Places With Strange Names in South Africa

Die Hel

The Gamkaskloof is an isolated valley in the Swartberg (Black Mountain) region also known as ‘Die Hel’.

The pass leading to the valley is incredibly steep, dropping almost 579 meters before the settlement. One theory is that Die Hel was derived from the Afrikaans word “helling or hel” which means “steep dip/incline down”.

Die Hel also translates to ‘The Hell’, providing a more sinister connotation which angers local residents. While nobody knows exactly how the area got its name, it’s believed to relate the treacherous journey undertaken to reach the valley.


This Mpumalanga settlement may well have the funniest name in South Africa, yet the reasoning behind its description is unclear.

Los-my-cherry is colloquially translated to ‘Leave my girlfriend (alone)’. It makes the imagination run wild was it named by a jealous boyfriend?

Nobody knows the true answer, and while the mystery persists, the area is now better known as Tjakastad.

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

SA Diaries © 2018                                                              About Us      Privacy Policy      Contact us Diaries Digital