Somerset West is known for three things: wine, food, and adventure. This area has always been popular with tourists because of the high concentration of world-class wine farms. It’s only an hour away from the centre of Cape Town and is fast becoming a haven for nature-lovers who are looking for outdoor activities close to the city. If you’re an adventurer, a wanderer, or a trailblazer here are some of the things to do in Somerset West.
Hiking in Helderberg Nature Reserve
The Helderberg Nature Reserve is a beautiful reserve on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain. Hiking through the reserve is a perfect way to view the diversity of the local fynbos ecosystem. You will also get spectacular view of False Bay on a clear day. There are hiking trails for every level of hiker: from the 2.2km Sugarbird trail to the West Peak trail that will take 7 hours to complete.
Horse Riding at Journey’s End
You don’t have to be a hero in an old western to have your riding-off-into-the-sunset moment. Journey’s End in Somerset West offers guided rides through vineyards and up onto the mountain where you can look over the bay. There are horses for every level of rider. Kids can ride on a lead rein so the whole family can participate. Bring your camera to capture your canter through the vineyards.
Mountain Biking on the Helderberg Farm Trail
Mountain biking is one of the Cape’s great passions, and there are dozens of trails crisscrossing the region. The Helderberg Trails are some of the best on offer, catering newbies and hardcore bikers alike with four loops of increasing difficulty.
Set on a farm at the foot of the Helderberg Mountains, they have been specifically designed by avid mountain bikers to give a world-class outdoor experience in a beautiful setting, and also are open to both mountain bikers and trail runners.
Clay Pigeon Shooting with Clay Pigeon Adventures
You don’t have to be a hunter to enjoy honing your skills as a shooter. Clay pigeon shooting requires focus, concentration and good coordination. It makes for a fun afternoon out with a group of friends. Clay Pigeon Adventures has expert instructors who can take you from rookie to expert marksman. If you’re looking for something new and adventurous to try then this experience comes highly recommended.
Golfing at Erinvale
The course at Erinvale is widely considered to be one of the best courses in the region. Designed by legendary South African golfer Gary Player, it has hosted the both the World Cup of Golf and the SA Open. The course traverses the residential part of the estate and winds its way to the foothills of the Helderberg mountains, offering beautiful views of the mountain and bay. Like all great clubs, it also has a fantastic clubhouse with a great selection of food and drinks.
Swing by Monkey Town
Get in touch with your inner primate by visiting Monkey Town, Cape Town’s only primate centre. The centre is truly a menagerie, with chimps, gibbons, lemurs, and squirrel monkeys. There is also a reptile park that houses cobras, vipers, anacondas, and mambas. Kids will love the experience and adults will learn a thing or two, making it well worth the trip.
Cable Waterskiing at Blue Rock
Cable waterskiing is an easier, cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional speedboat method. At Blue Rock an electrically-driven cable provides the pull for waterskiers, kneeboarders, and wakeboarders to test their mettle. It’s perfect for beginners looking for an easy entry into the world of waterskiing, and advanced skiers can try out the massive obstacle course for more thrills.
There’s enough to keep you busy all day; the park also offers zip-lining, paintball, beach volleyball, stand-up paddleboarding, and diving.
Feline Fun at Cheetah Outreach
Wild cheetahs are in danger due to human encroachment on their habitats. Cheetah Outreach aims to educate and raise awareness for Southern Africa’s fastest feline. Visiting the Cheetah Outreach lets you support a worthy initiative while also having an experience you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Get up close to these special big cats, see cheetah cubs being hand-reared, and check out the Anatolian Shepherd dogs that are bred to provide South African farms with a way to guard livestock without killing predators.
Walk the Cape Winelands
Hiking enthusiasts will love this self-guided walking holiday through the winelands. Available as either a 5-day or a 7-day walk, the Cape Winelands takes you from Somerset West through the Helderberg Nature Reserve and into some of the top wine estates in Cape Town. You’ll stay in 4-star accommodation with breakfast included, and explore the region’s flora and fauna at your own pace with comprehensive route notes to make sure you know what to look out for.
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