South Africa is pockmarked with small, semi-desolate towns that wouldn’t make a blip on your GPS screen if it wasn’t for their interesting names. From mild to wild, South Africa has some of the oddest sounding town names in the world.
The View Today has compiled a list of some of our favourite sounding towns in South Africa. Hold on tight, because this is going to get weird!
Translated as “Cannibals’ Mountain”, near the town of Thaba ‘Nchu in the Free State, was named for the poor souls who, fleeing from Shaka Zulu during the infamous Mfecane (The Great Scattering) in the mid-1800s, took refuge on this mountain. Without crops and livestock, they resorted to cannibalism to survive. According to some, the survivors developed such a love for human flesh that they began hunting people…
Dirkiesdorp (Dirkie’s Town) is a town in Gert Sibande District Municipality in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. According to the 2011 census, the town was populated by 2432 people, 99,10% of which were black, Zulu speaking residents. We could not ascertain weather Dirkie was still a resident at the time, or why the town was named after him.
According to Wikipedia, Daggakraal is “one of South Africa’s most impoverished and isolated communities” also located in Gert Sibande District Municipality near Volksrust in the Mpumalanga province. The town had about 1,450 households in 2014.
Pixley Ka Isaka Seme, President of the African National Congress from 1930 to 1936, was born in Daggakraal in 1881. In 1911, he established the South African Native Farmers Association in order to encourage black farm labourers from the Free State to buy land in the area and become commercial farmers themselves, and thus to attain personal independence.
This initiative led to the settling of Daggakraal in 1912, and so worried the white government that it formulated and enacted the Natives Land Act of 1913, barring black people from owning land in South Africa. However, the black farmers who had bought property in Daggakraal retained the land they had purchased.
Tonteldoos is a small town in Mpumalanga, established in 1883 and originally populated by poor but resourceful burghers.
The word ‘tonteldoos’ means tinderbox, and while no-one is certain how the town got its unique name, according to www.portfoliocollection.com, the story goes that the local land surveyor lost his tinder-box in the area whilst surveying the farmlands.
The town’s Facebook page states: “A dirt road from Dullstroom will take you a place full of history, friendly people and where guests are treated like old friends. Many simply drive through Tonteldoos not realizing that there is much more than the stofstraat running through the village. Stop, meet the locals, and ask for all the amazing places to see in the area. there are several accommodation options available, from self-catering to full board.”
Yes, you read that right (or completely wrong?). Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein is a farm in the North West province of South Africa, located about 200 km west of Pretoria and 20 km east of Lichtenburg whose 44-character name has entered South African folklore. It is the longest place name in South Africa, and according to Wikipedia, one of the longest anywhere in the world.
The farm was originally granted to A.P. de Nysschen in 1866 by the government of the South African Republic; it is referred to in the survey diagram as “Twee Buffels Geschiet” (Two buffaloes shot) and shown as having an area of 6119 morgens and 429 square roods (5241.7 hectares). Official maps published by National Geospatial Information refer to it as “Tweebuffels” (Two buffaloes).
The name was used as the title for an Afrikaans-language song written by Anton Goosen(music)and Fanus Rautenbach and performed by Anton Goosen. It has also been used in advertising to signify the typical small rural town.
We know that there are a whole lot more where this came from! Let us know what your favourite oddly-named South African Town is!