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To explore the enormous depth and breadth of South Africa’s natural spectacles sometimes you need to look at the lesser known towns that provide a true glimpse of the magnificence this country has been blessed with. Somerset East is one such location. With its riveting and dramatic landscape, Somerset East completely embodies the natural wealth the Eastern Cape has been blessed with; furthermore, this is bird watching country offering excellent birding opportunities for all avid nature fans. Somerset East is located along the very important Blue Crane Route in the province; the Blue Crane Route heads along the R63 from Pearston to Cookhouse, and in conjunction with a number of farms in the area, was formed to protect the national bird, the Blue Crane. Due to many reasons, the Blue Crane suffered a sharp decline in its numbers and this alliance came together to protect the birds; while the Blue Crane is still on the endangered list it is hoped that these efforts will stave off extinction.
Besides bird watching, Somerset East has no less than 16 waterfalls surrounding it further accentuating its almost dramatic, but also tranquil atmosphere. Naturally, popular pastimes include walks, bicycle rides, picnics, and hikes where the amazing splendour of these sights can be marveled at almost indulgently. But it is not only about nature in Somerset East – there are a number of noteworthy landmarks of significant historical importance that visitors can discover and explore. The Somerset East Museum is a fine tribute to Georgian architecture and is worth a visit; its other unique feature is that it forms part of the Boschberg Nature Reserve. Other places of interest here include a picturesque 9-hole golf course, two dams, and local game farms that offer malaria-free safaris.