The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Somerset East, Eastern Cape

Afrikaans name: Somerset-Oos

Somerset East photo coming soon

Photo coming soon...

Eastern Cape

In the late 1700's European settlers started farming in the area of modern day Somerset East even though they were defying the boundary set by the Dutch East India Company. One of the crops grown successfully in those days was tobacco.

The actual town of Somerset East was established in 1825 and was named after Lord Somerset. The town is set in a beautiful area with the Bosberg Mountain nearby.

A variety of farming takes places around Somerset East including merino wool and Angora goats, for their mohair, dairy and citrus.

A number of the buildings in the town have been proclaimed as national monuments. One of these is the Old Pastorie which is now become the location of the Somerset East Museum. Other historical buildings include the Hope Congregational Church, the Dutch Reformed Church and the Officers' Mess. The Officers' Mess houses a collection of paintings by Walter Battiss who is a well-known South African artist.

Other attractions in Somerset East include the Bosberg Nature Reserve and a picturesque 9-hole golf course. The Glen Avon Waterfall is 10 km from the town.

There is a variety of accommodation, including a caravan park, available in the area.

References and further reading

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Published: 1987 - Page: 62

Where to Watch Birds in Southern Africa - Author: A. Berruti and J.C. Sinclair - Published: 1983 - Page: 104

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Published: 1986 - Page: 149

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 218

go! - Issue 109 - Author: - Published: 2015 - Page: 102

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 1995 - Page: 303

Country Life - Issue 252 - Author: - Published: 2017 - Page: 58

Country Life - Issue 272 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 42

Farm Stall to Farm Stall - Author: Jennifer Stern - Published: 2014 - Page: 110

Conollys Guide to Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Denis Conolly - Published: 1982 - Page: 150

Country Life - Issue 244 - Author: - Published: 2016 - Page: 26

Country Life - Issue 182 - Author: - Published: 2011 - Page: 28

Book of the Road - 4th edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2019 - Page: 145


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