When entering Nieu Bethesda it feels as though one has taken a step back in time. This village nestles at the foot of the magnificent Compassberg, only a 30 minute drive from Graaff-Reinet. The town was first established as a mission station in 1875 and is renowned for its sacred Bushman rock art sites, fossils and the Owl House, the museum dedicated to the eccentric artist, Helen Martins.
Many artists have settled in this beautiful Karoo village and there is a selection of art & craft shops to explore. Visit the book shop before ambling down to one of the town’s restaurants for a tasty meal. The tranquility and breathtaking scenery will make you want to stay longer. This quaint village has no fuel stations, banks, ATM’s or credit card facilities, so fill up your tank and wallet beforehand.
Things to do in Nieu Bethesda
- Experience the famous and mystical Owl House of artist Helen Martins. A must for all visitors!
- Journey back to the beginning of time on a palaeontological tour of Karoo fossils at the Kitching Fossil Centre centrally located in the village and fossils and bushmen cave paintings at Ganora Farm, outside of the village.
- Learn more about herbal remedies whilst taking a guided medicinal plant walk at Ganora Farm. It is fascinating!
- Challenge yourself and climb Compassberg, the highest free standing mountain in the Eastern Cape
- Immerse yourself in incredible artworks whilst wandering through the studios of the many talented people in this artists’ haven. There are numerous art galleries in the village to explore at your leisure.
- Fill yourself up on good wholesome food at the cosy restaurants in the village and try out the local home-brewed ale and cheese….a memorable and rustic experience
- Re-live the child in you and join Jacob on a Donkey Cart ride through the village.
- Cycle with your family and friends in this breathtakingly scenic area. It’s safe!
- Enjoy the feeling of having taken a step back in time when visiting this quaint little village nestled between the mountains.
- Experience authentic Karoo farm life on a working guest farm in the area.
- Remember to fill up your fuel tank and wallet, as there are no fuel stations or ATM’s, banks or credit card facilities in Nieu Bethesda.