The charming and artistic village of Nieu-Bethesda is located in the valley of the Sneeuberg mountains, in the vast plain of the Karoo in the Eastern Cape province. It is a place of new and old art and cannot be missed on a ‘Karoo trip’.

Nieu Bethesda, a village of less than 1000 inhabitants, has no gas station and no credit card facilities, you have been warned. So fill the gas tank and your wallet before you go here! Life goes on like this, the air is clean, the nights clear and the streets dusty. Go on a trip with an donkey cart and go back in time … Afterwards you can relax at the Sneeuberg Brewery and delicatessen where different types of beer, coffee and cheese are served and produced by the owner himself.

But in the Karoo “where the land meets the sky” the peace seeker and nature lover, here in the semi-desert, enjoy the buzzards, eagles, the sacred ibis, the blue crane, the secretary bird, flamingos and hadedas. The turtle, the otter, lizards, snakes, foxes, kudu, springbok, wild cats and aardvark find their way through the vast land.

And in between there is farming, the Karoo lamb and the Angora goats that come from here are known all over the world, beautiful to see and delicious because of the diet they are served in this dry environment.

But more well-known are the art shops, galleries and studios and there are several sculpture gardens of which Helen Martin’s is the most remarkable. A visit to Nieu Bethesda is therefore not possible without a visit to her “Owl House”. The food for the creative mind!

But if you are interested in ancient art, then look for Bushmen drawings and fossils. Fossil trips can be made from the Ganora Guest Farm, where you can also go hiking and mountain biking. There is a small museum where archeology enthusiasts can indulge.

The Mountain Zebra Park, 12 km away, should not be missed if you are here.

Furthermore, Nieu Bethesda and the Karoo area are ideal for stargazing, climbing, hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, game drives and just sitting on the sidewalk and watching the village life pass by ….

Visit Graaff Reinet (60 km) to enjoy old architecture. Drive to the Valley of Desolation located in the Camdeboo National Park and be amazed by the nature spectacle. The huge cliffs and meters of deep valleys are breathtakingly beautiful and here you will find some 220 species of birds, 336 different plants and 43 different mammals.

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