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About Us

A breath of fresh air…

The University of Fort Hare Hunterstoun Centre is a unique African space for research, creativity and reflection, as well as the generation and sharing of new ideas and knowledge.


The Centre is set in the village of Hogsback in the Amatole Mountain Range. It has beautiful gardens and shady trees with a wonderful view over the Tyhume Valley. The area is renowned for its scenic beauty, its indigenous forests, rocky outcrops, streams and waterfalls. The region is rich in history, the earliest inhabitants being the San people and then later, around the 16th to 18th century, the amaXhosa arrived. The Eastern Cape was the site of conflict between British forces and Xhosa warriors over a period of nearly 100 years.

The Centre is many things – a retreat, a place to study, a space for the exchange of ideas across disciplines and divergent life paths as well as a hub for outreach into the community.


A tribute to Ntombesizwe Mafika


It was with great sadness that we heard about the passing of Ma Ntombesizwe Mafkifa.

There are two short videos that tell her story – from her birth in Hogsback to 2018.

You can watch them here

What we offer The Hunterstoun Centre offers an inspiring setting for creativity, thinking, conversations as well as academic activities

  • Training
  • Workshops
  • Meetings
  • Strategic planning
  • Time out to think, be inspired and write.

All UFH groups are welcome to use the Centre. We have hosted a full range of UFH activities in the past. From Manco meetings to student societies and Unions. We are well suited to provide space for workshops, training and meetings.

Post Graduate studies workshops for PhD students as well as writing workshops for staff and students have been a common occurrence.

The main meeting room looks out into the gardens and the valley below. It accommodates 25 people, and up to 30 people cinema style. We have two other meeting rooms for smaller groups/ breakaway groups.

Come for day workshops at Hunterstoun Centre:

The Centre is 35km away from the Alice Campus. Transport can be arranged through UFH Transport

Alternative transport also available via local transport providers

Groups coming from East London campus are best suited for overnight stays (2 day workshops) given the 160km distance from East London.

There is plenty of parking available.

Daily Rates

The daily rates includes:

  • Top class internet in meeting rooms, library and extending into the garden.
  • A two course lunch with a drink, morning and afternoon cakes/ savoury eats or fruit. A variety of teas, and coffee all day. A welcome coffee/ tea and snack. (The menu can be selected based on a range of options).
  • Use of the workshop space/ meeting rooms from 8am to 5pm
  • The use of the Library by special arrangement.
  • Flip chart, data projector, (pens, notepads and sweets on request).

Support from the Centre’s office can be requested – printing and scanning.


UFH Groups:
‏‎‏R200 p/person – Full day package
Outside Groups:
R275 p/person – Full day package

Accommodation options

Overnight accommodation in Hogsback

There are three hotel establishments on the UFH SCM data base. Both are in close proximity to the Centre. They offer DBB or self-catering options. Ask them to quote on the UFH Special offer.

Hogsback Innwebsite. Tel: 045 962 1006

The Arminel Hotelwebsite. Tel: 045 962 1005,

Kings Lodge website. Tel: 045 962 1024 Cell: 083 330 6948

Other accommodation options

There are many really delightful other accommodation options in Hogsback. These on the whole accommodate smaller groups/ couples but there are establishments that can accommodate larger groups. None of these establishments are on the UFH SCM data base.

Special festivals and activities

Hogsback has a winter festival with an annual theme – Let it snow. (It sometimes does!)

Each season has its own special charm. These are particularly evident all around the Centre on the Hunterstoun property.

Should you have special requirements for your group, we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

What we can arrange

Other options include guided walks, or a presentation on the history of the property and UFH’s vision for the Centre.

In the evenings

Most groups will linger over dinner at the hotel or for those focussed on writing, back to their laptops.

Local historians are available to provide evening talks about the History of the Tyhume Valley, other residents speaking about the Parrot Project or about Jikani a community NGO. Specialist guests on land tenure and Kieskammahoek can also be arranged.

On-site activities

The indigenous forests, plantations offer wonderful walks and great views of the surrounding area. Located on the cliff-edge, the Alice Campus is visible at the far end of the Tyhume Valley.

Centre participants are welcome to enjoy the lochen – a large lake which invites you to walk around the edge or to sit and ponder, or to meander a short distance downstream to enjoy the water tumbling down waterfalls.

Walks from very gentle to strenuous – on the contour or to the Big tree in the Tyhume Valley or Kettlespout falls. The many streams draining into the Tyhume Valley provide fantastic views and photo opportunities.

The Centre houses Monica Hunter Wilson’s library collection in a purpose built building. Come and be inspired – sit next to the fire in the seat she used, make use of the special African anthropology and sociology collection or be inspired to write your book or academic paper.


Why not add on Team building and other local activities?

The Hunterstoun Centre, in partnership with Hobbiton – an outdoor centre located on a neighbouring property with world class outdoor facilities and trained facilitators who provides great opportunities for Team Building, Personal Development and Leadership Development. Every programme is crafted based on the needs of each specific groups. These are half or full day activities.

Hobbiton Outdoor Education Centres offer a wide range of outdoor activities as part of the adventure experience. Challenge yourself physically and mentally in a beautiful outdoor environment and enjoy the camaraderie of camp.

Hobbiton also provides every opportunity to experience the very best of Hogsback and the surrounding areas – guided walks, star gazing, environmental activities and memorable experiences as well as accommodation for larger groups in dormitory settings. This is best suited to the needs of schools, church bookings and families.

Click here to visit their site


Look out for the endagered Cape Parrots

The Cape parrot is endemic, endangered and highly localised, being found in small patches of Afromontane forest in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. It feeds exclusively on fruit, mainly foraging in the early morning and late afternoon. It nests in pre-existing tree holes, especially in Podocarpus (Yellowwood). There are fewer than 2,000 Cape parrots left in South Africa’s southern mist-belt forests – a third of them live in the Hogsback forests.


Visit the Wild Bird Trust website here

Read an article on the Cape Parrots by National Geographic over here

The 'Bold Woman of Bold Point' speaks truth to power

The Bold Woman of Bold Point (2018)

The Bold Woman of Bold Point (2018)

The Long Road to Bold Point (2009)

The Long Road to Bold Point (2009)

These videos were produced by students and staff from Rhodes Journalism and Media Studies courses.

Her Land Reform story told in the 2018 video traces her love for and deep roots in Hogsback and the Tyhume Valley. The aim of the short documentary was to hear her speak about her experiences of dispossession, possession, removal and resettlement and finally reclaiming the commonage – known as ‘Bold Point’ about a decade ago. It is not for nothing that the 2018 film has the title ‘The Bold Woman of Bold Point’ It is powerful and heart rendering. Her dreams for the future land reform and development, are clearly articulated.

It was a video commissioned by the Hunterstoun Centre as part of a Land Reform Tyhume Valley study funded by the National Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS).

The earlier video, produced in 2009, is called ‘The Long Road to Bold Point’. She is the main character presenting the case of the struggle for land by people excluded from living in Hogsback due to Group Areas Act, and subsequent exclusion from the Hogsback area where she was born to only being permitted to live in the adjacent valley area during the time of the Bantustan Ciskei.

The ‘Long Road to Bold Point’ describes the struggle of Hogsback residents to have access to land in the area – at a time, already a decade after 1994.

These videos are testament to the life and courage of a Bold Woman.

We need to respond to her poignant calls for action – in transforming the landscape of land access and development in this country.

We are so grateful to her contribution to this project and trust that her voice will ring out.

Land reform, stories and futures in the Tyhume Valley

Exploring land reform opportunities drawing on the spatial and social history of
land possession, dispossession and repossession

For more information as well as links to The ‘Land Stories’ mini-series of video documentaries click here (PDF)

Hunterstoun Centre, University of Fort Hare

Dr Liz Thomas (Director) Hunterstoun Centre

Ms Sinovuyo Ndibongo – Research Assistant and NRF Intern: 2018

Mrs Michele Russell (NIHSS Project Manager)

Journalism and Media Studies, Rhodes University

Dr Alette Schoon, senior lecturer, Rhodes University

Mr Shepi Mati, lecturer, Rhodes University

Mr Paddy Donnelly, production manager, Rhodes University and students who made the films

Mr Matt Edwards, TV journalism student from the class of 2009, senior producer at eNCA

Ms Alna Dahl, TV journalism student from the class of 2009, producer at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, currently on Fullbright scholarship

Ms Lameez Khumalo, TV journalism student from the class of 2018, currently junior producer for Ignition

Ms Courtney Jephta, TV journalism student from the class of 2018, currently MA student at Rhodes


Winter 2019