South Africa is a beautiful and diverse country, with so many unique places to explore. But did you know there are some pretty strange towns here too? From Bela Bela to Putsonderwater, these funny South African town names from around the country will have you laughing out loud!
A few funny South African names:
The name Tietiesbaai has two possible origins. One suggests it comes from Jacob Titus, a fisherman who tragically drowned here. The other points to the smooth round boulders that grace the bay. Regardless, Tietiesbaai is a destination worth exploring, especially during the spring flower season.
Bela Bela is located in Limpopo province, this town has a fun name that translates literally to “boil, boil.” The name is said to originate from hot springs in the area that were once used by Ancient African people for bathing and healing.
This incredibly long town name might just be the most unusual one in South Africa. Located in the North West province, it translates to “two buffaloes with one shot dead fountain.” The name is a reference to an event where two buffalos were killed with a single bullet by a Boer hunter at this same location many years ago.
The name “Baardskeerdersbos” in Afrikaans, literally translates to “Beard Shaver’s Bush”. This unique name originates from the presence of a particular species of sun spiders in the area. These arachnids are known as “beard shavers” because they use hair for nest-building purposes.
The name Knapdaar, which literally means “almost there,” is derived from its notable features: a railway and a hill. It can be theorised that the name reflects the effort required by trains to ascend the hill.
Originating from the Dutch phrase ‘De Bange Hoek,’ which translates to ‘Scary Corner,’ this name honours the courage of the early explorers who braved the treacherous mountain pass to discover a valley teeming with elephants, buffalo, lions, and leopards.
This deserted town has an interesting name that means “well without water.” In the 1880s, a man named David Ockhuis dug a well but refused to share the water with passers-by. When a trekboer asked for a drink in this dry and dusty land, the man replied, “Yes sir, I have a well, but it’s without water.”
This place gets its name from the farm where it was founded, cleverly referencing the phrase ‘hot as hell’. It reflects the intense heat during the farm’s survey and the overall scorching climate of the surrounding area.
This is one of the funniest town names in South Africa, as it translates directly to “the hell.” The Gamkaskloof is only accessible via a steep road that descends 579 meters (547 yards) to the valley settlement. It is believed that the name “Die Hel” is derived from the Afrikaans term “helling” or “hel,” which refers to a steep slope or incline.
Crook’s Corner earned its name due to the numerous outlaws who sought refuge in this area. Situated at the meeting point of South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique borders near Pafuri, it served as a strategic location for fugitives to evade capture by crossing into neighbouring countries.
Douse the Glim
“Douse the Glim” is another eccentrically named town in South Africa. During the Anglo-Boer War in 1902, a Scottish regiment set up camp in this area. To maintain secrecy, as nightfall approached, the sergeants instructed the troops to extinguish their lights by saying “douse the glim”.
Los My Cherry
This town, known for its name loosely translating to “leave my girlfriend,” was likely founded by a man with relationship issues. While the history behind this town remains unknown, the 2011 census reported around 1856 residents in the entire 7-kilometer area of Los-my-cherry.
Nestled in the far north of the Northern Cape, Klein Mier seems like the tiniest speck on the map. It’s so remote that the nearest city, Windhoek, lies 550km away in the neighboring country of Namibia.
Pofadder is a quaint town located in the Northern Cape of South Africa. Although the name “pofadder” is commonly associated with the venomous snake, this town was actually named after a prominent Korana chief named Klaas Pofadder.
Ogies, a mining town in Mpumalanga, derived its name from the Ogiesfontein farm where it was established. Today, it is renowned as the hub of South Africa’s largest electricity-producing region.
The town’s name may have come from securing wagon straps in rocky terrain. Another local story tells of a Damara man seeking relief from rheumatism at a mineral spring along the Molopo River. To reach the spring, he cleverly used leather strips to lower himself down the rugged walls. The town’s hot spring remains its main attraction.
The charm of funny town names in South Africa
Whether you seek an extraordinary destination or are intrigued by the funny town names of South Africa, prepare to be delighted. These towns are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face!
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