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On the fringes of South Africa's Karoo in the malaria free Eastern Cape lies an interesting, attractive and historic little town which invariably charms all who visit it. 

Located at the foot of Boschberg Mountain, 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. Historic and serene the town is picturesque, friendly and, being quiet with little traffic, is easy to walk around.

Boschberg, the most prominet feature is a beautiful, wooded mountain and is the furthest north where you will find flora and fauna elements of the Tsitsikamma forest. It is known for its giant indigenous trees like Cape Kastaiing and Yellowwood, beautiful hiking trails, clear water streams, waterfalls and birdlife; even the Knysna and Forest Loerie can be found here.  The surrounding area consists of 6 vegetation biomes, varying from wavy grasslands, to Karoo and Noorsveld.

In general he countryside around the town is quite varied with impressive mountains, rich farmland, forest and open Karoo veld, all within a short drive of the town.

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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 Slagtersnek rebellion took place in the district). 

Many of the town'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 alone is almost like a trip into the past where you will find many historic buildings of which the Somerset East Museum and the Walter Battiss Art Museum are the best known. The latter had been restored recently and has the largest collection of Battiss' work.

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This pollution and malaria free region is a fly fishing and hunting paradise. There is a beautiful, highly rated 9 hole golf course where the annual Boschberg Classic is held. Other annual events are the Cycling Races (January), Bruintjieshoogte Marathon (March), Biltong Festival (July) and Rose Show (October).

Other activities in the area range from the peaceful to the adventurous.

There is a fine variety of accommodation in Somerset East and its surrounds, ranging from the luxurious to budget. Visitors can choose among hotels, guest houses, B&Bs and self catering establishments.

Somerset East Map

Hilltop House Accommodation
Hilltop House Accommodation
If you seek clean, comfortable and air conditioned accommodation in Somerset East for your visit or overnight stay, Hilltop House provides exactly what you are looking for.
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Somerset House Accommodation
Somerset House 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...
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Angler and Antelope Accommodation
Angler and Antelope Accommodation
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The Angler and Antelope is centrally situated in the quiet rural town of Somerset East. This is an attractive base for anglers who would like to take advantage of the great fishing opportunities to be found in the area. Alan is a registered field...
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Somerset Lodge Accommodation
Somerset Lodge Accommodation
Conveniently located in the charming and historic little town of Somerset East is a comfortable guest lodge with seven bedrooms offering guests either bed and breakfast or self catering accommodation.
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Kuzuko Lodge - Big Five Game Reserve Accommodation
Kuzuko Lodge - Big Five Game Reserve Accommodation
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Also known as the “Place of Glory”, Kuzuko Lodge is built high upon a hill in a private section of the northern part of the Greater Addo Elephant National Park. It is here where breathtaking views from your private veranda are...
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Glen Avon Farm Accommodation
Glen Avon Farm Accommodation
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.
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Cape Coast Accommodation

Cape coastal accommodation with West2Wild Coast

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A perfect escape at Kliphuis overlooked by the Sneeuberge

 

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