Countries Closest to South Africa with Exceptions

Name the non-African countries whose territory is geographically closest to South Africa.
Not counting overseas territories or departments
Not including the uninhabited South African possessions in the Prince Edward Islands
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: November 10, 2017
First submittedNovember 9, 2017
Times taken34,351
Average score85.7%
Rating4.88
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km
country
4118
Yemen
4485
Saudi Arabia
4945
Oman
5450
Maldives
5540
United Arab Emirates
5636
Qatar
5744
Bahrain
km
country
5746
Jordan
5747
Brazil
5766
Israel
5909
Iraq
5925
Kuwait
5955
Iran
6034
India
km
country
6099
Syria
6165
Lebanon
6185
Sri Lanka
6211
Pakistan
6321
Cyprus
6359
Greece
6464
Uruguay
+40
Level 63
Nov 9, 2017
Excellent quiz. Surprisingly easy though. Lots of freebies once you realize most of the middle east is easily within the range
+5
Level 80
Nov 9, 2017
Interesting!
+5
Level 83
Nov 9, 2017
Using Google Earth's ruler tool, I get a much longer distance to Australia (about 7600 km). Is there something tricky I'm overlooking?
+5
Level 72
Nov 9, 2017
You're right. And my "Countries Distance Matrix" concurs. Seems like next up is surprisingly- Uruguay, at 6465 km, narrowly beating out Turkey. Though that should probably be confirmed by whatever source Quizmaster is using.
+2
Level 66
Nov 9, 2017
Indonesia actually looks closer than Australia.
+2
Level 71
Nov 10, 2017
Maps are not at all useful for calculating – or even making wild guesstimates of – distances (even though in this case, it was the right guess!).
+6
Level ∞
Nov 9, 2017
I finally got around to writing a computer program to calculate distances. I dug a little deeper and it seems that Australia is 6397 km from Marion Island, an uninhabited island controlled by South Africa. I think I'll remove that answer and add a caveat.
+7
Level 58
Nov 9, 2017
With Argentina as a near miss?
+7
Level 80
Nov 10, 2017
Malta should be close too
+4
Level 65
Nov 22, 2017
Afghanistan seems much closer. Spain is also closer
+1
Level 48
Mar 30, 2020
Argentina misses it by only about 200 km
+3
Level 71
Nov 10, 2017
All but Uruguay. I tried Argentina and Chile -- figured if those were no then Uruguay wouldn't work. I should know better by now than to not at least try what I think is unlikely.
+2
Level 49
Mar 12, 2018
yeah gave up on south american countries after I got Brasil.. and Argentina and Chile didnt work haha
+2
Level 63
Nov 10, 2017
Uruguay's a big surprise. Never would've expected for it to appear.
+2
Level 61
Jul 2, 2020
It was the first one I got.
+1
Level 48
Dec 28, 2021
mine too
+4
Level 72
Nov 19, 2017
Even though I guessed Cyprus early on, I didn't get Greece until the last 5 seconds...I kept getting hung upon Turkey..
+3
Level 82
Mar 12, 2018
I never would have guessed Greece is closer than Turkey.
+1
Level 54
Mar 12, 2018
Probably because of Crete
+4
Level 55
Mar 17, 2018
The Greek island of Gavdos lies to the south of Crete, comprising the southernmost point of Europe.
+3
Level 86
Nov 19, 2019
Further south than Cyprus?
+4
Level 56
Aug 25, 2021
Not this again. Please shut up.
+1
Level 65
Nov 22, 2017
I tried Spain because of the Canary Islands, but they are 6900 km far
+1
Level 72
Jul 3, 2020
And anyway, the Canary Islands are considered part of Africa
+2
Level 56
Aug 25, 2021
And anyway, they are a overseas territory or department
+1
Level 45
Jan 8, 2018
UK? They own falkland islands. They are only 4,300 miles apart?
+7
Level 70
Feb 14, 2018
''Not counting overseas territories or departments.''

As statet in the top.

+1
Level 65
Mar 12, 2018
I'll be the political and correct commenter again, Islas Malvinas belong to Argentina.
+13
Level 63
Mar 18, 2018
The Falkland Islands belong to Argentina as much as Taiwan belongs to mainland China. Argentina's land claim is untenable.

The Falkland Islanders are British citizens.

+1
Level 73
Sep 30, 2020
Except the claim is not on the islanders but on the islands, and is far from untenable, as most of the UN countries seem to agree with.

Also, the Taiwan comparison is inadequate, since Taiwan is a sovereign nation, unlike the islands.

+5
Level 59
Jan 21, 2021
They had a referendum, and only three people voted against remaining as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. I think that's fairly conclusive.
+2
Level 69
May 8, 2022
The land claim is only untenable if you make this decisions by emotion rather than fact. They were unsettled, although possibly visited by native Patagonians, before European discovery. The islands were then controlled by Britain and France, the latter of which later surrendered its half to Spain (Spain, not Argentina). Buenos Aires claimed control of Spain’s South Atlantic holdings in 1816 and backed a German born governor, but they were never able to take control from the British.

The only ‘claim’ Argentina has is one of proximity. The islands are approx 300 miles off the coast of the southernmost point of Argentina: by that logic, India could claim Sri Lanka, Morocco the Canary Islands and the USA, the Bahamas (sovereign nation or otherwise is irrelevant if it’s simply a case of one country saying “that island is sort of nearby, therefore it’s ours.”). Apart from that, there were a handful of gauchos and fishermen on the islands. Never had them, couldn’t take them.

+1
Level 73
Mar 12, 2018
Cool quiz. I couldn't visualise it at all though so did really badly!
+1
Level 72
Mar 12, 2018
Interesting quiz, some surprises, good idea.
+1
Level 77
Mar 12, 2018
Can't believe I got Uruguay but forgot Iran and Iraq.
+1
Level 59
Mar 12, 2018
Forgot Greece while I got Turkey and Cyprus, good one.

And I knew I forgot one country in the Saudi Arabia area, forgot about Kuwait.

+1
Level 65
Mar 12, 2018
If greece is on this list, Malta should be too.
+1
Level 63
Nov 4, 2019
Italy would come before Malta because of the island of Lampedusa
+1
Level 30
Mar 12, 2018
Kuwait and Uruguay caught me off guard.
+1
Level 72
Mar 12, 2018
I got Uruguay after trying a bunch of other countries, since I figured if Brazil was so in range there had to be something else.

But Kuwait was the last one I remembered.

+1
Level 39
Mar 12, 2018
greece stuned me
+1
Level 67
Mar 14, 2018
"whose territory is geographically closest" (not including actual territories)
+3
Level 64
Jul 30, 2018
So no country should be on this list then?
+2
Level 66
Mar 24, 2018
Got all of them on the 2nd attempt. Was betrayed by Greece on the first run
+2
Level 77
Oct 2, 2018
I feel Russia and Norway should be on there - you know, just go off the bottom of the map and come back on the top...
+1
Level 56
Sep 30, 2021
Lol but world is sphere
+1
Level 58
Jul 7, 2019
Technically Norways Bouvet island is closest to south africa.
+1
Level 50
Jan 19, 2021
You may be right, but external territories are excluded.
+1
Level 61
Jul 2, 2020
Nice. How does quizmaster do it..
+1
Level 29
Jul 3, 2020
Why are none of them actually in Africa???
+3
Level 78
Jul 3, 2020
To make it more challenging?
+3
Level 48
Aug 19, 2021
That's the point. Sigh.
+1
Level 48
Aug 19, 2021
Nice quiz!
+1
Level 28
May 7, 2022
Portugal is also close because of the "Selvagens Islands"
+1
Level 44
May 7, 2022
not including overseas territories