funny SA town names
Funny South African town names. Image: Wikimedia Commons

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Check out these funny SA town names

South Africa has many towns with unique names. Here are some of the funniest town names in South Africa sure to make you giggle.

funny SA town names
Funny South African town names. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever come across a place name that made you do a double take? South Africa is full of them! Get ready for a giggle as we explore some of the funniest town names in South Africa.


Pofadder (Afrikaans for “puff adder”) is a small town in the Northern Cape. The town was not named after the venomous reptile, but after a Korana chief, named Klaas Pofadder, who lived on Kanoneiland and died in the area after local farmers allegedly shot him, according to South African History Online. South Africans often use the name Pofadder to refer to a remote location far away, in the same sense that we use “Timbuktu”.


Putsonderwater (formerly Putzonderwater) is another town with a funny name. Many people refer to it as a ghost town because of its remote location and lack of activity or abandonment. Translated from Afrikaans, the name means “well without water”. According to local legend, the name originated in the early 1880s. According to the legend, a farmer named David Ockhuis dug a well with his sons after discovering a water source. The land was very dry and many nomads passed through the area. Ockhuis did not own the land, so he worried that the municipality would seize the farm if the water source became public knowledge. Every time a thirsty traveller arrived and asked him about the well, he would say: “Ek het ‘n put, maar dit is ‘n put sonder water” which translates to “I have a well but it is a well without water”.


Hotazel is located deep in the Kalahari Desert, north-west of Kuruman, also in the Northern Cape. According to South African Tourism, the name originated from a team of land surveyors who stayed in the area in 1915 and described the place as ‘hot as hell’. Allegedly, they had a wild party out in the dunes one night and named the spot ‘Hotazel’.

The Kalahari Desert itself has an interesting and fitting name originating from the Khoisan word ‘Kgalagadi’, meaning “the waterless place”.


Ogies is a coal-mining town in Mpumalanga. The town was originally built on the farm Ogiesfontein and from there the name. Ogies translated to English is “eyes”. It is a typical mining town, representing the industry that dominates this region and has attracted people from far and wide to the Cultural Heartlands. Many people now know it for being in the centre of the largest electricity-producing area in South Africa.


Kommetjie, meaning ‘little basin’ in English, is a coastal suburb located on the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula. A small natural cove that resembles a basin surrounds it – hence its name. The area was first inhabited by indigenous Khoisan people, who lived off the land and sea. The Slangkop Lighthouse is an iconic landmark in Kommetjie and is one of the tallest lighthouses in South Africa. Built in 1914, the lighthouse is still operational today, warning ships of the treacherous coastline, according to Cape Tourism.