Nieu-Bethesda’s historic NG Kerk

Whenever I visit Nieu-Bethesda I just seem to be attracted to the historic Dutch Reformed Church (Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk or NG Kerk). There is just something to this beautiful building in this tiny village that has me going back to it time and time again. Also, the fact that there are so many different angles to look at it and then add to it the time of day and different weather conditions. I did a post on the church last…


Nieu-Bethesda’s owl sellers

Nieu-Bethesda's biggest export item, as in what people take away with them, must be their cement owls. It all started at the Owl House where Helen Martins transformed the house and then the yard, the latter with the help of Koos Malgas. Although there are so many different cement figures in the yard, the owls are the most prominent. No wonder it's called the Owl House. It's also the one thing most visitors to the village want to go home…


Road scenes of Nieu-Bethesda

Nieu Bethesda's Dutch Reformed Church The village of Nieu-Bethesda really is a special one. High on the to-do list of travelers wanting to visit the Owl House, learn more about fossils or just experience Karoo country life. It's also somewhere to go and find yourself, recharge your soul and rediscover your being. Nieu-Bethesda only had dirt roads, no street lights nor a petrol station. The best way to explore the village is literally on foot with your camera in hand,…


Karoo skies

The Karoo Heartland of the Eastern Cape is big sky country. The wide open spaces aren't just on the ground. You just need to look up anywhere in the Karoo and you will know what I'm talking about. Blue skies, dramatic skies, thunder clouds rolling in, stunning sunsets and stars at night like you've never seen in your life.


The Stonefolk of Nieu-Bethesda

Nieu-Bethesda is famous for the Owl House and fossils you find in the area. That's not all you can see in this small Karoo Heartland village though. There's actually so much more and now it has a new addition. A couple of stone figures has made Ongeluksloot on the farm Doornberg their home and we just had to go and visit. Inspired by the landscape of Nieu-Bethesda, the stone figures in Kaokoland in Namibia as well as The Dance by…

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Water furrows in the Karoo Heartland

One of my favourite things about Nieu-Bethesda is seeing the water run through the village's water furrows. These ancient stone leivore date back to the early days of the village and supplies water to the village from a spring in the mountain above the village. Residents who have leivore running past their properties pay a minimal amount for water rights annually and channel water into their gardens using smaller gated funnels on the days when the water flows in that…


Bini’s Tea Garden in Nieu-Bethesda

How boring is life if one never explores? How much would we miss out on if we didn't? Nieu-Bethesda may be small but there are so many things to see and places to check out. Although I've been to the village a couple of times, the Damselfly hadn't seen much of it so I loaded her in the car for a drive around on a recent visit. We drove up to the township for the view back to town and…


Honesty shop on the stoep

Towards the bottom of Martin Street in the village of Nieu-Bethesda stands a white Karoo house with a blue sign. blue cupboard(on the stoep)honesty shop The two words in the name that caught my eye immediately were "honesty shop". It was peculiar. Interesting. Strangely Karoo Heartland. Definitely worth checking out. On the stoep we found a variety of things. On the right-hand side mostly second-hand and antique items, books and other stuff. Nice and cheap as well. On the left-hand…


Tracking and double tots at Samara

Rangers are like the cowboys of a game reserve with their game viewing vehicle as their steed, a cap rather than a cowboy hat and bino's at their side in the place of a revolver. But what about the dude sitting on the bonnet jump seat? Is he the Tonto to our Lone Ranger? Who is the guy with the thing in his hand that looks like a tv aerial? What is he supposed to do? Why does he get…


Blue mountains of the Karoo

There is an Afrikaans folk song made famous by Johannes Kerkorrel that starts off mentioning the blue mountains. "Al lê die berge nog so blou,al lê die berge nog so blou,al lê die berge nog so blou,haar woorde sal ek steeds onthou."Whenever I see the blue silhouette of mountains on the horizon this song always pops up in my head and it was no different while driving through the Eastern Cape's Karoo Heartland on my way to Graaff-Reinet. This time…