Nieu-Bethesda is famous for the Owl House and fossils you find in the area. That’s not all you can see in this small Karoo Heartland village though. There’s actually so much more and now it has a new addition. A couple of stone figures has made Ongeluksloot on the farm Doornberg their home and we just had to go and visit.
Inspired by the landscape of Nieu-Bethesda, the stone figures in Kaokoland in Namibia as well as The Dance by Marcella de Boom outside Loxton, The Stone Folk of Ongeluksloot was created by artist Ryno Greeff. Doornberg is about 7km outside the village and it was a quick drive to get there.
Twenty or thirty meters from the parking area the first stone figure was waiting to welcome us. That was when we realised the stone folk is actually life-sized figures and not just little klip mannetjies. Make sure you greet him otherwise he may just trip you up with his staff. Apparently he also likes having his picture taken.
The foot path to the circular route of less than 1 km leads off to the right. Keep your eyes open cause these folk blend in perfectly with the surroundings and can sneak up on you very easily. A glance up the mountain to the right and I noticed the thinker. Across the dry river bed to the left sat another staring out over the landscape. I just had to go and join him.
By the time you’ve completed the loop you would have met 10 of these stone figures. They may blend into the scenery but are very striking when positioned against the sky. You don’t have to spend hours here, but if you do have some time on your hands, why not pack a picnic basket, take along a blanket, a good book and spend some time out here pretending to be number 11.