The story of a little Great Karoo town

Where the land meets the sky

Life in Nieu Bethesda potters along much as it did 130 years ago, when the village was founded. Stone water furrows still line the wide, dusty streets. Night skyscapes are unpolluted by streetlights, and the air is still fresh and clean. As always, the Compassberg watches over the village and Nieu Bethesdans still while away the hours on their stoeps, watching village life go by.

All around stretches the arid expanse of the Great Karoo, “where the land meets the sky”. This is a nature-lover’s paradise, a high altitude semi-desert that is home to the largest variety of succulents in the world – as well as eagles, hadehas, sacred ibises, secretary birds, blue cranes, flamingoes, otters, lizards, snakes, tortoises, bat-eared foxes, kudu, springbok, reedbuck, wildebeast, wild cats, ground squirrels and aardvarks.

Learn more about Nieu Bethesda

Falling in love with Nieu Bethesda

In times gone by, agriculture was the driving force of Nieu Bethesda’s economy; the region’s Angora goats and Karoo lamb are famous. Nowadays much of the industry is based around art. There are craft shops and galleries, potteries and sculpture gardens – most famously, the late Helen Martins’ extraordinary “Owl House”.

Whether your interest lies in art, bushman paintings, fossils, climbing, hiking, bird-watching, mountain-biking, horse-riding, game-viewing, star-gazing or stoep-sitting, you’ll never be at a loss for things to do in Nieu Bethesda.

Find things to do in Nieu Bethesda


Accommodation in Nieu Bethesda is both comfortable, quirky and offers all you need to make your stay memorable. The choice varies from a farmhouse to a backpacker lodge, from the spacious to the intimate. Most places are self catering, but meals are also readily available at a variety of venues around town. Wherever you book, allow extra time – in typical Nieu Bethesda style, this is one experience you won’t want to end in a hurry.



Gert Vlok Nel “Live in the Afternoon”

Reading at The Karoo Lamb Sun, 20 Dec 2015 @ 17h00 Hat to be passed around T: 049 841 1642 M: 072 742 7113 accommodation@nieu-bethesda.com www.nieu-bethesda.com

Lamb Potjiekos

Ian’s recipe for Lamb Potjiekos was published in the South African Illustrated Cookbook by Lehla Eldridge. A ‘potjiekos’ is an Afrikaans stew slow-cooked in a ‘potjie’ over hot coals. [...]

Guy Buttery – The Gathering Fiction Tour

Guy Buttery performs in Nieu-Bethesda on Friday, 27th February at the Karoo Lamb Restaurant. The performance starts at 18:30. The cost is R100 and R20 is donated to Union [...]