The migration and settlement of Khoikhoi into South Africa by 1800

The migration and settlement of Khoikhoi into South Africa by 1800
  • The word Khoikhoi means men of men . The Khoikhoi were second to the san as the inhabitants of South Africa.
  • They were herders who settled on the land between the Atlantic coast and the Buffalo coast on the Indian Ocean.




  • They belong to the Bush-manoid race just like the San but were taller.
  • Like the San, they were yellow-brown skinned and their language was full of clicks.
  • When the Boers came, they nicked name them Hottentots; meaning people who were dull, stupid, lazy and smelling.
  • Their migration is not very clear but they are believed to have migrated from east and central Africa moving southwards into South Africa.
  • The Khoikhoi and the San are believed to have been living in Tanzania by the 10th century.
  • Their migration to South Africa started before 1000AD but it was slow and gradual.




  • On reaching South Africa they first split into three groups but latter settled in four distinct groups.
  • The Nama also called western Khoikhoi moved westwards towards the Orange River and finally settled in Namaqualand in Namibia.
  • The Gona also known as the eastern Khoikhoi moved eastwards into the fish river territory.
  • The Cochoqua also called the cape Khoikhoi moved and settled a round the cape.
  • The Korona broke away from the Cape Khoikhoi and settled as a different group.
  • The Khoikhoi settled around the Atlantic coast, around the cape, Table bay and Mossei bay.
  • They also settled around rivers orange ,Vaal and fish




  • By the 13th and 14th centuries, the Khoikhoi were in South Africa and by the 15th century they were already living around the Isandhlwana bay where the Portuguese found them.
  • Today they are living in the desert areas of Namibia

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