Taking a drive around the country, you will discover that South Africa has some towns with rather interesting and humorous names. Before you zoom past them, take the time to pop in for a visit. They are well worth it!
Leeu-Gamka may be a typical small Karoo town with miles and miles of bossies (bushes), sheep, dust and little more, but it is conveniently situated right next to the N1 (335km from Cape Town), one of South Africa’s main transport veins. This has made it something of a popular pitstop destination for holiday-makers traversing the country and overworked truck drivers. The rather pleasing rhythmic name finds its origins in the fact that this is where the Leeu (Lion) River flows into the Gamka.
Klein Mier nommer een
Located in the far northern reaches of the Northern Cape, Klein Mier nommer een (Afrikaans for “Little Ant Number One”) is little more than a tiny speck on the map. We’re not sure what happens there or if anyone lives there, but interestingly “Dating in Klein Mier Nommer 1” is the first result that pops up in a Google search. The closest city is Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, located 550km away, while Bloemfontein in the Free State is 642km away.
Bearing the name of the puff adder, one of South Africa’s most dangerous snakes, this tiny little Northern Cape town holds an almost mythical place in the collective consciousness of South Africans. Mostly cited as the epitome of “the middle of nowhere” (our very own little Timbuktu of sorts) many people aren’t aware that it actually, well, exists. It’s situated just off the N14 between Upington and Springbok, only 60km away from the Onskeepkans border post of Namibia.
Literally translated from Afrikaans to English, Tietiesbaai would probably pass as “Boobies Bay”. Located on the West Coast close to the picturesque fishing town of Paternoster, Tietiesbaai consists mainly of a campsite, caravan park and pristine beach populated with perfectly round and smooth boulders… which might explain the name.
Never was there a more fitting name for a quaint plattelandse village. Located about 75km from Cape Town in the inland West Coast farming area, Darling is for all intents and purposes really quite darling. Settled among wheat fields, vineyards and pastures, it provides a charming break from the big city. Adding to the sweetness is the fact that it is also home to South Africa’s Tannie Evita. Yes, Pieter-Dirk Uys performs many of his shows as Evita Bezuidenhout at Evita se Perron, a cabaret venue and restaurant in the town. Apart from this, Darling has also become famous for hosting Rocking the Daisies, South Africa’s biggest green rock festival every September/October.
Roughly translated into English, this whopping 44-character name will read something like “Two buffalo shot dead with one shot spring”. The farm is located in North West province of South Africa, about 200km west of Pretoria and 20km east of Lichtenburg. Like Pofadder, the farm has become a bit of a legend in Afrikaans folklore and is often used to depict typical farm culture in South Africa.
Despite the cute name (literally translated into English as “little eyes”), this Mpumalanga town is little more than a dreary old coal mining settlement. The name is derived from the settlement that was laid out in 1928 on the farm Oogiesfontein (“fountain with many eyes or springs”).