Know Your Park - Whats in a Name



Origin: Tsonga

Meaning: The literal meaning of shirnia-ntanga is "early gardener", but according to MJ van Waremelo and HP Junod, this was probably the name of an early local inhabitant.

This solitary koppie is situated about two kilometers north of Renosterkoppies and in earlier times was probably considered as part of this group of koppies.

The ashes of both Col and Mrs. James Stevenson-Hamilton were strewn here by their daughter, Anne Doyle on 10 April 1979.

A memorial plaque in commemoration of the role this couple played the development of the Kruger National Park (KNP) is attached to a large rock at the foot of the koppie.



Origin: Tsonga

Meaning: According to NJ van Waremelo, N'wamuriwa is the name of a person who lived long ago.

This large mountain can be found a few kilometers east of Tshokwane. The Thskowane game ranger regularly uses this as a look-out point to detect veld fires. The smaller hill to the north is known as Nwamuriwana, or little Nwamuriwa.


Granite koppies

Origin: Afrikaans

Meaning: Koppies where rhino can be found

These koppies were an important landmark for old-time travelers. It is situated on the main road to Malelane from Skukuza. The windmill and small dam to the east of the koppies are known by the same name.


Mountain range

Origin: Zulu

Meaning: According to Hans Bornman, bombo means "to decide which route to take in the direction in which you want to go, especially when someone migrates or moves". Bombo also refers to a ridge or range of mountains. This meaning appears to have its origin in the first explanation.

The local inhabitants probably used the Lebombos as a landmark during their migration southwards to make sure they were still going in the right direction. The part of the Lebombo Mountains which lies within the KNP are not as impressive as those parts of the range in Swaziland and Kwazulu Natal. It does form a distinct division between the KNP and Mozambique, with the international border running along the top of the mountain range.

This mountain range disappears into the Nwambiya sandveld about 50 kilometers south of Pafuri.



Origin: Tsonga

Meaning: Ngodzi is the Tsonga name for a swarm of black throated canaries (Oiliospiza angolensis). This is not a species which occurs in South Africa, but its Tsonga name is also used to refer to a swarm of red-billed quelea (Quelea quelea lathamii).

According to Sgt J Maluleke, the name Ngodzi means 'the place of the red-billed quelea.'

Ngodzi is the highest of the three hills to the west of the tar road between Letaba and Shingwedzi. The other two hills are Tsale and Kelaka. This is where the true 'north' starts.


Hill and spruit

Origin: Tsonga

Meaning: Possibly from the word tsaletela, which means 'scratches or marks made everywhere.'

The hill is situated between Ngodzi and Kaleka. The Tsale spruit, originating to the west of the hill and flowing southwards into Shipikani, a tributary of the Letaba River, is named after this hill.


Hill and spruit

Origin: Tsonga

Meaning: From the word khaleka, meaning 'to have a desire for something'.

This is the smallest of the three hills to the west of the Tsende and is situated slightly further south. The Kaleka spruit, originating between the Kaleka and Tsale Hills and flowing eastwards into the Tsende, is named after this hill.

Shangaan Tsonga

The Shangaan tribe came into being when King Shaka of the Zulu, sent Soshangane (Manukosi) to conquer the Tsonga people in the area of prese...more
Kruger National Park - South African Safari