The migration and settlement of the Khoisan before 1800

The migration and settlement of the Khoisan before 1800

  • The term Khoisan refers collectively to both the san and the Khoikhoi.
  • Their migration is not clear but it was slow and gradual.
  • Both the san and the Khoikhoi belonged to the Bushmanoid race characterized by yellow-brown skin, short structure and click sound.

  • The Khoisan first settled in central and east Africa.
  • Their migration south words started around 1000AD.
  • They moved into South Africa in later Stone Age period.
  • They might have lived on the highland between Lake Tanganyika and Malawi before migrating to South Africa.
  • Their migration was a result of both internal and external pressure, land disputes, search for food and fruits and epidemic diseases.
  • On arrival in South Africa, they occupied areas of Damaraland and Batlapin
  • The san later settled around Brakenstien, cadeboo, winterberg and Drakensberg ranges.
  • The San also settled near the Kei, Vaal and Tugela river valleys
  • Some the San spread and settled around Griqualand, Transvaal, Orange Free State and Transkei.
  • Others settled in the Tati district of present-day Botswana
  • The San were later pushed into drier areas of the Namib Desert by the stronger Bantu.

  • Today, they are found in Namibia, Kalahari and Angola but small groups remained in the northern parts of the Cape Province.
  • The Khoikhoi arrived later and settled around the Atlantic coast, around the cape, Table Bay and Mossei bay.
  • The Khoikhoi and the San are believed to have been living in Tanzania by the 10th century.
  • 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 east wards 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.


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