Graaff-Reinet lies between Cape Town and Jo’burg and is 300km from Port Elizabeth. The jewel of the Karoo, it’s an oasis of gracious old charm in the heat of its dusty surroundings.
- Somerset East
Walter Battis, the eccentric artist lived here, old fashioned roses flourish and the odd historic monument decorates the tree-lined back streets.
- Addo Elephant Park
Addo has three backpackers. It is the best place in South Africa to see elephants close up.
A malaria free wilderness area where the Big Five roam.
Seeped in Settler history, Grahamstown is a real student town and when Rhodes University shuts for the holiday the town closes and goes home. Joke. But close enough.
Truth is, when you put enough students together, something fun always happens - so keep an ear open for what's on when you're there.
Hogsback is one of those soft places that somehow speeds up the passing of time. Dominated by the impressive Amatola mountain range, she has a charm and mystique all of her own. She's whimsical, teasing, enchanting and downright wicked.
Located on the N6, this is a good overnight stop between Jo'burg and the Wild coast or the Garden Route.
Close to the Amatola Mountains and off the beaten track, this town offers yet another opportunity to discover South African via the back roads.
Situated on the N10 between Port Elizabeth and Cradock, this is a real country town stopover.
This tiny archetypal Karoo village is tucked into a valley in the shadow of the Kompasberg Mountain, part of the Sneeuberg range. It’s best known as the home of the Owl House.
About Nieu Bethesda
Standing in splendid isolation at the end of a dirt road, this remote Karoo village will touch something in your soul. Surrounded by some of the most magnificent mountain scenery in the Karoo, it offers an unusual stopover en route from Cape Town, the Garden Route, Gauteng or Lesotho.
As Nieu Bethesda has the area’s only backpacker and a lot to hold your interest, we suggest you make it your Great Karoo base...
The Owl House
Home to Helen Martins, a reclusive artist who peopled her garden with concrete sculptures and the interior with ground glass and mirrors, this extraordinary place is well worth a visit.
10 GREAT DAY TRIPS FROM NIEU-BETHESDA
1. Rock art and fossil tour
2. Bike or drive around the Compassberg
3. Train trip up the old Lootsberg Pass
4. Walk to the spring
5. Hike the Gats River Canyon
6. Climb the Compassberg (highest free-standing peak in the Cape)
7. Graaff-Reinet (museums, monuments and cactus nursery)
8. Camdeboo National Park and Valley of Desolation
9. Mountain Zebra National Park and Pred-a-Tours Wild Cat Breeding Centre
10. Cradock and Olive Schreiner House
Places to Stay
- The Owl House
Set in a quaint old Karoo house, The Owl House Backpackers is a must for anyone who has the time, or needs a spiritual boost.
(randomly selected service providers from all regions)
Safaris leaving from Gauteng and travelling to Victoria Falls via Botswana.
(Victoria Falls,Zimbabwe and Zambia)
The Southernmost Backpackers in Africa....
(Cape Agulhas,Overberg )
Le Paradis lodge lies just 200m from the beach with a 180° sea view on the South Coast of KZN.
This Tofo backpackers is on a tropical beach framed by sea and endless coconut palms swaying in the breeze. A great place from which to enjoy Tofo Beach and Inhambane in Mozambique.
(Inhambane and Tofo,Mozambique)
Areena Riverside Resort lies on a small piece of paradise overlooking a stunning lagoon that meanders into the sea in Chintsa.
Explore the South Peninsula.
The perfect backpcker adventure in Cape Town....
(Cape Town City Bowl,Cape Town)
An owner driven business with thousands of kilometers and a few years of adventurous travel in the bag.
(Cape Town City Bowl,Botswana)
Stop a while and soak up the sun.
You can see the shark boats launch from here. From your armchair, actually.