Kestell is a small town 46 km west of Harrismith and 45 km east of Bethlehem. It was laid out in 1905 on the farms Mooifontein and Driekuil, acquired a village management board in 1906 and became a municipality in 1906. Named after the Reverend John Daniel Kestell (1854-1941), minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, author and cultural leader.

Kestell makes for a great weekend getaway and nearby attractions include the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, the Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve and the bohemian town of Clarens.

Kestell Tourism

Dutch Reformed Church

John Daniel Kestell (February 15, 1854-February 9, 1941) was a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC), Bible translator, and Afrikaner cultural leader. His mother was an Afrikaner and his father an 1820 settler from Devonshire, England. He was born in Bloemfontein. Having studied at the universities of Stellenbosch and Utrecht in the Netherlands, Kestell was admitted as a minister of the DRC in 1881. The next year he was called to Kimberley and in 1894 to Harrismith in the Orange Free State. Here he completely identified himself with the Afrikaner cause. At the outbreak of the South African War of 1899-1902, he accompanied the Harrismith Commando as field chaplain, soon becoming the trusted counselor to President M.T. Steyn and General Christian de Wet.
Tourist Info Office: 058-7130012/058-6331433

Groenkop Battle-site

A memorial monument has been erected on the top of Groenkop Situated between Bethlehem and Kestell (40 km from Bethlehem), remembering those who died during the battle on 25 December 1901. Major Williams with 550 men, most of them from the 11th Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry, a 15-pounder gun and a pom-pom were positioned at the top of the 61m high Groenkop.
Tourist Info Office: 058-7130012/058-6331433