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Somerset East, at the foot of the Boschberg Mountains, is a town of 19,000 people (2011) in Karoo Heartland that's known for its natural environment and for its provincial heritage sites and buildings.


Somerset East Dutch Reformed Church

Established in 1825 by Lord Charles Somerset and found at the base of the Boschberg Mountain, Somerset East is home to many beautiful heritage sites and buildings of historical importance. It is also known to produce some of the finest roses in the country, while the Walter Battiss Art Gallery, in the hometown of this grand old man of South African art, has the largest collection of his work in Africa on display.

The forested, mountainous backdrop frames the town, which is within sight of 16 waterfalls.

Get in[edit]

Map of Somerset East

Get around[edit]


  • The Old Wesleyan Chapel houses the Somerset East Museum.
  • 1 Slachter's Nek Exhibition, +27 42 243 2079, . Gallows exhibition that is staged around the actual beam from which the five rebels were hung in 1816. Be sure to look out for the timeline of events that happened in the rest of the world during the same period.
Walter Battiss Art Museum


  • The wooded Boschberg Nature Reserve is in the area, and has a number of hiking trails - including a 15-km circular route to an overnight hut at the summit of the mountain.
  • Other outdoor 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.
  • 1 Somerset East Golf Club, +27 42 243 3993. A nine-hole course with a picturesque stream running through it.
  • Lavelilanga Women's Craft, +27 71 967 5396, . A cooperative where you can learn to create decorative paper mache household items
  • Annual events include the Biltong Festival, which was started in 1991, the Bruintjieshoogte Marathon, Bruintjieshoogte Cycle Tour (run between Pearston & Somerset East) and the Spring Rose & Flower show.







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