Why have you never visited Nieu-Bethesda?

It feels like most people I speak to about travelling in the Karoo Heartland of the Eastern Cape have been to Graaff-Reinet, yet many didn't venture much further to also visit Nieu-Bethesda.  Nieu-Bethesda truly is a very special village located barely 30 minutes from Graaff-Reinet and have a truly off the beaten track feeling to it.  I say off the beaten track because that is literally what it is.  No tar roads in the village, no street lights, no ATM,…


When it rains in Nieu-Bethesda

A couple of weeks ago I headed up to Nieu-Bethesda in the Karoo Heartland with a colleague for a tourism meeting.  En route we encountered the Fish River in full flow at Jansenville, puddles and pools next to the road approaching Graaff-Reinet and a very wet village at our destination.  The word Karoo comes from the Khoi language and means Place of Thirst, very appropriate for this arid region.  So it's not often that you see puddles of water in…


Ganora Fossil Museum

When I grew up I wanted to be an archaeologist.  Somebody like Indiana Jones who discover lost cities and artifacts, dig up dinosaurs and made remarkable finds that would wow the world.  That dream kinda shattered when I found it it wasn't all quite as adventurous and glamorous.  Instead I went into tourism although the interest for archaeology is still there.  This interest truly got fed when I spent a night at Ganora Guestfarm out Nieu-Bethesda recently.  In prehistoric times the Karoo…


Concrete, glass and colours at the Owl House

The Karoo Town of Nieu Bethesda is the kind of place everybody needs to try and visit at some stage in their lives.  Its not a big tourist orientated city but rather a small village that embrace their visitors.  The most famous attraction in Nieu Bethesda is the world renown Owl House. The late Helen Martins spent most of her life in the town and the latter part of it transforming her ordinary Karoo home into a place of colour and light.  Over the…


Karoo Riverbed

A couple of months ago I spent a night at Ganora Guest Farm outside Nieu Bethesda.  What an amazing place!  Although I didn't have a lot of time but did get to do a tour of JP's Fossil Museum.  Unfortunately I didn't get to go and see the rock drawings on the farm.  Before heading into the village for the meeting I was there for I took a walk down to the river just below the homestead.  If it wasn't for…


Karoo Heartland Churches

Looking through everything I have that still needs to be posted I decided to take three Karoo churches and make up one Random... Karoo churches post.  Just about every small town in the Karoo Heartland of the Eastern Cape has a remarkable church of some sort.  Cradock must have one of the most memorable Karoo Heartland churches there are.  It stands at the top of Church Street and is known as the ``Mother" Church.  The church was completed in 1868 on the same site as the…

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Nieu-Bethesda in the Karoo is one of those interesting little towns that one just can't afford to miss.  Home to the Owl House, Kitching Fossil Centre, guesthouses, restaurants, a micro brewery and so much more yet the town (or should I perhaps call it a village?) doesn't have a petrol station, atm or even a tar road.  Every corner offers something new or interesting or, in this case, old and interesting.

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Die Uilhuis in Nieu-Bethesda

Suid-Afrika is vol van klein dorpies met interessante verhale en plekke om te ontdek, maar een van die wat baie hoog op enige iemand se lys behoort te wees is die Uilhuis in die Karoodorp Nieu-Bethesda.  Nieu-Bethesda lê so 50km noord van Graaff-Reinet en is in 1838 deur Charles Murray, 'n Nederduitse Gereformeerde dominee van Graaff-Reinet, gestig.  Met die stigting van die dorp het hy gesê, "En laten wy deze plaats nu Bethesda noemen" vanwee die vrugbaarheid van die plek en die aanwesigheid…

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Windpomp and church tower

Two of the most typical things that you would associate small towns in the platteland (countryside) with are churches and windpompe (windpumps). They are to small towns as Aston Martins and girls are to James Bond. In this scene in Nieu Bethesda in the Karoo I got them both in one shot. James Bond driving with the top down and a beautiful girl next to him.


Nieu Bethesda Fossil Centre

I love Indiana Jones and when I was younger I wanted to be an archaeologist discovering lost civilisations and crawling through jungles looking for artifacts. I still have an great interest in archaeology and have a small collection of fossils and other interesting bits which I hope to still add to in future. So on a visit to Nieu Bethesda in the Karoo I reveled in the knowledge that I would be able to visit the Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre…