How Tonteldoos got its Name | South Africa Portfolio Travel Blog
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How Tonteldoos got its Name

Another look at the origins of a South Africa place name in our How the Dorp got its Name series.

Tonteldoos is a small town in Mpumalanga, established in 1883 and originally populated by poor but resourceful burghers.

The word 'tonteldoos' means tinderbox. While no-one is certain how the town got its unique name, the story goes that the local land surveyor lost his tinder-box in the area whilst surveying the farmlands. 



About Tonteldoos


Tonteldoos is located in a peaceful valley near Dullstroom, a popular fly fishing destination. It is surrounded by farmlands and the town itself has  a pub, a cheese farm, a country kitchen and some places to stay.

The valley is known for having three species of arum lilly including the rare yello arum, and has another rare plant species, the Aloe reitzil.

(Information source

Tinderbox image)


Tonteldoos Festival


Three days of family fun to be had at the annual Tonteldoos Country Festival at a tiny Mpumalanga hamlet, featuring the popular donkey cart rides, a Bird of Prey demonstration, boeresport ('farmers' fun sports) and all day live entertainment by various artists. 

Need to Know

  • Dates: Easter weekend each year
  • Venue: Rocky Road Farm, Tonteldoos Road, Tonteldoos. Tonteldoos is situated about 20km North-East of Dullstroom. 
  • Accommodation: Campers are welcome. Or visit for Mpumalanga accommodation
  • Contact: Liz on +27 (0)13 254-0702



Mpumalanga Accommodation


Portfolio offers a fine selection of charming accommodation in Mpumalanga province. Contact for bookings or visit



1 Response to How Tonteldoos got its Name

Tontledoos got its name from the Mapocks war when apparently 1 of the tinderbox for the cannon used to trap the Mapock in their cavern retreat was lost in the river crossing.
The farms were given to the members of the comando that was sent and each one was 16 morgen with communal land between them

By Lawrence Stucke (15 months ago)

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