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)
Conveniently located in the charming and historic little town of Somerset East is a comfortable guest lodge with five bedrooms offering guests either bed and breakfast or self catering accommodation.
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.
Self Catering mountain lodge nestled in the Boschberg Mountains that welcomes guests to share in the unique nature of indigenous bushveld valleys & mountain top grassland. Rare indigenous trees, plant species & outstanding natural beauty. Abundant buck, bird life, insects & small reptiles.
Activities include climbing, hiking, mountain bike trails, 4x4 trails, swimming, trout fishing, bird watching, game viewing in your own vehicle, farm animals, relaxing in a tranquil enviroment
Glen Avon Farm
Glen Avon Farm, near the historic little town of Somerset East in South Africa's malaria-free Eastern Cape, lies at the foot of Boschberg Mountain and provides a perfect environment for a farm holiday.
For unique accommodation in Somerset East, the Museum Cottage is situated in the picturesque gardens of the Old Parsonage Museum at the foot of the beautiful Boschberg Mountain Reserve.
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.
Fish River Lodge
Three en-suite rooms near the Great Fish River near Cookhouse. All meals supplied on request.
Request Farm Cottage
Nestled in the heart of a historic family farm close to the quaint village of Bedford, Request Farm Cottage offers an idyllic secluded experience.
Featured Activities in Somerset East (Click for More Info)
Contact Festha Erasmus for wingshooting in the Somerset East area.
Wild fly fishing in the Karoo
The Angler & Antelope has secured exclusive access to several dams and stretches of river in the Somerset East district for fly fishing. When you fly fish these exclusive Angler & Antelope waters, you will experience the majesty of the Karoo, with no interruptions – well, except maybe a trophy sized trout at the end of your fly line!
All Activities, Somerset East
Somerset East offers visitors a large choice of activities offered by a number of places. Click on MORE INFO for a list with contact details.
Bird watching at Glen Avon Farm
Glen Avon Farm, with close to 250 species spotted and identified, offers a unique birding experience for guests staying on the farm. Look at their website for more information and their bird list.
Featured Attractions in Somerset East (Click for More Info)
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.
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."
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
Slachter's Nek Exhibition at Somerset East
The Slachter's Nek Exhibition in the Old Parsonage Museum in Somerset East is staged around the actual beam used for the hanging of the Slachter's Nek rebels in 1816.
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:
Come to Nieu Bethesda’s Pump-Palooza on Saturday 4 April 2015, when everything to do with...