Cape Town Official FlagGreater Cape Town City and Tourism Guide

Cape Town Home PageCape Town Areas and PlacesCape Town TourismCape Town Art and DesignContact Info- SEARCH ||| CAPE BONSAI PHOTO's
Camps Bay - Cape Point - Cape Town - Castle of Good Hope - Constantia - Fish Hoek - Gordon's Bay - Hout Bay - Robben Island - Sea Point - Simon's Town - Somerset West - Strand - Table Mountain - Vergelegen - Waterfront - Ceres - Franschhoek - Hermanus - Kleinmond - Lamberts Bay - Paarl - Stellenbosch - Tulbagh - Wellington
Cape Town Bonsai Collection
Somerset West

Somerset West

Cape Town Photos
Surrounding Area's

Somerset West Property

Somerset West Map

View Larger Map

Somerset West lies about 50 km east from Cape Town, is part of the Helderberg Basin and are surrounded by the Hottentots Holland Mountains.

Somerset West is well known for it's Christmas lights during December holidays, the Helderberg Nature Reserve and for being a bit more laid back town close to Cape Town. The Historic town of Stellenbosch is also only about 20 km north of Somerset West.

Ask one of the locals to show you the secretive "spook bult" (gost hill) and the Somerset Mall is also one of the big attractions in the area.


Somerset West History and Information

The area today called Somerset West originally inhabitants were a clan called the Chainoukwa Khokhoi.    After the area was bought by the Dutch East Indian Company Dutch soldiers established a cattle post in the area.  The historic farm Vergelegen was also developed in the Somerset West area and a farmhouse was developed by the Dutch Governor Willem Adrian van der Stel. 

In 1817 some of the farmers asked Lord Charles Somerset permission to build a church in the area.  Permission was granted and the town of Somerset West was born in 1822.  At first the village was called Somerset but to prevent confusion with Somerset East the ‘West’ part of the name was added. 

Somerset West used to be a smaller town closed to Cape Town (about 50 km) but over the years with lots of development the whole area mushroomed into a larger village.  Today Somerset West has some of the most spectacular homes against the mountains and businesses and malls are well established all over the area.  Somerset West lies in what today is called the Helderberg Basin and is surrounded by the Hottentots Holland Mountains and the higher parts of Somerset West has spectacular views over False Bay.  Today Somerset West fall within the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality.

Somerset West Town Hall
Somerset West Town Hall (Historic Photo)

Somerset West is also not to far from the Cape Town International Airport and today has it’s own radio station called Radio Helderberg.  The Helderberg Nature Reserve is also a place where you can experience nature, walk on several nature trails or just have a picnic.  The Helderberg Nature Reserve consists of flora like protea and fynbos. Wildlife include some small buck and tortoises and the reserve also has a small dam where you can experience peace and quite of nature.  The Helderberg Nature reserve do ask a small entrance fee but it is worth it to just escape the rat race and is a great place to get away from the fast pace of modern life.

The Vergelegen Wine Estate lies just on the border of Somerset West and is a good example of the Cape Dutch building style.  The whole estate is spectacular and one of the best to visit in the Cape Winelands.  The Vergelegen Wine Farm today is owned by the mining company Anglo American.  Visitors to Vergelegen are welcome and the entrance fee are very reasonable.  (For more information on Vergelegen Wine Estate visit The Vergelegen Wine Estate page)

With the considerable increase in the population of Somerset West and surrounding area’s schools are in abundance.  Primary schools include Somerset West Primary School, Somerset House, Somerset College ,Somerset West Private School, De Hoop Primary School, Beaumont Primary School and Daniel Ackerman Primary School.  High School include Hottentots Holland High, Parel Vallei High, Somerset College, Somerset Private School, Helderberg High School,  International School of Helderberg, Gordon High and Helderberg College.

Old Lourens Rivier Bridge
(The Old Lourens River Bridge in Somerset West is a provincial heritage site. The Lourens River was originally called the 'Tweede Rivier' but was later renamed Lourens River. The Old Lourens River Bridge can be found next to Somerset Main Road close to Checkers and Pick and Pay)

Somerset West has three Golf Courses and are close to the beaches of Strand and Gordon’s Bay.  Places to do shopping are in abundance and you have a choice between Somerset Mall or smaller shopping area’s.  For grocery shopping a Pick and Pay and Checkers are situated in the town center.  You also have places like Vergelegen Spar where it is easy to drop in to buy something quickly.  A new shopping centre the Helberberg Centre is also almost completed just next to the Somerset Mall and includes a new Checkers Hyper.  Waterstone Village is also a popular shopping centre that includes a Pick and Pay and a big Woolworth's.  Just above the Waterstone Shopping centre you can also find the Waterstone Virgin Active gym and a Mc Donalds and Kentucky drive through.  The Lord Charles Hotel can also be found close to the Waterstone Village centre.  Builders Warehouse Somerset West and Benbels Somerset West are also not to far from the Somerset Mall.  The Food Lovers Market just across the Somerset Mall is also the place to find fresh food, fruit and vegetables.

If you are planning to buy a property several Real Estate Agencies can also be found in the Somerset West area like Seeff, Remax, AIDA, RoseMcFall, Harcourts, Leapfrog, Pam Golding, Rawsons, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s and Cape Coastal Homes. Somerset West suburbs include suburbs like Die Wingerd, Golden Acre, Heldervue, Helderzicht, Land en Zeezicht, Parel Vallei, Monte Sereno, Rome Glen, Somerset Ridge, Spanish Farm, Steyns Rust and The Links.

Hospitals include the Hottentots Holland Hospital, Vergelegen Medi Clinic and a new hospital is being built close to the AECI factory area.

Somerset West is ideally situated for a quick break away from city life in Cape Town and can be accessed fast using the N2 highway or the N1 taking the R300. Somerset West is also close to Stellenbosch taking the R44 that is surrounded by beautiful wine farms and mountains.

Somerset West Attrations

Somerset Mall

Somerset Mall
The Somerset Mall is the biggest mall in the Helderberg area and the place for the people of Helderberg to shop, enjoy a movie, eat-out and experience shopping at it's best. The Somerset Mall has shops like Pick n Pay, Game, Clicks, Mr Price, Dions-wired, Cum Books, CNA, Woolworths, Edgars, Incredible Connection, Hifi Corp and many other shops. Restaurants in the Somerset Mall include the Spur, Cape Town Fish Marke, and many others.
Somerset Mall

Helderberg Nature Reserve

Helderberg Nature Reserve
The Helderberg Nature Reserve is situated in Somerset West on the slopes of the beautiful Helderberg Mountain overlooking False Bay. There are picnic spots, an information centre, our Guinea gift shop, exhibitions and hiking trails for young and old. See Bontebok, and watch the tortoises lazily mowing the lawns. Natural vegetation in the Helderberg Nature Reserve is representative of Mesic Mountain Fynbos on the upper reaches, and the Renosterveld on the lower reaches. Fynbos is found mainly in the Western Cape, has few trees or succulents.
Helderberg Nature Reserve

Monkey Town Somerset West

Monkey Town Primate Centre
The Monkey Town Primate Centre is home to over 200 individual primates and is located east of Somerset West on the N2. Visitors will find primate representatives from all over the world. Spider Monkeys, Squirrel Monkeys, and tiny Pygmy Marmosets are found in South America while Chimpanzees, Gibbons and Lion-Tailed Macaques are from Africa and Asia. Even Madagascar is represented by our vocal ringtail Lemurs.
Monkey Town

Somerset West Accommodation
  Lord Charles Hotel
NH The Lord Charles has simply combined an international, cosmopolitan style, with a local flair and warmth making it a comfortable home-away-from-home from which guests can discover and enjoy their business or leisure activities. NH The Lord Charles prides itself on its comfort, elegance and welcoming hospitality, ensuring an intimate hotel experience for all visitors.
Lord Charles Hotel
  Kings Highway Guest House
King’s Highway is part of the Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education (FCE). FCE is a non-profit organisation involved in training and community upliftment in Africa. All funds generated by the overnight accommodation facilities are utilised to fund these various projects.
Kings Highway Guest House
Somerset West Other
  Marzé Botha Art Gallery
Dealers in original South African art by well-established South African artists.
Marzé Botha Art Gallery
Somerset WestSomerset West View over Helderberg
somerset west nature reservesomerset west nature reserve
Somerset West Helderg Nature ReserveSomerset West Night Photo
Somerset West Somerset MallSomerset West Somerset Mall

Click +1 to like this page:

Home - Cape Town - Cape Town Tourism - CapeTown Art & Design - Cape Town Info - Contact Info
Copyright 2009

Cape Town Areas and Photos
Cape Town Tourism
Cape Town Art and Design