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Karoo Heartland : Nieu-Bethesda
Revision as of 14:39, 5 January 2009 by Greenman (Talk | contribs)

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Nieu-Bethesda is a small villag in the Eastern Cape, most well-known for the Owl House.

A statue at the Owl House

Get in

From Middelburg (north) take the marked gravel road (27km).

From Graaff-Reinet (south) take the first turn off to Nieu-Bethesda - 25km gravel road.

From Cradock (east) take the Graaff-Reinet road. When at the T junction turn right towards Middelburg for 600m and then left towards Nieu-Bethesda for 27km.

Get around


  • The Owl House, +27 (0)49 841-1733, [1]. Museum open daily from 8 am to 6 pm in summer and from 9 am to 5 pm in winter. A community effort to preserve the life work of Helen Martins, a home-bred artist who turned her house into an exhibit, until her suicide in 1976. Using raw materials, like concrete and glass, she and a Bushman artist sculpted the Owl House and its garden. Entry fee R10.
  • James Kitching Fossil Interpretation Centre, +27 (0)49 841-1733. See and learn how the area looked 280 million years ago. Spot fossils in the river bed.
  • Donkey Cart tours, +27 (0)83 870-0381. Sam will take you on his donkey cart through town and will tell you all you need to know about the village.


  • Bethesda Art Centre, +27 (0)49 841-1731/729, [2]. Art, music, dance, theatre ... visit the gallery, see a class in progress, take part in a workshop, or catch a performance at the magical open-air theatre.
  • Creche, +27 (0)49 841-1656. Visit the creche in the township.

There are several hiking areas around town.


  • Egbert's Book and Coffee shop.. Enjoy coffee at Egbert's while you browse through his book shop. Art also for sale.


  • Auntie Evelyn se plek, +27 (0)49 841-1780. Traditional food served with township style.
  • Sneeuwitjie Restaurant, +27 (0)49 841-1656. An inspiring initiative serving tasty home cooking to raise funds for the community pre-school.
  • The Brewery & 2Goat Deli, +27 (0)49 841-1602. Visit the local brewery & deli to enjoy Bethesda beer and goat cheese.
  • Waenhuis Pub & Grub, +27 (0)49 841-1627. Enjoy meals & drinks in a nice atmosphere and at a fire during winter. Big screen for rugby and other big events.



  • Ganora Guestfarm, (7km from Nieu-Bethesda), +27 (0)49 841-1302 (), [3]. Choose between a cozy cottage with rustic charm that sleeps 6 has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen and lounge or Double on-suite bedrooms also in old sheep pens that has been changed into very comfortable rooms. Various activities available, mountain biking trails, birding, guided tours to Bushmen Rock Art, private fossil & artifact museum, fossil walk and you can enjoy a swim in the rockpools at the canyon walk. Transport can be arranged.
  • Owl House Backpackers, +27 (0)49 841-1642 (), [4]. Dorm beds, doubles, singles and camping are available in this bright, clean home, previously a Buddhist meditation centre.

Get out

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