This quaint little town lies on the border of the Eastern Cape and Kwa Zulu Natal, two major provinces of South Africa. The area is known as East Griqualand and lies just under Mount Currie on the slopes of the famous Drakensberg. It is ideally located between major cities Durban, East-London, and further South to Cape Town, just off the N2 National highway.
Weather in Kokstad
Kokstad enjoys a temperate and warm climate generally, with the summer months being the rainy period. According to the Köppen-Geiger climate, it is classified as CWB. The average rainfall is approximately 620mm pa with January being the wettest month, experiencing 108mm, and June the driest, getting approximately 3mm of rainfall on average. The average daily temperatures range from 17°C in June to approx. 25°C in January. The month of July normally shows the lowest average readings of 3°C during the evenings.
Originally, the Griquas tamed this wild and beautiful area. The Griquas were explorers, who after clashing with the Boers and the British in the 1860’s, decided to go East and settle in “No Mans Land” which is now Kokstad, an Afrikaans and Dutch name meaning “Town of Kok”.
The leader of this renegade band was Adam Kok and he established the town, hence its namesake. It is now a bustling area servicing many outlying areas, with a special museum dedicated to the history of the Griqua people. Unfortunately, Adam Kok died not long after as a result of falling from a wagon. A monument has been built next to the police station commemorating his efforts. The town of Kokstad is also well known for being the home of Oprah Winfrey’s charitable school for Shayamoya’s township.
The first newspaper and hotel were founded in 1881, showing that the town was growing and forming an important link to the area. The municipality was dedicated in 1892.
The Greater Kokstad local municipality forms part of 5 regions un the Harry Gwala District Municipality administration, and it forms part of the border between the Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal provinces. It is the commercial hub and service centre for the greater East Griqualand and adjoining areas of the Eastern Cape.
This is an image of the Harry Gwala District Municipality logo, together with some interesting insight into its symbolism:
Cow: Agriculture, with a focus on milk and dairy production
Rock Art: Representing the historical tribe of the Khoisan people
Hat: Representing the indigenous Sotho people
Beads: Signifying unity with the people
Blue Swallow: Endangered bird species unique to the regional District
Drakensberg: Famous mountain range indigenous to the District
Shield with knobkerrie & spear: Indigenous Zulu people
Tobacco Pipes: Representing the indigenous Xhosa people
Black: The ethnic majority of the people of South Africa
Green: The lands vegetation in terms of both its flora & fauna
Gold: Value that the people yield directly from the land for sustenance
Kokstad Ebongweni Centre of Excellence (Correctional Facility):
This is the correctional facility situated in Kokstad, and is an efficient demonstration of the town’s capabilities. It took 4 years and an approximate R450 000 000.00 to construct and was finally finished in 2002. It was officially commissioned by Mr Jacob Zuma, and the then Minister of Correctional Services, Mr Ben Skosana.
Ebongweni Centre of Excellence boasts being a state of the art modern facility catering for male offenders from all over South Africa that have been sentenced at a maximum security level, and are considered to be high security risks. The centre is managed on International principles and standards, and is divided into 4 units of 360 offenders per unit, making the facility capable of holding 1440 offenders in total, each with a private cell. It also has an in-house hospital catering for a maximum of 30 offenders.
The state of the art security has pneumatic sliding doors, closed circuit television, and a three level control system with a Central Control Room point, Movement Control and Section Control Rooms. The electric security fence has detection and alarm systems with CCTV cameras that are all fully integrated with all other systems.
Kokstad Medical Centre
Kokstad also boasts some of the best medical centres catering for the local population and spill overs from Umtata, Lusikisiki, Matatiele, Bizana and Lesotho. The Kokstad Medical Centre here is a private secondary level healthcare centre located in the bustling town centre.
It is situated 140km from the next city, and provides holistic medicine to a multitude and diverse clientele from all walks of life and cultures.
The team has seven doctors which show a passion for medicine and have over 100 years of combined clinical experience. Thus the team can offer patients a comprehensive, professional and complete medical service.
In addition, the administration is undertaken with the latest technology and doctors enter medical records of their portable computers as rounds are done. The x-rays, pathology results, specialist referrals, managed care documents, patient records, billings, records and communication are done via the network, however all files are encrypted with high level security.
The centre is proud of how they have integrated and embraced the transformation in technology enabling patients to get all information in the most effective way possible.
There is a 40 bed hospital adjoining the Medical Centre where inpatients are catered for and surgical procedures are undertaken within the fully equipped theatres. Some of the procedures include general, orthopaedic, obstetric, gynaecological, ENT, and urological surgeries. Time is of the essence in an emergency and the hospital Is ready to accept these. There is a 24-hour emergency unit that works 24 hours per day.
The Centre encourages learning, and promotes all new surgical and clinical procedures. The Medical Centre goes further and prioritises learning for the staff. Without this it is impossible to broaden and improve the medical offerings to the patients.
Accommodation in Kokstad
Nestled below the backdrop of the Ingeli Mountain range in Kokstad, lies Ingeli Forest Lodge. A spectacular setting to rest and rejuvenate in the surrounding indigenous forests. Step away from the busyness of life and find comfort in the beautiful Kokstad accommodation- Ingeli Forest Resort. Indulge in authentic South African cuisine and a full spectrum of outdoor activities in picturesque surroundings.
Step out into mountains, bushveld and forests right on your doorstep. If relaxation is your priority, enjoy their swimming pool and lounges, or even disappear into a book in their library. Bird watching is a favourite amongst its many regular guests.
For the adventure seekers, Anew Hotel Ingeli Forest & Spa offers world-class mountain biking, trail running, hiking and walking routes. Otherwise, catch a game of tennis or test your skills on the new adventure golf course!
Ingeli Forest Resort is the perfect destination for family holidays, weddings, conferences, adventure and peace seekers alike.
Weddings in Kokstad
Host your dream wedding at the Anew Hotel Ingeli Forest & Spa, only one hour from Port Shepstone between Kokstad and Harding. A magical forest venue offering the perfect fairy-tale setting to celebrate your special occasion.
Say ‘I do’ in the stunning stone thatched chapel which overlooks the majestic Ingeli Mountain range or in the alluring forest for an outdoor wedding ceremony at Ingeli Forest Resort. Choose from 3 different reception venues catering for up to 200 guests (or you may hire a marquee for larger weddings), depending on your style and preference. While the happy couple disappear for the official wedding day photo-shoot, guests can mingle and enjoy pre-reception drinks alongside the swimming pool terrace.
Our in-house wedding co-ordinator is here to guide and support you in planning your special day, and invites you to come and discuss your individual needs. Customized events centred around your requirements and going the extra-mile in creating your dream wedding is what we do best. A fully licensed bar is available; with a corkage option should you wish to supply your own wine or sparkling wine/MCC/Champagne.
As our gift to you, enjoy a complimentary night (on a bed and breakfast basis) in the Ingeli Forest Resort’s honeymoon suite, plus benefit from 50% off your first year wedding anniversary’s accommodation!