There are a few towns dotted around South Africa with questionable names – some are lost in translation between Afrikaans and English – but mostly they are simply badly named. Here are seven you should definitely visit if you get the chance.
Tietiesbaai, Western Cape
If you’ve driven past Tietiesbaai in the Western Cape without a giggle, do you even have a sense of humour? You’d expect Tietiesbaai to be a nudist beach but it’s not. It’s actually a huge tourist attraction and is situated next to fishing town of Paternoster. The stunning retreat boasts pristine beaches and unspoilt pockets of nature. It is is located in the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve and is a 90 minute drive from Cape Town.
Crook’s Corner, Kruger National Park
This is a town that’s true to its name. Crook’s Corner lies in the northeastern area of the Kruger National Park, where the Luvhuvhu and Limpopo rivers join. This particular area forms a triangle of land between South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. It was named Crook’s Corner because it was a great hideout for criminals and has always been a hive of notorious activity.
Pofadder, Northern Cape
Directly translated from Afrikaans, Pofadder refers to a puff adder snake. But contrary to popular belief, it is not named after the snake but rather a Korana chief named Klaas Pofadder. It is alleged that he was a famous chief who lived in Kanoneiland and died when he was gunned down by local farmers.
Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein, Northern West
Now that’s what you call a mouthful! It’s easier to break it in to smaller words to pronounce it. It’s no surprise that Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein is the town with the longest name in all of South Africa, and even in the world. It is a farming town found 200km west of Pretoria, and only 20km from Lichtenburg. There is a whooping 44 letters in the name!
Die Hel, Western Cape
Go to The Hell! It’s not a place visitors would be too willing to visit at a quick glance and no understanding of Afrikaans. Die Hel is also known as Gamka’s Kloof and is a valley found tucked in the expansive Swartberg Mountains. The name is derived from the Afrikaans word helling or hel, which means a steep incline. It has nothing to do with hell, or does it?
Lekkersing, Northern Cape
Lekkersing has a happy tone to it, and should be a town where anyone could hold a note. It is located 50km from Eksteenfontein and falls within the Namakwa District Municipality. It is a dusty town in the Northern Cape known for temperatures that soar up to 53°C. You can say it’s the hottest place to be in all of South Africa.
Klein Mier, Northern Cape
This small Northern Cape town is so remote the nearest city is Windhoek which is 550km away in a completely different country. More interesting is that it has a itsy bitsy population of only 450 people. It is located within the Dawid Kruiper Local Municipality and the name means ‘small lakes’. It also borders South Africa’s largest salt pan, Hakskeenpan.