Somerset East is a beautiful town in the Blue Crane Route in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
The Blue Crane Route follows the national road R63 from Pearston, via Somerset East, to Cookhouse.
Somerset East, at the foot of the Boschberg Mountains, is a quaint, serene little town that’s as famous for the natural beauty as it is for its many beautiful national monument buildings.
The forested, mountainous backdrop creates a dramatic setting for the town (which is within sight of no less than 16 waterfalls). This is where you’ll find the thickly wooded Boschberg Nature Reserve, with it’s popular hiking trails – including a 15km circular route to an overnight hut at the summit of the mountain. As the Route’s name suggest, Somerset East is an excellent bird-watching destination – other adventures include trout fishing on five local dams, as well as Rainbow and Brown trout fishing in the Glen Avon Waterfall pools, malaria free safari and hunting operations. The highly-rated 9-hole golf course is said to be one of the most beautiful in the country.
Amongst the many noteworthy buildings in the town are the Old Wesleyan Chapel, which now houses the Somerset East Museum, and the officers’ mess, which now houses the largest collection of paintings by the renowned South African artist Walter Battiss.
Annual events include the Castle Lager Biltong Festival, the Bruintjieshoogte Marathon, Bruintjieshoogte Cycle Tour (run between Pearston & Somerset East) and the Spring Rose & Flower show – Somerset East is known to produce some of the finest roses in the country.