South Africa is one of the world’s most diverse countries.
The Republic of South Africa is in the southernmost region of the continent. Its long coastline stretches along the South Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean for more than 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles). While its coastline is lush, the rest of its geography is vast, flat, sparsely populated, and dry. More than 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) south of the mainland lie the Prince Edward Islands, a small sub-Antarctic archipelago.
South Africa has the largest economy in Africa. Tourism is one of the country’s greatest sources of revenue. Unlike other African nations, agriculture accounts for less than 10 percent of the population’s employment. The land is so dry, that 43 percent of South Africa’s total rainfall only occurs on 13 percent of the land.
Megadiverse countries are those with a majority of our planet’s species. South Africa’s incredible biodiversity is ranked sixth out of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries. And, it has more than 20,000 different plants (which is about 10 percent of our planet’s known species) and a wide variety of mammals, including the endangered riverine rabbit.