa, our country.

National flag

The current national flag (country flag) of South Africa was introduced after the new constitution came into force on April 27, 1994. Based on flag descriptions by Countryaah.com, the colors of the flag are interpreted as follows:

- Red symbolizes the blood that was shed during the liberation struggles

- Blue stands for the two oceans and the sky

- White for the white population and for peace

- Black stands for the black majority of the population

- Green symbolizes the nature of the country

- yellow or gold stands for the wealth of natural resources

South Africa flag and coat of arms

South Africa: Known People

Sir Herbert Baker (1862 - 1946)

The native Englishman was the most famous builder in South Africa. He got to know Rhodes at Cape Cecil, which made him famous as an architect. After studying in Italy and Greece, he built the Parktown estates in South Africa, magnificent buildings in the posh district of Johannesburg. He built St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town, the South African Institute for Medical Research in Johannesburg and the Union Building in Pretoria. He later built the South Africa House in Trafalgar Square in London. In 1923 he was knighted and buried in Westminster Abbey after his death.

Christiaan Neethling Barnard (1922-2001)

cardiac surgeon, he successfully transplanted a heart for the first time on December 3, 1967. The recipient was Louis Washkansky, who only survived 18 days. The second patient, Philip Bleiberg, had a heart implanted on January 2, 1968. He lived with the transplanted heart for around 19 months.

Barney Barnato (1852 - 1897)

The diamond magnate was a co-owner of the De Beers company founded by Cecil Rhodes, after having long been its competitor. From 1889 he was a member of parliament in the Capparliament. Allegedly he committed suicide in 1897 by jumping off a ship at sea.

Pieter Willem Botha (born 1916)

Botha was Prime Minister of the country from 1978 to 1984 and President of the Republic from 1984 to 1989. He was a defender of apartheid and racial segregation and was known in South Africa as PW or "The Groot Krokodil" (the great crocodile) because of the ruthless persecution of his political opponents. His style of government was authoritarian and he was decried as a racist dictator in Europe. His successor was Frederik Willem de Klerk.

Frederik Willem de Klerk (born 1936)

was President of the Republic of South Africa from 1989 to 1994. Until his election he was considered a proponent of apartheid, but made a significant contribution to the dismantling of apartheid and the transition to democracy during his tenure. In 1993 de Klerk received the Nobel Peace Prize together with Nelson Mandela.

Athol Fugard (born 1932)

Fugard worked in his youth in Johannesburg as an actor and editor, where he also began to write dramas. He later also wrote novels and other dramas that deal with racism. His works include "Tsotsi", "The Blood Knot" and "Hello and Goodbye".

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

Gandhi was a pacifist, human rights activist and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, which in 1947 brought about the end of British colonial rule over India with the concept of nonviolent resistance he developed. The Sanskrit name of honor Mahátma ("Great Soul") comes from the Indian philosopher and Nobel Prize winner for literature Rabindranath Tagore. Gandhi lived in South Africa from 1893 to 1915 and got India to support the British in the Boer War. He himself did a medical service. For a long time he hoped that the living conditions of the Indians in South Africa would improve, but he soon realized that life would remain unpleasant for the Indians for a long time to come. Nadine Gordimer (1923-2014)

Gordimer was born on November 22, 1923 in Springs, Transvaal, now Gauteng. Her father was a Jewish jeweler who came to South Aftika from Lithuania at the age of 13 - her mother was English.

She is one of the most famous writers in South Africa. In her novels, stories and essays, she dealt critically with the South African apartheid policy.

In 1974 she received the Booker Prize and in 1991 the Nobel Prize in Literature.

She died on July 13, 2014 in Cape Town

Frederik Willem de Klerk (born 1936)

was President of the Republic of South Africa from 1989 to 1994. Until his election he was considered a proponent of apartheid, but made a significant contribution to the dismantling of apartheid and the transition to democracy during his tenure. In 1993 de Klerk received the Nobel Peace Prize together with Nelson Mandela.

Paul Kruger (1825-1904)

Kruger led the Boer uprising against British rule in 1880. He was President of the Transvaal from 1883 and fought for independence for the South African Republic. During the Second Boer War, Kruger resigned from his office as president and left South Africa in 1900. His wife was unable to accompany him due to a serious illness and died shortly afterwards. He himself died in Switzerland and was buried in Pretoria. He was the founder of the Kruger National Park (also: Kruger National Park) and is depicted on the Krugerrand gold coin named after him.

Miriam Makeba (1932-2008)

The singer Makeba was born on March 4, 1932 in a township near Johannesburg. The colored artist became involved against apartheid very early on. As a result, she was refused entry to South Africa in 1959 after a stay abroad, the reason at that time being her participation in the anti-partisan film "Come back Africa". Makeba was also called "Mother Africa" because of her commitment against poverty, AIDS and crime. Only at the request of Nelson Mandela did she return to South Africa in 1990 and has since lived in Johannesburg again. On November 10, 2008, she died at an anti-mafia concert in Castel Volturno - a town about 35 km northwest of Naples - after a heart attack that she had suffered on stage.

Hugh Masekela (born 1939)

The South African musician was born in Johannesburg. He lived in exile in the US from 1961 and did not return to his homeland until after apartheid was lifted. His best known titles include "Grazing in the Grass" and "Bring Him Back Home", an anthem on the occasion of Nelson Mandela's liberation.

Nelson Mandela (1918-20013)

Nelson Mandela, who was actually born as Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela in Mvezo (Transkei), was the most important fighter against the inhuman apartheid system in South Africa and the most important pioneer of the conciliatory transition from apartheid to an equality-oriented South Africa. After childhood with the Thembu tribe, Mandela studied law and worked as a lawyer. In 1944 he founded the youth organization of the ANC, the African National Congress. After a long opposition to the apartheid regime in South Africa, he became the leader of Umkhonto We Sizwe, the armed arm of the ANC, in 1961. After a five-year prison sentence for calling on strikes and for illegally traveling abroad, he was sentenced to life imprisonment on the notorious prison island Robben Island (near Cape Town) in 1964, because he planned an armed uprising. He remained in custody until 1990, when he was released due to international pressure and a large-scale campaign by the ANC. In 1993 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and a year later the South Africans democratically elected him as the country's first black president. During his tenure, the transformation of South Africa and the abolition of the apartheid system began. In 1999 he resigned because of strong criticism of some political decisions (military operation in Lesotho etc.), but continued to work for human rights organizations. In 2003 he spoke out against the US attack on Iraq. then he was released due to international pressure and a broad campaign by the ANC. In 1993 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and a year later the South Africans democratically elected him as the country's first black president. During his tenure, the transformation of South Africa and the abolition of the apartheid system began. In 1999 he resigned because of strong criticism of some political decisions (military operation in Lesotho etc.), but continued to work for human rights organizations. In 2003 he spoke out against the US attack on Iraq. then he was released due to international pressure and a broad campaign by the ANC. In 1993 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and a year later the South Africans democratically elected him as the country's first black president. During his tenure, the transformation of South Africa and the abolition of the apartheid system began. In 1999 he resigned because of strong criticism of some political decisions (military operation in Lesotho etc.), but continued to work for human rights organizations. In 2003 he spoke out against the US attack on Iraq. During his tenure, the transformation of South Africa and the abolition of the apartheid system began. In 1999 he resigned because of strong criticism of some political decisions (military operation in Lesotho etc.), but continued to work for human rights organizations. In 2003 he spoke out against the US attack on Iraq. During his tenure, the transformation of South Africa and the abolition of the apartheid system began. In 1999 he resigned because of strong criticism of some political decisions (military operation in Lesotho etc.), but continued to work for human rights organizations. In 2003 he spoke out against the US attack on Iraq.

Mandela lived in Johannesburg, where he died on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95.

Thabo Mbeki (born 1942)

Thabo Mbeki - from the Xhosen tribe - has been President of South Africa since 1999. He belongs to the ANC.

Alfred Milner (1854 - 1925)

The British politician was High Commissioner for South Africa and Governor of the Cape Colony. He was a strict opponent of the President of the South African Republic, Paul Kruger.

Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (born 1980)

Mulaudzi won the gold medal in the men's 800m run at the 2009 World Athletics Championships in Berlin. He covered the distance in 1: 45.29 minutes.

Cecil John Rhodes (1853-1902)

Rhodes is the founder of the De Beers Mining Company. As a child he suffered from tuberculosis for a long time and was sent to his brother in South Africa for health reasons. Within a decade, he dominated 90% of the world's diamond production. He did business with imperial governments and brought the regions north of Limpopo under the control of his South African Company. These areas - today Zimbabwe and Zambia - were called Rhodesia from 1895.

Johan Rissik

This surveyor gave the city of Johannesburg its name around 1886.

Caster Semenya (born 1991)

Semenya won the gold medal in the women's 800m run at the 2009 World Athletics Championships in Berlin. She covered the distance in 1: 55.45 minutes.

Jan Christiaan Smuts (1870 - 1950)

The South African statesman personifies the conflict in which South Africa found itself at the beginning of the 20th century. He was the son of an Afrikaans farming family and spoke English with a Swartland accent. He studied in Stellenbosch and Cambridge. During World War I he was the commander of the royal armed forces in East Africa, and twice he was South African Prime Minister, but never had the full support of his compatriots. He always tried to align the values of the different groups in the country with one another. In 1946, when he was 76 years old, he was involved in the development of a United Nations human rights charter.

Helen Suzman (1917-2009)

Politician and human rights activist. Suzman's Jewish parents had emigrated to South Africa from Lithuania. Early on, she campaigned against the politics of apartheid and for non-whites to vote in South Africa. The ANC's President Mbeki was also critical of his AIDS policy and his attitude towards Mugabe from Smbabwe. She died on January 1, 2009 in Johannesburg.

JRR Tolkien (1892-1973)

The English writer and philologist was born in South Africa because his father had left England to work in the colonies, he was director of the Bank of Africa in Bloemfontein. Tolkien wrote numerous stories and novels, which mainly take place in one of his own fantastic cultures, including his own language, history and precise geography and cartography. The best-known stories are that of the little Hobbit (1937) and thus the world-famous trilogy "The Lord of the Rings" (1954 - 1955).

Archbishop Desmond Tutu (born 1931)

Tutu became General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches in 1978. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his work against apartheid.

Jan van Riebeeck (1619 - 1677)

The Dutch ship's doctor led an expedition to South Africa in 1651 to build a base for supplying ships with food. On April 6, 1652, the expedition reached the Cape of Good Hope. At the foot of Table Mountain, the expedition members built a fortress, grew vegetables and fruit and traded with the natives. Cape Town developed from this settlement. Jan van Riebeeck administered the Cape Colony until 1662.

Helen Zille (born 1951)

Helen Zille, born in Johannesburg in 1951, a South African journalist and politician with German roots, has been the mayor of Cape Town since 2006. By the way, Helen Zille is the great niece of the draftsman and graphic artist Heinrich Zille.

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma (born 1942)

was Vice President of the country from 1999 to 2005 and has been Chairman of the ANC since December 18, 2007.

South Africa: animals

Mammals

The term "The Big Five" is most commonly heard in connection with large mammals in South Africa. These include lion, buffalo, African elephant, rhinoceros and the leopard. All five can be seen on photo safaris in Africa's largest national park, the Kruger National Park, but the lions become fewer and fewer over the years, as do the other larger mammals. One of the main reasons for this are the hunting safaris that are offered again and again.

You can meet baboons all over South Africa, but this is particularly common in the mountains. They live in herds of 100 animals and feed on insects, lizards, fruits and berries. Even if the monkeys look very cute at first glance, feeding them is strictly forbidden, as they can become aggressive and then attack. It is better to keep an eye on one's belongings, since the baboons are trained thieves. Leopards, the desert lynx and the honey badger also live in the mountains.

Giraffes and numerous antelope species such as impala (black heel antelope), kudu, oryx gazella and springbok are somewhat more common.

Impalas

Impalas are characterized by their up to 9 m wide and 3 m high jumps. The two black stripes on the otherwise light brown rump are also characteristic. The up to 90 cm long horns are only found in the males. Impalas are widespread in the entire southern part of Africa, such as in Botswana.

Cape zebras, white and black rhinos and colored buck also live in South Africa. The white-tailed wildebeest as well as the horse-sized eland and the bleßbuck live exclusively in the grasslands of South Africa.

The Karu area is home to some of the native animals such as the raccoon dog-related spoonhound, the black-backed jackal, the meerkat and the ground squirrel. The bucket dog owes its name to the large, bag-shaped ears that seem almost too big for the small snout.

Typical residents of the rare forests are the little-known white-throated monkey, the bush pig, the schirrantilope and the blue duiker, which also belongs to the antelope.

Snakes (not poisonous)

Most of the snakes found in South Africa are non-poisonous, including the mole snake. However, their bite can be quite painful.

The rock python is also non-toxic, but that doesn't make it any less dangerous. It is one of the strangler snakes and wraps around and chokes its victim until the most important blood vessels in the body burst, which in the end inevitably leads to death.

Poisonous animals

There are around 34 poisonous species of snakes in South Africa, 14 of which can be dangerous to humans. One of the very poisonous snakes is the spitting cobra, which squirts its venom and can also bite. It aims exactly at the eyes and also hits.

The venom of the cape cobra leads to muscle paralysis, respiratory arrest and ultimately heart failure. The puff adder is poisonous and also occurs frequently.

The largest venomous snake in Africa is the black mamba, two drops of which are enough to kill a person and not much less poisonous, the green mamba.

Tree snakes, also called boomslang known to have a very effective poison, which leads to bleeding of the internal organs, mucous membranes and the skin.

Since most of the snakes are shy and tend to flee from humans. There are many reasons why you should avoid reaching into caves and crevices with your bare hands. In general, however, if a snake feels threatened and is attacked, it also defends itself.

The atropose viper also belongs to the poisonous snakes.

Other poisonous animals that are harmless to humans are the so-called assassin spiders. Although they belong to the group of spiders, they do not weave sticky webs, but instead kill their prey from a safe distance with a poisonous tooth. This is extremely elongated and sits on the jaws of the only 2 mm large spiders. In parallel to the long fang, the assassin spiders have also developed a long neck. Today, apart from South Africa, they can only be found in Madagascar and Australia.

Birds

The country's national bird is the endangered paradise crane, which, like the blue tern, is found in Mpumalanga. The latter is the most endangered bird in South Africa. The paradise crane grows up to 1 m tall and has a blue-gray plumage, which has earned it the nickname blue crane. Characteristic are the black decorative feathers on the wings that reach to the ground and the white parting on the head. The paradise crane feeds mainly on plant-based food, but also enhances the menu with fish, frogs, small reptiles and insects. Larger populations of the beautiful bird can be admired near Cape Town on the Breede River and at Caledon.

Flamingos and ostriches are numerous. Flamingos form a family of their own and are also common in parts of South America, western Asia, and southern France. The up to 130 cm tall birds are immediately recognizable by their long and thin neck, by their thin legs and by their thick, downwardly curved pink beak with a black tip. This is used as a sieve when searching for food. The menu includes worms, algae and, above all, small crustaceans. They are also responsible for the pink plumage of the flamingos. The red dye absorbed with the crabs is stored in the feathers. After all, the more crabs the birds have eaten, the more pink they are. The famous one-legged standing is used to store heat, because one leg is hidden in the warm plumage and there is less heat loss. This feat is not strenuous for the flamingos (as well as for storks).

On the coast and on the islands you can find large colonies of African penguins, which, like many other birds in South Africa, are protected.

The colorful birds include the tokos on fruit-bearing trees of the savannah, the African hoopoe and the Knysna Loerie in the Knysna forests. The latter is endemic (only found in South Africa) and related to the European cuckoo. The green body with the red wings is characteristic. These only look red during the flight, otherwise they appear blue. A clear feature is also the comb on the head and the brown eyes with the red eye ring and two white lines above and below the eyes.

There are also numerous species of kingfisher and birds of prey such as the in South Africa Predatory eagle. The Nama flying chickens are mostly at water points. The gackle bustard and guinea fowl live in the grasslands.

Insects, spiders

The rare African Bolass spider has been given its own reserve for protection, the Umgeni Valley spider reserve in Kwazulu-Natal. The copper butterflies, which have been to be admired in the butterfly reserve in Ruimsig since 1984, are also rare.

The malaria-transmitting anopheles mosquito is widespread south of the Sahara and there is an increased risk of disease in South Africa. The most important preventive measure is avoiding bites with mosquito creams, mosquito sprays and suitable clothing.

Underwater world

There are large seal colonies in the Cape Town area and on Seal Island. Divers are advised to stay away from these areas as they are one of the great white shark hunting grounds . This is often found on the coast of South Africa as well as in Shark Alley and in the area around Gansbaai and Kleinbaai. In total there are around 350 different species of shark to be seen in South Africa. These include copper sharks, cat sharks, sand tigers - and blue sharks.

Whales such as the right whales in False Bay and Walker Bay and humpback whales near Plettenberg Bay are also not uncommon in South Africa and can be seen from July to early December.

Huge schools of sardines pass along South Africa's coast between May and July and attract not only whales and sharks but also dolphins, sea lions and numerous sea birds.

https://www.goruma.de/laender/afrika/suedafrika/suedafrika-tiere

South Africa: plants

Trees

Probably the most common tree in the rather treeless South Africa is growing in the north and northwest baobab tree, known as the baobab. This tree with its strikingly shaped trunk and silver-gray bark belongs to the wool tree family and can live up to 1000 years.

It is also characterized by its cucumber-shaped and wood-skinned fruits as well as fatty seeds. The baobab can store up to 5000 liters of water in the dry season, but then it loses all its leaves in order to protect itself from excessive evaporation and thus from dying of thirst.

Forests are rare in South Africa as the original vegetation has been cut down to make way for crops. But they still occur around Knysna and Tsitsikamma. Yellowwood, ironwood and lemonwood trees are native here. The Cape spoon tree and the stinkwood tree, which is particularly preferred by elephants, can only be found in the Tsitsikamma Forest nature reserve, and the Cape laurel tree is almost extinct, as its wood was highly valued in furniture construction. In the grassland there are trees only on ravines and river banks. The silver tree, which grows exclusively on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, is also very rare in the Cape. The tree, which does not grow taller than approx. 10 m, owes its name to the leaves covered with long hair that shimmer silvery in the sun.

Bushwillow/Combremum trees and the sometimes bush-like mopane trees with their butterfly-like leaves grow in the east of the savannah, while construction euphorbias and bacon trees are common in the south. The latter belong to the succulents and got their name because of the fleshy and shiny leaves, which make them appear greased.

In South Africa there are only quiver trees in the Richtersveld National Park, where they can grow up to 10 m high. But they also grow in Namibia.

Crops

The baobab is used in a variety of ways. The bark fibers can be used to make cords, the seeds are roasted and drunk as coffee, and the pollen can be used to make glue.

The quiver tree, which can be up to 10 m high, is a tried and tested utility tree. Quivers for arrows have been made from its trunk for a long time, which is what earned it its name.

The wood of the mopane tree is often used as firewood, construction and furniture wood, just as the wood of the stinkwood tree is used in the furniture industry. The stinkwood tree got its unflattering name because its trunk develops a very strong and unpleasant smell when it is freshly felled.

Medicinal plants

The bark of the stinkwood tree, when ground into powder, is often used as a remedy for headaches and stomach problems.

Aloe ferox, a close relative of aloe vera, which is very popular and well-known as a medicinal plant, grows wild in the plateaus along the coast. The desert plant belongs to the lily family and is a leaf succulent because it can do without water for weeks thanks to the water stored in the leaves. In contrast to Aloe vera, Aloe ferox develops a trunk up to 4 m high, on which the 50 cm long, thick leaves that are toothed on the edge are arranged in a rosette. The healing properties of both species are similar, and even if Aloe vera is more widely known, the active ingredients of Aloe ferox are much more concentrated. Of the around 200 species of aloe, these two are the only ones that are said to have a healing effect on humans. Taken inside for example in the form of a juice, the substances have a strengthening and detoxifying effect on the immune system. If the gel contained in the leaves is applied externally, it has a skin-caring effect and a soothing effect on mosquito bites, sunburn and burns. It also has a disinfectant and wound and scar healing effect. Aloe proves these properties in itself by being able to close wounds on leaves within a few hours. However, the plant only develops the full range of its active ingredients at the age of 3-4 years. All wild growing aloe species are under nature protection! in addition to caring for the skin, it also has a soothing effect on mosquito bites, sunburn and burns. It also has a disinfectant and wound and scar healing effect. Aloe proves these properties in itself by being able to close wounds on leaves within a few hours. However, the plant only develops the full range of its active ingredients at the age of 3-4 years. All wild growing aloe species are under nature protection! in addition to caring for the skin, it also has a soothing effect on mosquito bites, sunburns and burns. It also has a disinfectant and wound and scar healing effect. Aloe proves these properties in itself by being able to close wounds on leaves within a few hours. However, the plant only develops the full range of its active ingredients at the age of 3-4 years. All wild growing aloe species are under nature protection!

Poisonous plants

Like all milkweed plants, candelabra euphoria contains a white sap that is extremely toxic. A single drop in the eyes can lead to blindness and burns on the skin. The plant is traditionally grown as a protective fence against wild animals, as they know about the dangerous effects and keep away from the poisonous plant.

Introduced plants

The spruce and eucalyptus trees growing in the forests were once brought into the country, as were the ornamental jacaranda trees that came to South Africa from South America. Cacti (opuntia) that did not originally come from South Africa have adapted particularly well.

More plants

The term fynbos ("fine bush") is inseparable from South Africa. It is home to a total of more than 8500 plant species, of which 6000 species are endemic (only occurring here). Erica species and the Proteas (silver tree plants) are particularly common. The latter also includes the national plant of South Africa, the king protea.

Due to the hard outer petals, the flower has a calyx-shaped appearance and often reaches a diameter of 30 cm. The flower looks particularly beautiful due to the silvery, white, yellow and red colored petals. In addition, the plant has a thick bark and is therefore fire-resistant, which is a great advantage in South Africa, as bushfires are the rule here. Just like in Australia, where the king protea also occurs. It is found in South Africa on the Cape from Port Elisabeth to the west coast around Vanrhynsdorp, where it also grows at heights of 2400 m.

The protected Snow Protea only grows in the Cedar Mountains and blooms between January and March. Other plants of the fynbos besides shrubs and bushes are aster species, everlasting flowers, bulb flowers, lilies, fresias and the iris. The flower carpets, which unfold their full splendor for a short time after the rain on the Succulent Karoo, are wonderful to look at. During the dry season in summer only succulents like the thick-leaf plants with their thick and fleshy leaves thrive here, which store water in this way and thus defy the drought. Occasionally you can come across trees with a white bark here, which have developed a method of reflecting the heat.

Some of the plants, which are very well known and loved in Europe, originally come from South Africa. These include asters, geraniums, irises, and strelizia. Wool trees can live up to 1,000 years.

The bird of paradise flower, which belongs to the banana family, is also native. The long stem can be up to 1.5 m tall, but what is impressive is not so much the size of the plant, but rather the shape and color of the petals. Orange-yellow and blue petals grow out of the bract, which is often variable in color, and are reminiscent of the head of a tropical bird.

The thorn savannah has its own vegetation. Plants such as the camel thorn, camphor bush and poisonous candelabra euphorbias grow here.

 

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Guyana Nicaragua New Caledonia New Zealand Montserrat Panama
Paraguay Peru Niue Northern Mariana Islands Puerto Rico Saba
Uruguay Venezuela Palau Pitcairn   Trinidad and Tobago

North America

Samoa Papua New Guinea    
Canada Greenland Solomon Islands Tokelau    
Mexico United States Tonga Tuvalu    
    Vanuatu Wallis and Futuna    

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