Somerset West

Cape Town
Photo provided by South African Tourism
Surrounded by an amphitheater of mountains on the Western Cape, this town is a hub of nature reserves, wine estates and South African history.

Somerset West is a beautiful scenic destination bounded by farmlands, orchards and vineyards. Founded in 1822 and expanding rapidly in the early 21st century, this charming town has become the residential and commercial capital of the Helderberg Basin. With no shortage of natural areas, history and excellent cuisine, Somerset West is one of the Western Cape’s finest tourist destinations.

Overlooked by the Helderberg Wine Region, Somerset West has stunning views of the ocean and nearby sandy beaches. Tour the wine country, visit a nature park dedicated to helping South African cheetahs and picnic or hike on the slopes of the stunning Helderberg Mountain.

Support the survival of the free-ranging cheetahs at the Cheetah Outreach. This educational and community-based center is committed to raising environmental awareness with respect to the plight of the big cats. Take a tour or meet cheetah cubs, bat-eared foxes, meerkats and nocturnal caracals in an encounter program. Visit the Cheetah Outreach year-round. There is no need for reservations but some encounters have limited daily spaces.

Visit some of the 30 wineries along the Helderberg Wine Route for wine tasting, tours and fine dining. Some are as old as 300 years and known for handcrafted wines and stunning scenery. Take a cellar tour and visit a wine tasting center. Relax in the region’s serene gardens.

Tour the Helderberg Nature Reserve where you’ll find a wonderful plant and animal life. Stop at the information center to plan a hike. Spot exotic and colorful birds including the orange-breasted sunbird, the swee waxbill and the majestic black eagle. View the seasonal floral life in the thick shrub-like vegetation.

With a range of boutique lodges, guesthouses and villas you’ll find the right accommodations. Discover this stunning town about a 28-mile (45-kilometer) drive from Cape Town. Alternatively, take the Metrorail from Cape Town to the Somerset West Station.

Before you leave Somerset West, visit the Triggerfish Brewery for some of South Africa’s finest craft beers.

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