Cookhouse, Greater Addo

The Eastern Cape may be South Africa’s largest province, but it is certainly one of its quietest and least urbanised. As a result, it is home to a number of small, relatively unknown villages, which are secreted in its hills and valleys, countryside and coastlines. Cookhouse is one of the tiny villages that have a character and charm all their own.

Cookhouse is about 170 north of Port Elizabeth and only 24 kilometres outside Somerset East. It was originally established along the railway line that was laid out in the 19th century as part of the colonisation initiatives in South Africa. It also occupies the banks of the Great Fish River, and was often the point at which troops that were travelling along the river would stop over and stay the night in a small stone house.

It covers only about 50 square kilometres and is occupied mainly by Xhosa-speaking South Africans. It is often overlooked by international tourists, but those who do visit Cookhouse en route are likely to enjoy the warm atmosphere, friendly smiles and lovely landscapes surrounding it.

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