Nestling under the Helderberg mountains, the visually stunning town of Somerset West is situated 30 minutes from Cape Town, 10 minutes from the beach and offers country style living with the advantages of the city. The magnificent Hottentots Holland and Helderberg mountain ranges are the backdrop and winds down to the vineyards and a coastline of warm water.
Originally known as Somerset Village, Somerset West offers residents a peaceful community feeling in a pristine natural setting. While the town is steadily growing and becoming increasingly commercial, it has retained the charm that it had when it was first established.Somerset West and in general the False Bay coastal area was inhabited by indigenous people, named the Strandlopers (beach combers). Most of the land was claimed by the then Governor of the Cape Willem Adrian van der Stel, appointed by the Dutch East India Co who were in control of the Cape, and he created the farm Vergelegen on which he lived until 1708. The farm was later sub divided. During the time the Cape was under British control the farmers working Vergelegen farms requested permission to build a church from the then Governor of the Cape, Sir Charles Somerset.
This was granted and with the subsequent buildings going up around the church a village was created and this was named after the Governor Lord Charles Somerset as Somerset, later to be renamed Somerset West so as not clash with a similarly named town in the Eastern Cape, Somerset East. Today, Somerset West is the commercial and residential capital of the Helderberg area.
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CHEETAH OUTREACH HAS MOVED TO SOMERSET WEST
Cheetah Outreach has recently relocated to Somerset West. This education and community –based programme was founded in 1997 by Annie Beckhelling to promote the survival of the free ranging Southern African cheetah through education and conservation initiatives.
South Africa is home to less than 1 000 of these beautiful cats, and because the majority live in areas adjacent to farmland, non-lethal methods of protecting livestock needed to be found. The Turkish Anatolian shepherd, originally bred to protect livestock from bears and wolves, originate in a region of little rain, heat in summer and cold in winter, much like parts of southern Africa, and is now bred as part of a programme to place the dogs on South African farms. The ability of the Anatolians to protect livestock is attributed not only to their size, strength, eyesight, hearing and sense of smell, but above all they are raised with the herds from 6 – 8 weeks of age and instinctively bond with the animals with which they are kept. These dogs will investigate and aggressively confront any intruders that threaten the herd.
Smaller predators, such as the serval, caracal, black-back jackals and bat-eared foxes are all housed and bred at Cheetah Outreach as part of a wider scheme to raise awareness for the plight of these animals on South African farmland.
Cheetah Outreach is open 365 days a year, seven days a week.
ARE YOU IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR MOUNTAIN BIKE? If yes – why not join us for this exciting event in Stellenbosch on Saturday 19 October at Overgaauw Estate. It’s not too late to enter – click here for registrations: http://www.quicket.co.za/events/2285-stbb-2keep-a-breast-mtb-challenge All proceeds go to CANSA.