South Africa: Nieu-Bethesda in a Day

Nieu-Bethesda in a Day

The other day me and the second volunteer that arrived here on Monday got a chance to go and explore Nieu-Bethesda. It's 7 km from the farm and the closest town, but there is not even an ATM or a petrol bring cash and fill up!


First we visited the Owl House. It used to be the residence of Helen Martins and her family. When her husband died, she painted one of the rooms pitch black and called it "The Lions Den" but after she herself got very sick she decided to transform her house. Martins painted the rooms, changed the glasses of the windows to red, green, yellow and blue and with the help of some locals also decorated her garden with various sculptures - most of them camels, owls, suns and people.

Then we thought about visiting the Fossil Centre there but hence there is a fossil museum here at the farm we skipped it in the end - entry to the museum on the farm is free for us.

So, we continued on to the art centre. There is a Café, Accomodation and you can visit the workshops the local artists work in. One of them told me the stories nitted onto a kind of blanket or carpet hung on the walls of the exhibition room - I don't remember the proper word for it...Anyways, they tell stories about Adam and Eve, how the stars were created, the milky way and where the rain comes from. Another story was about the name of the wind - which is apparently still unknown untill this day - and, my favourite, about family and responsibility.

Unfortunately I was not allowed to take pictures of them.


We then walked around a bit more, took some pictures of the church and some stuff I found on the street - the other volunteer meanwhile played Pokémon GO and apparently took over the gym in Nieu-Bethesda. Good for him?


Finally we were really hungry after exploring everything and walking around so we decided to go and have lunch at the "The Brewery and Two Goats Deli". They have some really good home-made ales and ciders - Honey Ale is my favourite! - and serve a platter with bread, different types of soft cheese and cheddars and beetroot jam as well as kudu salami and some pickles and olives with feta cheese, really delicious! On occasion they also have cakes, but that day they didn' I wanted to check out the bakery up the street but as we got there they had already closed! And I really wanted that Pain au Chocolat!

But, I'm very good at sniffing out the food - especially cakes and other sweets - so we found another nice place called "The Village Inn": the oldest restaurant in town with a really cute garden to sit in. There we ordered some milkshakes and flapjacks - remind me of pancakes in a way, served with quince jam, honey and cheddar cheese (didn't put on the latter though). Their food was really delicious but I felt guilty for eating so much! And the other volunteer wanted to visit another restaurant?

Luckily (I would've eaten more) it was closed so we headed home, our host Hester was kind enough to pick us up.

Owl House Costs: 50 RAND (equals about 3.2€ | 3.6$ | 2.8£)


the local church in nieu bethesda, south africa with trees and bushes and a fence and a gate and the sky
Nieu-Bethesda Church

Brewery Lunch Costs:

Platter 75 RAND p. P.

Apple Juice 15 RAND

Apple Cider 25 RAND

the lunch platter at the brewery and two goats deli in nieu bethesda, sout africa. Bread, cheese, cheddar, jam, salami (kudu) and pickles, olives and feta
Lunch at the Brewery

The Village Inn Costs:

25 RAND for milkshake and flapjacks


  • "The Brewery and Two Goats Deli" for great beer or cider and a light lunch!
  • "The Village Inn" for delicious milkshakes and flapjacks - great breakfast place!
  • Definately go and visit the owl house, it's impressive! Although she must've been a bit crazy...
  • Be sure to listen to the artist's stories, they are very interesting!

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