Somerset West is a ideal starting point for visiting the Winelands, a trip around the Cape of Good Hope or whale-watching in Hermanus.
Many beautiful National Parks and Nature Reserves like the Helderberg Nature Reserve are in close proximity to Somerset West. The Helderberg Nature Reserve offers vistors well marked paths for long walks and hikes at the backdrops of the Hottentots-Holland mountain range.
The coastline near Somerset West stretches along the False Bay in westwards to the Cape of Good Hope and eastwards along the coastal scenic route towards Hermanus. The Town of Hermanus is famous for the recurring whales that visit the bay every year. Hermanus is celebrating this natural spectacle with the Whale Festival which is frequented by visitors from all around the world to witness hundreds of whales in the bay.
The Vergelegen Winery in Somerset West is one of the oldest vineyards in the Western Cape.
Vergelegen offers visitors guided tours, cellar tours and wine tastings. A stroll through the beautiful gardens around of the wine estate are definitely worthwhile. The Lady Phillip's Tea Garden offers meals and refreshments in a historical environment. The victorian-style restaurant is known for his cuisine. A prior booking is essential through the high popularity.
The wine estate and its gardens were designed by Simon van der Stel in 18th Century. He had a major influence on the contemporary appearance of the octagonal herb garden, the rose garden with a beautiful terrace and the koi carp pond. The massive formation of camphor trees descend from that time, which have been declared a National Monument. The estate also houses the oldest oak tree in South Africa.
The Helderberg Nature Reserve is a paradise for outdoor lovers. The Nature Reserve,
with its typical fynbos vegetation and species-rich bird life stretches along the south side of the Helderberg Mountain up to the Westpeak in close to 1000 meters of altitude.
Short walks in the nature reserve offering fantastic nature experiences. A longer walk is rewarded with the view on the surrounding Hottentots-Holland mountain range and across the False Bay on the Cape of Good Hope or even on the Table Mountain. The wildlife in the Helderberg Nature Reserve allows observations of a variety of bird species, as well as the Bontebok - a small antelope typical for the area. Many beautiful picnic areas invite hikers to tkae a rest and offer close experiences with the ubiquitous local tortoises. The Nature Reserve can be conveniently reached in a few minutes drive from our guest house in Somerset West.
The Monkey Town Monkey Park was founded in December 2000 by the owner Roslin Grobler through her devotion for those unique animals. The park is home to about 230 monkeys and 27 species. Most of the monkeys were rescued or adopted and found a new home at the monkey park. Monkey Town gives visitors the opportunity to experience all different kind of monkeys and to contribute to the preservation of those wonderful animals.
Monkey Town is substantially different from the tourist-oriented monkey parks, the private owners put high efforts to the preservation of the environment. All species of monkeys live in large free-running areas and the visitor is guided on a pre-defined walk through the monkey park without interfering the habitat of the animals. This allows to experience the monkeys in their natural social behavior.
In 1939 the area around the Cape of Good Hope was declared a official National Park.
The Cape of Good Hope is located on the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula National Park and stretches along a 40 km coastline. On the way to the Cape of Good Hope, we pass by the rocky coastline of Buffels Bay, the Smitswinkel Bay and the Dias beach.
Half way through the park you will find a museum with an exhibition on the flora and fauna of the nature reserve at the Cape of Good Hope. The road leads to the tip of the Cape Peninsula offers spectacular panoramic view on both sides of the so-called Cape Point. Arrived at Cape Point, a cable winched train and a walking path lead up to the 1860 built lighthouse. From the lighthouse you will have the best view on the famous Cape of Good Hope and the Atlantic Ocean.