Somerset East Accommodation, Activities and Tourism
Welcome to Somerset East, this is where you will find all you need to know about Somerset East, as well as the neighbouring towns of Pearston and Cookhouse. Together these towns make up the Blue Crane Route.
On this website we list up to date information about all Somerset East accommodation, B&Bs and self catering, whether luxury, affordable, or somewhere in between. We also list upcoming events, local information, news, history, and what to see and do in this area.
If there is anything else you need to know, contact the Somerset East Tourism office, or send an enquiry via this website.
On the fringes of South Africa's Karoo in the malaria free Eastern Cape lies the interesting, attractive and historic little town of Somerset East, which invariably charms all who visit it. The pretty town with its many gardens forms a green oasis, under the iconic Boschberg Mountain.
Located as it is, 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.
Those who do stop here will not be disappointed. 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.
For those who are interested in history, the town owes much of its early years to the British military and settlers as well as the Afrikaners who were farming the area prior to the arrival of the British. This history can be explored both in the town and the surrounding area. (The controversial Slachter's Nek rebellion took place in the district). The Slachter's Nek Exhibition in the Somerset East Museum is of great interest. Another popular drawcard for the town is the Walter Battiss Art Museum, housing the largest collection of this great artist's work to be found in Africa. Battiss was a son of Somerset East, and donated an extensive collection of his work to the town in 1981, which is housed in the old Officer's Mess, a building once run as a private hotel by the Battiss family.
Many of Somerset East's houses and buildings reflect this heritage with lots of houses still standing which date from the early 1800's. A walk down Paulet Street is a trip into the past, especially in November when the many Heritage roses planted in Paulet Street are in full bloom.
The countryside around Somerset East is quite varied with impressive mountains, rich farmland, forest and open Karoo veld, all within a short drive of the town.
There is a fine variety of accommodation in Somerset East and its surrounds, ranging from the luxurious to value for money. Visitors wanting to find out about the various options will find them all listed on this website; from the various hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, and self catering accommodation, back packers, farm stays and game farms, camping and a caravan park on the banks of the Little Fish River.
Featured Accommodation in Somerset East (Click for More Info)
Somerset House was built as a school in the Colonial style in 1905 in Paulet Street which was the first street to be built in Somerset East in South Africa's Eastern Cape. Situated in the quietest part of a quiet town and backing on to the Boschberg, the ambience of Somerset House is tranquil, scenic and restful.
Fish River Lodge
Three en-suite rooms near the Great Fish River near Cookhouse. All meals supplied on request.
For farm accommodation near to Somerset East, Rustig Farm, self catering accommodation, with breakfast and dinner available on request. Walking and bird watching, as well as farm activities, with a stunning view of the Boschberg, and set in a lovely garden.
The Stone Cottage
The Stone Cottage offers guests the opportunity to experience the tranquillity of the Karoo countryside. The more energetically inclined, can spend time at the swimming pool, enjoy exploring the veld, cycling or canoeing (seasonal). The early mornings are ideal for birding enthusiasts. Children of all ages will enjoy experiencing farm life first hand. The cottage has DSTV, though guests will most probably find they don't even think to switch it on.
Zanre Self catering accommodation in Somerset East consists of two flats in the main street; one sleeping 4-5 and one sleeping 6. Fully equipped kitchens. Safe parking can be arranged.
Die KAiA is 4k outside Somerset East, with accommodation on the banks of the Little Fish River. There are 4 tented chalets, for self catering accommodation, and camping and caravan facilities, and a large lapa with licenced bar. Braai places, braai packs, salads and fresh roosterkoek always available.
Four en-suite rooms with a great mountain view in Somerset East. Rooms are spacious and decorated in a country living style.
Buffelsfontein Lodge offers stylish, comfortable and affordable accommodation near Somerset East. The ranch is set in the majestic Boschberg Mountains 200 kilometers from Port Elizabeth. Breathe in the clean mountain air while you get close to nature in a pristine malaria-free area. Taxidermy workshop and Inyati Hydro and Wellness Spa at Buffelsfontein Farm.
Featured Activities in Somerset East (Click for More Info)
Canoeing and tubing at Die KAiA
Canoeing and tubing on the Little Fish River, at Die KAiA, close to Somerset East
Die Lapa offers 4X4 trails and quad biking as well as many other outdoors team building activities
Contact Festha Erasmus for wingshooting in the Somerset East area.
Fishing at Die KAiA
Catch carp, yellowfish, catfish and eel at Die KAiA on the Little Fish River just outside Somerset East
Featured Attractions in Somerset East (Click for More Info)
Fairworld Fine Wool Museum
The Fairworld Fine Wool Museum was set up by Willem van Aardt to capture the history of the van Aardt family, and fine wool farming in South Africa. To arrange to visit - 082 893 4997
Walter Battiss Art Museum, Somerset East
Open 8.30 - 13.00 and 14.00 to 17.00 weekdays, but the building is sometimes closed due to other committments, so phone ahead if you are coming from out of town. Saturday and Public holidays 10.00 - 12.00 by appointment. In an official ceremony held in front of the white-gabled house in Paulet Street, Somerset East in 1981, Walter Whall Battiss bequeathed his collection of his own art works to "the people of Somerset East and South Africa."
The Old Parsonage Museum, Somerset East
Shortly after the establishment of the town of Somerset, 1825, land on the slopes of the Boschberg Mountain was given to the Wesleyan missionaries for a chapel and graveyard.
Museum Ghosts, Somerset East
Over the years, several visitors to the Somerset East Old Parsonage Museum have reported seeing a tall man in a black suit sitting behind the desk in the study. There have been incidents of visitors seeing the light bulb over the desk in the study switching on and off when they enter the room.
Blue Crane Route Tourism
The Blue Crane Route Tourism Information Office covers the towns of Somerset East, Cookhouse and Pearston and a wide area of surrounding country.
We are located in the Walter Battiss Art Museum, 45 Paulet Street (on the corner of Beaufort Street), Somerset East.
If you are in the area, come and visit us and see what we have to offer!
If you need information about our area please contact us:
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