Discover the 27 Countries That Start with S

Map of South Africa
iStock.com/Nataliia Nikolenko

Written by Mitchelle Morgan

Updated: July 5, 2023

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Countries that start with S are located on different continents. They have unique histories, governance, culture, and economics. Their climate, vegetation, and wildlife also vary, depending on their location on Earth.

The economic differences between the countries that start with S result from varied political ideologies and economic activities. Economic prosperity also depends on other factors such as national policies, climate, and available natural resources.

The Most Populated Country that Starts with S – South Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, leads the countries starting with S, with the highest population. With over 59 million people, it is ranked 24th in the world for most populous countries. The country’s population is mixed, although 80% are of black African ancestry. Asian, European, and multiracial ancestry composes the rest.

The country is the southernmost republic in Africa, covering approximately 1,213,090 square kilometers. In South Africa, three capital cities are classified according to their function. However, the largest city, Johannesburg, is not among the administrative cities.

 The capitals are:

  • Pretoria – Executive
  • Bloemfontein – Judicial
  • Cape Town – Legislative

South Africa Wildlife

South Africa is among the leading economies in Africa. It also tops the list among the most visited countries in Africa. This is often due to the extraordinary wildlife.

Springbok antelope (Antidorcas marsupialis) jumping, South Africa

The

springbok

antelope is common in South Africa.

This country has a rich biodiversity, plateaus, oceans, mountainous regions, and escarpments sloping down into oceans.

Where Can You See Wild Animals in South Africa?

There are 19 national parks in South Africa which cover 3% of the total landmass in the country. Leading parks include:

  • Kruger National Park: It’s a UNESCO-protected area containing famous native wildlife of South Africa. You will spot lions, leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas in pursuit of antelopes and zebras. There are also herds of elephants and rhinos.
  • Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park: A portion of this park is located around the Kalahari Desert, but most of it is in neighboring Botswana. Visitors can see migratory elands, springboks, and wildebeests. Common predators include leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas. Over 200 species of birds exist within the park.
  • Addo Elephant National Park: This is one of the best places in Africa to see the largest land mammals, including rhinos, lions, and leopards. You can also see great white sharks, whales, and penguins in the park, at St. Croix and Bird Island.

The Most Densely Populated Country that Starts with S – Singapore

The Republic of Singapore is an island city-country in maritime Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the west by the Straits of Malacca, east by the China Sea, and south by Riau Islands. Singapore territory consists of one main island, one outlying islet, and 63 satellite islands and islets. 

There is a population of over 5.8 million sharing an area of 700 square kilometers in Singapore, translating to a density of 8,358 people per km2. It has the second-greatest population density globally.

However, since independence, the Singapore government has embarked on land reclamation projects which have seen the country increase its land mass by 25%.

Singapore Wildlife

Some exotic animals exist among Singapore’s diversified wildlife. On your visit to the country, ensure you don’t miss its beautiful flora and fauna.

bull sharks

You can find bull sharks in Singapore.

Wildlife in Singapore is diverse. Some animals you will encounter include:

  • Dugong
  • Lesser mousedeer
  • Bull sharks 
  • Banded leaf monkey
  • Wild pig
  • Pied Oriental hornbill
  • Sea turtle
  • Dolphins
  • Singapore whiskered myotis
  • Flying lemurs

Where Can You See Wild Animals in Singapore?

  • Kranji Marshes
  • Central Catchment Nature Reserve
  • Jurong Bird Park
  • Singapore Zoo
  • Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

The Largest Country that Starts with S by Area – Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has a land area of approximately 2,150,000 km2. Geographically, it is the largest sovereign country in Western Asia, the fifth largest in Asia, the second largest in the Arab world, and the 12th largest worldwide.

This country is in Western Asia and makes up most of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered to the north by Iraq and Jordan, to the northeast by Kuwait, to the east by Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, to the southeast by Oman, and to the south by Yemen. To the northwest, Saudi Arabia is separated from the Sinai by the Gulf of Aqaba.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lies on the Persian Gulf and Red Sea. It is the only country alongside both water bodies. Most of the country consists of arid deserts, mountains, and lowlands. As of October 2018, the country’s economy was the 18th largest in the world and the leading in the Middle East.

Interestingly, the country leads the world in youngest population. Approximately half of Saudi Arabia’s population of 35,950,400 is under 25 years old. It’s also among the highest oil-producing country.

Saudi Arabia Wildlife

Saudi Arabia’s habitats are deserts, hills, mountains, volcanoes, valleys, islands, and lakes. The habitats are home to unique types of animals. The dromedary camel is a common sight in Saudi Arabia and is the country’s national animal.

Amazing Desert Animals: Dromedary Camel

Young wild dromedaries are seen in Saudi Arabia often.

Where Can You See Wildlife in Saudi Arabia?

Some of the exotic wild animals you can see in the country are:

AnimalPlace Found
Hamadryas baboonsHijaz Mountains
Arabian leopardAsir Mountains
Arabian oryxMahazat as-Aayd Protected Area
Sand catWestern Desert
Hamerkop birdWadi Turabah Nature Reserve

The Oldest Country that Starts with S – San Marino

The Republic of San Marino is one of the world’s smallest countries and the oldest country that starts with S. Italy completely landlocks San Marino’s 60 Km square landmass.

The history of San Marino goes back to 301 BCE. It stems from a monastery at the top of Mount Titano, the center of the community constructed in the sixth century BCE. The constitution of San Marino dates back to the 1600s. In fact, it is the world’s oldest constitution. The continued independence of San Marino was due to its isolation in the mountainous terrain fortresses.

San Marino Wildlife

bearded vulture side profile closeup

The bearded vulture is common in San Marino.

Due to San Marino’s small size, it’s not home to much wildlife. Still, nine mammal species, 130 species of birds, and various insect species are found within the country. They include:

  • Wild boars
  • Wild dogs
  • Red foxes
  • Common bentwing bat
  • Mediterranean horseshoe bat
  • Asp vipers
  • Black widow spider
  • Bearded vulture

Where Can You See Wild Animals in San Marino?

An exploration within the San Marino countryside will offer you a chance to see its wild animals. Non-locals and locals alike can also visit San Marino Nature Park to see the native animals.

The Youngest Country that Starts with S – South Sudan

The Republic of South Sudan is found in sub-Saharan Africa and is a landlocked country. The country is in East-Central Africa. It is bordered to the north by Sudan, east by Ethiopia, south by Uganda, southwest by the Democratic Republic of Congo, southeast by Kenya, and west by the Central African Republic.

South Sudan is the youngest country in the world. After decades of unrest, the country gained independence on July 9, 2011, from the then more significant Sudan. Its capital is Juba, the largest city in the country.

South Sudan Wildlife

South Sudan has plateaus and plains watered by various tributaries draining into the River Nile and the Nile. There is a vast wetland at the country’s center called the Sudd— a unique area of a wetland ecosystem of international importance. South Sudan offers a variety of wild animals.

African Water Buffalo kick up dust in the early morning sunshine.

African water buffalos reside in Lantoto National Park.

Where Can You See Wild Animals in South Sudan?

  • The Boma National Park: The park has approximately 23,310 square kilometers of grassland and floodplains, a sanctuary for elephants, buffalo, antelopes, leopards, vultures, and eagles. 
  • The Bandingilo National Park has the world’s second largest antelope migratory route, an Equatorial region near Juba. As the white-eared kob, reedbuck, and tiang use the route, they attract predators like East African lions and cheetahs. There are also giraffes, birds, and rodents within the park.
  • The Lantoto National Park consists of forests and clearings covering 776 square kilometers. The park is a refuge for antelopes, buffalos, baboons, elephants, and ostriches. 
  • Southern National Park is an ecosystem of grasslands, rainforests, woodlands, and gallery forests. Antelopes, buffalo, and giraffes roaming the park attract lions. Crocodiles and freshwater fish like lungfish and catfish live in nearby rivers.

The Coldest Country that Starts with S – Sweden

Sweden, officially known as the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Nordic, Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. It is the third largest country in Europe, with an area of 450,295 square kilometers, and among the top 20 coldest countries in the world. It borders Finland to the east, Norway to the west and north, and connects to Denmark to the southwest via a bridge-tunnel across the Oresund Strait.

The country has a population of 10.4 million, of whom 87% live in urban areas. Sweden has the second lowest population density of any country at 25 persons per square kilometer.

In the northern part of the country, summer climates are mild, and winters are very cold. As a result, the landscapes remain under snow cover for several months. The lowest temperature recorded in Sweden reached -53.0 degrees Celsius in Malgovik in Vasterbotten County.

Sweden Wildlife

Sweden has many unspoiled forests and alpine lakes, home to many species. Animals that you see in Sweden include:

Where Can You See Wild Animals in Sweden?

Like the moose, you can easily spot most of Sweden’s wildlife hiking in the forests. However, you must hire a professional guide for elusive animals like wolves, Arctic foxes, and the lynx.

Arctic Fox on snow

Beautiful Arctic foxes are found in Sweden.

The country has 30 national parks where you can spot all kinds of wildlife. The most famous are:

  • Farnebofjarde National Park
  • Abisko National Park

The Most Insecure Country That Starts with S – Somali

Somalia is ranked among the most fragile countries in the world. The country is located at the horn of Africa, and it borders Djibouti to the northwest, the Indian Ocean to the east, the Gulf of Aden to the north, Kenya to the southwest, and Ethiopia to the west.

Since the start of the Somali civil war in the 1990s, guerilla groups and terrorists have hidden in the country, threatening peace. Most of the citizens are refugees from other countries. The wildlife population in Somalia is facing a threat from war and poaching.

Somali Wildlife

Despite the ongoing conflicts in Somalia, 177 species of mammals, 727 bird species, and 235 reptiles thrive in the country. The most widespread animals are dik-dik, elephant shrew, and leopards.

Three zebras in a golden grassland

Zebras are diminishing in Somalia due to poaching and the destruction of habitats.

Somali wildlife is scattered throughout the country. The destruction of habitats and poaching threaten wildlife, so many have migrated to its neighboring country Kenya. Sadly, the numbers of elephants, giraffes, hippos, zebras, rhinos, and oryx are diminishing.

Where Can You See Wildlife in Somali?

The few Somali national parks established in the 1980s lie in neglect after the collapse of the unified government in 1991. Visitors can still see some animals in these remaining parks:

  • Daallo Mountain National Park
  • Lag Badana National Park
  • Kismayo National Park

Population Comparison of Countries that Start with S

Here is the latest population data for countries that start with S, from most populated to least populated:

NumberCountryPopulation
1South Africa        59,392,250
2Spain         47,415,750
3Sudan         45,657,200
4Saudi Arabia         35,950,400
5Sri Lanka         22,156,000
6Syrian Arab Republic         21,324,370
7Somalia         17,065,580
8Senegal         16,876,720
9South Sudan         10,748,270
10Sweden         10,415,810
11Switzerland           8,703,410
12Sierra Leone           8,420,640
13Serbia           6,834,330
14Singapore           5,453,570
15Slovak Republic           5,447,250
16Slovenia           2,108,080
17Solomon Islands               707,850
18Suriname               612,990
19Sao Tome and Principe               223,110
20Samoa               218,760
21St. Lucia               179,650
22St. Vincent and the Grenadines               104,330
23Seychelles                 99,260
24St. Kitts and Nevis                 47,610
25Saint Maarten (Dutch part)                 42,850
26San Marino                 33,740
27St. Martin (French part)                 31,950


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About the Author

Mitchelle is a content writer who loves nature. She loves writing about animals and plants. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and going for nature walks.

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