2 South African Places with Amazing Backstories

South Africans are born storytellers. From listening to gogo’s tales before she puts you to bed, to sharing laughs around a braai, we all love a good narrative! Check out these 2 South African destinations with amazing backstories that are bound to make you a hit at your next family gathering.

Champagne Castle (KZN)

This Drakensberg peak has a rather unfortunate plot twist. Two climbers attempted to summit the peak of the Drakensberg carrying a few bottles of champagne to celebrate the achievement.  After a difficult start they decided to give up but drink the champagne anyway. To their horror they discovered the contents of the bottles to be empty!

Champagne Castle
Instagram: @bjsholland83


A fight broke out about exactly who had a sneaky drink, as both climbers took turns carrying the bottle… The peak was consequently named “Champagne Castle”. (We know of a better place in the Drakensberg mountains with PLENTY of champagne… Take a look at the special offers at Premier Resort Sani Pass.)

Ongeluksrivier (Western Cape)

The name of this town says it all. But this was no plane or car crash! The “accident” that the “ongeluk” in the name refers to has to do with the king of the jungle… The story goes that a very lucky lion met a very unlucky traveller and had himself a tasty snack, yikes! For a more pleasant wildlife experience, visit Premier Resort Mpongo Private Game Reserve and explore wildlife from the safety of our game drive vehicles.


Want to read more stories like this? Visit to find out more about her book, Things ewe never kn’ewe about South African Place Names.

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