Nieu-Bethesda valley view

Nieu-Bethesda is a quiet little village. One for contemplation and somewhere you go to find yourself again. There are a few places you can do it during a visit, but one of my favorites is with a flask of coffee and a lunch (breakfast) box filled with rusks up at Mariette se bankie at the Uitkyk. From here you can see the whole valley with the village on the far side and towering Compasberg in the background. Let's keep this…

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Mountainside cycads at Kuzuko

Cycads, or as we know them in Afrikaans, Broodbome, (all Encephalartos species and Stangeria eriopus) are the most threatened plant group in South Africa. They are also one of the most threatened groups of plants in the world. In South Africa almost 70% of our cycad species are threatened with extinction, with four species on the brink of extinction and seven species with fewer than 100 plants left in the wild. In South Africa it is illegal to buy or…

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Going on a game drive at Kuzuko Lodge

Over the Zuurberg mountains in the southern part of the Eastern Cape's Karoo Heartland lies a place of glory. That bit should actually be written with caps as Kuzuko Lodge's slogan is Place of Glory. Most game reserves are located in a part of the province where lush subtropical thicket vegetation is prevalent which makes Kuzuko different. Wide-open spaces, sparse vegetation, dry climate and often warmer temperatures. Due to this Kuzuko doesn't have big numbers of animals like the other…

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Read more about the article Port Elizabeth Then and Now – The Willows Holiday Resort
Willows in 1938 before the resort was built

Port Elizabeth Then and Now – The Willows Holiday Resort

Camping at Willows in 1938 long before the rondawels were built. The Willows Holiday Resort along Port Elizabeth's southern coastline close to Schoenmakerskop has been a popular weekend and holiday destination for a very long time. In the early days people came here, pitched their tents and enjoyed the surroundings with very little else around. Willows in the 1960s Willows Resort after it was constructed in the 1950's consisted of rondawels with communal bathrooms that had “long drop toilets” and…

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Antie Evelyn se Eetplek in Nieu-Bethesda

Some people have eating in a 3 Michelin star restaurant in Paris on their bucket lists. Others want to eat in a restaurant because a certain famous chef designed the menu. I wanted to have dinner at Antie Evelyn se Eetplek and when the opportunity arose I packed my overnight bag and headed into the Eastern Cape's Karoo Heartland to the village of cement owls, fossils, leivore and Auntie Evelyn. Nieu-Bethesda. Auntie Evelyn Oliphant has been running her little restaurant…

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Zebra in Addo

The age old question about zebra that every tourist guide asks his guests when driving through Addo Elephant National Park. Is a zebra white with black stripes or black with white stripes? Today I want to share with you some "Did you know?" facts about these donkeys in pajamas. Addo's zebra are Burchell's zebra (Equus quagga burchellii) and is a southern subspecies of the plains zebra. It is named after the British explorer and naturalist William John Burchell. Zebra stripe patterns are…

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Addo roadblocks, big butts and all

Don't you just hate a road block? A lady or gent in uniform with a reflector jacket walking around your car and then asking you for your license. Or the "in thing" lately, the burning tires and throwing stones type roadblock. Or the pothole in the road roadblock where you have to wait for cars from the other side to pass before you can drive around it. Then there are the roadblocks you encounter on the roads in the old…

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Mamma elephant in the lead

A group of elephants is called a herd and is usually made up of females and youngsters. As soon as a young bull reaches sexual maturity he gets nudged out and joins other bulls in a bachelor herd of some sorts. Each herd is basically a family group led by a matriarch, an older and more experienced female, and is made up of her sisters, daughters and their calves. The matriarch needs to be a lady of wisdom, strong connections…

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Nieu-Bethesda accommodation at Outsiders B&B

The last couple of times I've been in Nieu-Bethesda I stayed with Ian and Katrien Allemann at Outsiders B&B every time. Outsiders is conveniently situated on the main road as you come into town and just about next door to the entrance of the Owl House. Everything is literally walking distance away and you can leave your car here and just explore on foot. I stayed in the front room which is comfortable and spacious. Best is the fact that…

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Inspirational food in Nieu-Bethesda

One of the things you can always be sure of while traveling through the Karoo Heartland of the Eastern Cape is that you will get good food, fantastic hospitality and a full tummy. Visiting Nieu-Bethesda one would expect your meal to be lamp chops, a hearty stew or something straight from granny's kitchen. So finding a place with inspirational fusion foods straight out of something you'll expect on a Master Chef cooking competition was totally unexpected. Enters Barbara and Johan…

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