The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa


Afrikaans name: Bethlehem

Traffic in the middle of the Free State town of Bethlehem

Bethlehem CBD

Photo © Steven Herbert

Free State

The town of Bethlehem is situated in the eastern region of the Free State, around 240 km north-east of Bloemfontein and 90 km west of Harrismith.

Bethlehem was founded in the 1860's but there is some debate over the actual year.

The town lies in the middle of wheat growing country. The fertile soil is also used for growing sunflowers. Summers are fairly mild but winters can be very cold, which a chance of snow.

Bethlehem has a number of sandstone buildings such as the NG Church in the middle of town. Other buildings of interest include the Old Magistrates Court, Town Hall, AB Baartman Wagon House and 14 President Burgers Street. There are not too many tourist attractions in the town but it can be used as a base to visit other places of interest such as Clarens.

What is there for a visitor to do in Bethlehem?

The beautiful NG church in the middle of Bethlehem

Above - Bethlehem NG Church

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Book of the Road - 4th edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2019 - Page: 109

Conollys Guide to Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Denis Conolly - Published: 1982 - Page: 335

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 1995 - Page: 242

On Route - Explore South Africa region by region - 3rd edition - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 2014 - Page: 356

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Published: 1986 - Page: 299

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 145

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Published: 1987 - Page: 107

Things ewe never knewe about South African place names - Author: Ann Gadd - Published: 2015 - Page: 25


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