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Top 10 things to do in Nieu Bethesda

Top 10 things to do in Nieu Bethesda

Deep in the folds of the Sneeuberg Mountains in the Eastern Cape snuggles a very special little Karoo village, Nieu Bethesda. Long-time visitor Chris Marais of Karoo Space highlights top things to do in Nieu Bethesda.

1. Bikers Love the Ride

On most weekends you’ll see a clutch of motorcycles parked outside a pub, a museum or a self-cater cottage in the village. There’s more than enough dust, dirt and stunning landscape to keep a hardy biker enthralled with a ride into Nieu-Bethesda.

things to do in nieu bethesda - motorbikes

Photo by Chris Marais

READ MORE: 5 interesting facts about the Karoo

2.The Magic Birds

Blue cranes are SA’s national birds, and down here in the grassy eastern Karoo there’s a faithful clutch of them normally found hanging around near the spot where the Cradock road meets the N9 near the Nieu-Bethesda turn-off.

things to do in nieu bethesda - blue cranes

Picture by Chris Marais

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3.Dustcovers Bookshop

Pop in here at one of the rare Karoo bookshops and chances are you’ll be amazed at the literature for sale. Everything from popular Africana to pure holiday pulp fiction has its place at Dustcovers.

things to do in nieu bethesda - bookstore

Picture by Chris Marias

4.Sneeuberg Brewery

Try samples of the Karoo Ale, Honey Ale and Dark Beer with your lunch at the Sneeuberg Brewery. Now start again until you’ve made up your mind as to the beer you love best. Now sit back and enjoy a laid-back Karoo afternoon under the trees.

things to do in nieu bethesda - brewery

Picture by Chris Marais

5.Old Bones

The Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre takes you back more than 250 years to the age of early reptiles that lived in the neighbourhood. The area is one of the richest fossil fields in the country.

things to do in nieu bethesda - fossils

Picture by Chris Marais

6.Stretch the Legs

Just as the sun is turning the village pink before dawn, brave the cold and go for a classic Nieu-Bethesda walk. Every time you do this, you will have a different experience. And what better way to bond with a small Karoo town than this?

things to do in nieu bethesda - go for a walk

Picture by Chris Marais

READ MORE: Losing your heart in the Karoo

7.Enjoy the Music

Musicians from all over the spectrum like to play gigs in Nieu-Bethesda. It must be the creative atmosphere that keeps them rolling in, on the way to or back from major engagements elsewhere in the country. Check local websites for music listings.

things to do in nieu bethesda - music

Picture by Chris Marais

8.The Owl House

The Owl House and Camel Yard, home of the late Helen Martins, remains the main attraction of Nieu-Bethesda. Watch the introductory video, take a wander about and see how you feel about this iconic Outsider Artist spot.

things to do in nieu bethesda - the owl house

Pictures by Chris Marais

9.The Sculptor

Frans Boekkooi of Nieu-Bethesda has created some stunning figures during his career. On your mid-morning meanderings around the village, pop in and see what he’s up to.

things to do in nieu bethesda - arts and culture

Picture by Chris Marais

10.A Winter Hideaway

One of the best-kept Karoo secrets is that this part of the world is utterly fantastic in winter. There are enough pubs and restaurants to keep you snug, and the accommodations are mostly geared for warmth.

things to do in nieu bethesda - winter escape

Picture by Chris Marais

READ MORE: 6 Farm stays in the Eastern Cape Karoo you need to try at least once!

For more info, visit the village websites:

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