Geography and History
Located just a short distance from the N10 main highway between Port Elizabeth and South Africa's interior, as well as being on one of the main routes to Graaff-Reinet, Somerset East is both a convenient and a natural place to stop over.
The town of Somerset East is picturesque, friendly, and quiet, with little traffic, making it easy to explore on foot. You will find restaurants, coffee shops, and places to relax, to suit your needs, in Nojoli Street, the main street of Somerset East.
Somerset East has much to offer the visitor; including a wide range of accommodation options, from budget self catering to luxury four star guest houses. Several farm-stay options cater for those wishing to experience Eastern Cape farm life from close up.
Six restaurants give a choice of dining options, including gourmet deli's, coffee shops, and steakhouses.
The Boschberg – once described as “the most beautiful mountain in southern Africa” by an early explorer – has a myriad of tree species; exciting flora, some of which are endemic to the area; and at least 325 bird species to be spotted by the birding enthusiast. Soon to be completed mountain bike trails will make the mountain accessible to riders and walkers. The Boschberg Trail, out of commission at the moment for upgrading, will offer a challenging two day hike. Another adventure option on the mountain is fly fishing; local guide Alan Hobson commands many local waters where, as well as trout, several other fish species can be caught on fly.
Tennis, Bowls, Athletics and Cycling clubs abound, and hunting and game viewing are offered on outlying farms. The Old Pastorie Museum, with its relics of bygone ages and history; as well as the Slachtersnek Exhibition housing the original beam from which five rebels were hung in 1816, in grisly circumstances; is a pleasant place to spend a few hours.
The Walter Battiss Art Museum, houses an extensive exhibition of the iconic work of this son of Somerset East, and grand old man of South African Art.
The Tourism office is housed in the Walter Battiss Art Museum, and can be made accessible any time for visitors passing through town.
Accommodation in Somerset East includes luxury lodges, Guesthouses, B&B's and Self Catering establishments.
Photos and information courtesy of Blue Crane Tourism.
|Somerset East Tourism Office Information|
|Telephone:||+27 (0)42 243 1448|