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The Karoo is Calling...
An Adventure to NIEU BETHESDA


5 Days

Tour Grading

Motorcycle Ride Grading

Gravel / Tar

55% / 45%




19-23 April 24

Karoo Tour Nieu Bethesda

Places Available

14 of 14


Overview of the Adventure


This exhilarating off-road adventure takes place in the captivating Nieu Bethesda region of the Eastern Karoo, a place filled with stunning landscapes, rich history, and a sense of untouched beauty.

SA Adventure's back-road adventures are renowned for their ability to take you off the beaten path and into the heart of the Karoo. This tour is just the beginning of a series of unforgettable journeys through the Karoo that allow you to explore the hidden treasures of this remarkable region of South Africa. As you embark on this adventure, prepare to have your senses awakened by the sights, sounds, and smells of the Karoo. The carefully curated route combines both paved and gravel sections, ensuring that drivers of all skill levels can participate and enjoy the experience. Whether you're a seasoned off-roader or a complete beginner, this tour is designed to accommodate and challenge you in equal measure...

But this journey is about more than just driving. It's about immersing yourself in the culture and history of the Karoo. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to visit charming Karoo towns,

meet friendly locals, and indulge in delicious cuisine. The Nieu Bethesda region, in particular, is famous for its traditional architecture, quaint streets, and intriguing art and food scene. You'll have the chance to explore these hidden gems and discover a world that you never knew existed.

As you traverse the Karoo in your vehicle, you'll not only be exploring its beauty but also honing your off-road driving skills. Our expert guides will be with you every step of the way, providing guidance and tips to help you navigate any challenges that come your way.

So, if you're ready to redefine your notion of adventure, join us for an extraordinary off-road tour through the captivating Eastern Karoo. Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty, culture, and thrill of this remarkable journey.


It's an experience that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime…

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Compassberg 4x4 Routes

Meeting Day: The enchanting allure of the Karoo beckons, and as we gather at our exquisite accommodation nestled along the serene banks of the majestic Orange River near Colesberg, the anticipation of the adventure ahead fills the air. Tonight, we are treated to a delectable Karoo dinner, a culinary masterpiece that will tantalize our taste buds while providing the perfect opportunity to forge connections and get to know our fellow adventurers. 

As the evening unfolds, the SA Adventure team, a group of seasoned explorers, will regale us with their vast knowledge and experiences, offering a comprehensive overview of the upcoming tour. Their wealth of expertise and captivating tales from past expeditions will transport us to distant lands and ignite our wanderlust. We will also delve into the rich history of this particular corner of the Karoo, gaining insights that will deepen our appreciation for the region. After an evening of camaraderie and enlightenment, we retire to our first-class rooms. The comfort and elegance of our accommodations ensure a restful night's sleep, allowing us to awaken refreshed and ready for the extraordinary journey that awaits us in the morning.

Tour Day 1: Before we kick off our thrilling day of exploring, we will host a brief workshop on off-road driving skills. This session will provide you with essential tips to build a robust base for the off-road portions of our trip and show you how to best set up your vehicle. Once we're set, we'll start our journey on some incredibly picturesque gravel roads, making our first stop at the wall of the largest dam in South Africa, Gariep. Following this, our route will predominantly be on gravel back roads that take us to the historic village of Nieu-Bethesda. Although these gravel roads don't pose significant technical challenges, the stunning landscapes and encounters with wildlife and windpumps are sure to captivate you.


At a farm located just seven kilometres away from Nieu-Bethesda, we will indulge in a delectable and authentic Karoo lunch, expertly prepared by the talented Hester. Here, we will also have the opportunity to delve deeper into the captivating world of Karoo fossils, guided by our knowledgeable host JP. You'll be amazed as we lay eyes the largest collection of Karoo fossils in South Africa. Additionally, we will explore the remarkable cave shelters on the farm, which house ancient paintings left by the San bushmen hundreds of years ago. This fascinating afternoon on the farm will be followed by our arrival in Nieu-Bethesda, where we will check into our splendid guest houses, offering a truly remarkable and unforgettable experience. Nieu-Bethesda offers a plethora of experiences, and we are thrilled to have decided to extend our stay here for two nights.

Ganora Farm Rock Paintings and Fossils

Tour Day 2:  We will begin our day with a hearty breakfast, fuelling us for the exciting activities ahead. After breakfast, we hop into our vehicles and embark on an off-road excursion around the famous Compassberg, a captivating pointed mountain that greets visitors as they enter Nieu-Bethesda. As we explore, we will keep our eyes peeled for some “stone men”, adding an element of adventure to our drive. Along the way, there will be ample opportunities to capture the simple beauty of Karoo windpumps and landscapes through the lenses of our cameras.


Returning to Nieu-Bethesda in time for lunch, we will have the option to embark on a tour of the renowned Owl House, a masterpiece created by the talented artists Helen Martins and Koos Malgas. During this exclusive viewing, we will have the chance to explore the camel yard and house, immersing ourselves in the magical ambience while learning about the histories and stories behind each sculpture.


After our tour of the Owl House, you'll have the opportunity to visit the James Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre. Here, Andries, the local fossil expert, will share his vast knowledge about the peculiar creatures that once roamed the Karoo plains a staggering 150 million years ago, predating even the most famous dinosaurs. Andries will lead us down to the river, where we will witness un-excavated sites containing actual fossils still embedded in the sediment. This thrilling fossil finding adventure will provide us with a deeper understanding of the ancient history of this region.


Following our fossil finding mission, you'll have time to further explore the village until dinner time. This is the perfect opportunity to discover the hidden gems and unique charm that Nieu-Bethesda has to offer. As the day draws to a close, we will indulge in a delectable Karoo meal at an award-winning restaurant, ensuring a memorable and satisfying end to our day in Nieu-Bethesda.

Compassberg 4x4 routes Nieu Bethesda

Tour Day 3: After a fulfilling breakfast in Nieu-Bethesda, we will embark on an exhilarating off-road drive towards Graaff-Reinet, a charming place that holds the distinction of being the fourth oldest town in South Africa. Our journey will take us through the magnificent Camdeboo National Park, where we will witness an inspiring sight that will leave us in awe - the Valley of Desolation. From this vantage point, we will be able to imagine the once grand inland swamp that has now transformed into the vast and arid Karoo landscape. The sheer beauty of the Karoo and the valley below will take your breath away.


Continuing our journey, we reach Graaff-Reinet, where we will indulge in a delicious lunch at one of the town's fantastic restaurants. Once we've had our fill, we have the opportunity to visit a nearby Agave farm and learn from owner Tim Murray about the thriving craft Tequila or Agave Spirit industry in Graaff-Reinet. Tim will guide us through his farm, sharing his knowledge and expertise on a private tour and giving us the chance to taste some of the finest Karoo Agave drinks.


With our senses awakened, we make our way to our luxurious accommodations, where we can relax and unwind. As evening falls, we will head out to one of the many renowned restaurants in town to enjoy a delectable dinner, savouring the flavours and atmosphere that Graaff-Reinet has to offer.


It’s a perfect end to an extraordinary day of exploration and indulgence.

Valley of Desolation Tours

Tour Day 4: The final day of our Karoo adventure promises to be nothing short of epic. As we embark on our route for the day, we'll soak in the breathtaking Karoo scenery and traverse carefully selected gravel back roads, leading us to a hidden marvel - an abandoned Boer War field hospital in Deelfontein, brimming with a rich history that will leave you amazed. The sheer mystique of this place will captivate your imagination.


En route to Deelfontein, we will make a stop in Richmond, where we'll enjoy a Karoo-style lunch, incorporating the flavours of the region. Energised and ready for more, we will continue our journey on stunning dirt roads, surrounded by the raw beauty of the Karoo, until we reach New Holme. Here, we will spend our final night on an extraordinary farm stay, where we can encounter hippos, buffalo, and other captivating wildlife. It will be a truly immersive experience, connecting us with the natural wonders of the Karoo.


As the day draws to a close, we'll be treated to a sunset drive along the beautiful Seekoei River that runs through the farm. The tranquil scenery and the sounds of nature will create a serene atmosphere, setting the stage for a memorable evening. We will indulge in a sumptuous three-course meal crafted with passion and featuring a unique twist - Karoo sushi as a starter. This culinary delight will be the perfect finale to our adventure, allowing us to savour the flavours of the Karoo one last time.


As we gather around the dinner table, we will reflect on the incredible experiences and camaraderie we have shared throughout this off-road adventure. It'll be a time to integrate all the memories, laughter, and stories we have accumulated along the way, creating lasting bonds and cherished moments. With hearts full and spirits high, we'll bid farewell to the Karoo, knowing that this remarkable journey will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

SA Adventure 4x4 Tours

Accommodation And Food

Karoo Guest House Accommodation:

Ensuring the ideal accommodation is key to a comfortable and enjoyable expedition to the Karoo. Fortunately, it boasts a range of delightful and hospitable guest houses that will make you feel completely at home.


The Karoo truly offers everything. On this tour, SA Adventure provides a mix of snug cottages, plush guest houses, and quaint farmhouses. All the accommodations on this adventure feature beautiful gardens, serene surroundings, and breathtaking views of the Karoo landscape, immersing you in the calm and tranquillity of the area. All the guest houses we choose take great pride in delivering exceptional service and a warm, inviting atmosphere. The always amiable and well-informed hosts are keen to share their enthusiasm and love for this unique region.

Karoo Restaurants:

Immersing yourself in the Karoo experience would not be complete without treating your taste buds to the delightful local cuisine offered at the charming restaurants. Known for its hearty and mouthwatering dishes, the Karoo will leave you craving for more.


We have explored the lesser-known culinary treasures to offer you a unique gastronomic journey. From traditional Karoo dishes to international cuisine with a local Karoo twist, these restaurants and eateries provide a diverse selection to satisfy every palate. Using fresh, locally sourced, sustainable ingredients, these establishments create flavoursome and authentic dishes. Whether you desire a succulent Karoo lamb shank, a juicy steak, or a delectable vegetarian option, the Karoo is Calling off-road adventure has it all.

5 nights of accommodation and breakfast are included with your tour package.

The Bethesda Guest House

Tour Highlights

  • Stunning Karoo landscapes

  • Seeing the Gariep Dam Wall

  • Karoo fossil presentation at Ganora farm

  • Viewing ancient San cave paintings

  • Lunch at Ganora farm

  • The Owl House in Nieu Bethesda

  • The James Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre

  • Off-road drive around the Compassberg

  • The Stone Folk of Ongeluksloot

  • Exploring the village of Nieu Bethesda

  • Seeing the Valley of Desolation

  • Agave farm and tasting tour outside Graaff-Reinet

  • Exploring the Imperial Yeomanry Hospital

  • Outstanding Karoo accommodation and cuisine 

Imperial Yeomanry Hospital Deelfontein
Tour Highlights

Learning on the fly

Embarking on an adventure through the Karoo is not just about the thrill of the drive but also about immersing yourself in the natural, cultural, and historical wonders of this incredible area. So, get ready to learn, discover, and be amazed by the Karoo's diverse offerings.

  • Geology and Ancient Past: The Karoo is distinguished by its distinctive geological structures and deep-seated natural history. As we journey through the area, you'll get the opportunity to become acquainted with the rock formations, buried fossils, and signs of ancient life that have been preserved in the Karoo.

  • Biodiversity and Nature: The Karoo boasts a wide range of animal species, ranging from majestic lions and swift cheetahs to the elegant Cape mountain zebra and agile springbok. Additionally, the region is a haven for various bird species, such as the elusive blue crane, and is adorned with the distinct and remarkable Karoo flora.

  • Rich Cultural Legacy: Immerse yourself in the captivating history and vibrant culture of the Karoo, a region that proudly bears the imprints of its diverse inhabitants. Delve into the past through visits to museums, galleries, and historical landmarks, where you can uncover the fascinating stories that shaped the Karoo's remarkable heritage.

  • Astrological Wonders: Renowned for its pristine skies, the Karoo beckons stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts alike to indulge in its celestial splendours. Embark on an enlightening journey through the cosmos, expanding your understanding of the universe and basking in the mesmerizing beauty of the Karoo's nocturnal tapestry.

  • Sustainable Living and Farming: The remarkable expanse of the Karoo's plains, combined with its semi-arid climate, has forged an unparalleled existence for those who call it home. Explore the hurdles and achievements encountered in implementing sustainable farming techniques within this arid environment.

  • Spirituality and Mindfulness: The vast expanses and serene ambience of the Karoo provide an ideal backdrop for contemplation and mindfulness. Whether engaging in meditation or simply immersing oneself in nature, discover the spiritual importance of this ancient land and its profound influence on personal harmony and well-being.

This off the beaten path adventure is for you if:

  • You’ve never taken your vehicle off-road before.

  • You’ve explored off-road but would like an extra boost of confidence to take your vehicle off the beaten path.

  • You would like to further your off-road knowledge and learn new off-road driving skills and techniques.

  • You'd like to invest in yourself and become a safer, more confident off-road adventurer.


This journey is more than just navigating the Karoo's physical terrain in your vehicle; it's a chance to submerge yourself in the abundant wealth of knowledge, history, and experiences that this distinctive region provides. So, bring along your curiosity and set out on an expedition of enlightenment in the Karoo with us!

Owl House Nieu Bethesda
Karoo Fossil Tours
Karoo off-road Tours
Leopard Tortoise Karoo
Karoo Windpumps and Windpomps
Owl House Koos Malgas
What You'll Learn

Tour Grading

Why select SA Adventure as your off-road adventure provider? It's simple - we have the experience and expertise. Since 2009, we have been arranging off-road tours and experiences, and our proven track record speaks for itself.

From various locations like Peru and the Karoo, we have successfully led and organized adventures. Our reputation is further enhanced by our collaborations with respected individuals such as Charley Boorman, Billy Ward, Claudio Von Planta, Dylan Wickrama, Moto Aventures, and Compass Expeditions.

At SA Adventure, prioritising safety is paramount. We go the extra mile to ensure your well-being throughout your adventure. With a fully equipped support vehicle, a lead and sweep driver, and a dedicated medic on every tour, you can drive at your own pace with the confidence that our exceptional backup crew has got your back.

When you choose SA Adventure for your off-road adventure, you can unwind and fully enjoy the journey. We take care of all the details, from planning the best routes to arranging top-quality accommodation and delightful meals. Our goal is to provide you with an unforgettable experience that will leave a lasting impact...

SA Adventure Off-Road Tour Grading

This off-road adventure is classified as a Grade 2.

See our tour grading system HERE for more details.

SA Adventure 4x4 Tours
Tour Grading

Dates and Pricing

  • 19-23 April 2024

  • R 9 950 per person sharing

  • Single room supplement at R 2 200

  • Only 14 places are available

  • Your soft luggage goes in the support vehicle

  • Guides, medic and support vehicle on the tour

  • Satellite communications and tracking

  • Tracks and waypoints supplied for GPS units

  • 4x2 and soft-roader vehicles are welcome


  • 5 nights of guest house accommodation

  • All breakfasts

  • On-the-fly off-road driver training and guidance

  • A visit to explore Helen Martin's famous Owl House

  • Full SA Adventure support team

Not Included

  • Fuel and vehicle hire

  • International flights and visas

  • Lunches, dinners and drinks

  • Optional activity costs 

Dates and Pricing
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