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Bethlehem Tourism Information

Quick Facts: Bethlehem

  • Towns: Ficksburg, Bethlehem and Clarens
  • The Free State is known locally as South Africa's breadbasket due to the amount of grain produced here
  • The Drakensberg and Maluti Mountains foothills raise the landscape of the Free State to over 2,000 m in the east
  • The Free State lies in the heart of the Karoo Sequence of rocks containing shales, mudstones, sandstones and the Drakensberg Basalt
  • In the northeastern part of the Free State, lying in the rolling foothills of the Maluti mountains, the magnificent Golden Gate Highlands National Park is the province's prime tourist attraction
  • Golden Gate Highlands National Park
  • San (Bushman) rock art can be found particularly in the regions around Clarens, Bethlehem, Ficksburg, Ladybrand and Wepener
  • Ficksburg Cherry Festival

Introducing Bethlehem

The quaint towns of Ficksburg, Bethlehem and Clarens are situated in the Free State Province of South Africa.  The Free State is situated on flat, vast plains in the central region of  South Africa. The rich fertile soil combined with the pleasant climate allow a thriving agricultural industry.  With more than 30,000 farms, which produce over 70% of South Africa's  grain, the Free State is known locally as South Africa's breadbasket.

The Drakensberg and Maluti Mountains foothills raise the landscape of the Free State to over 2,000 m in the east.   The Free State lies in the heart of the Karoo Sequence of rocks, containing shales, mudstones, sandstones and the Drakensberg Basalt forming the youngest capping rocks. In the northeastern part of South Africa's Free State, lying in the rolling foothills of the Maluti mountains, the magnificent Golden Gate Highlands National Park is the province's prime tourist attraction.

The Golden Gate Highlands National Park received its name from the shades of gold cast by the sun on the spectacular sandstone cliffs.  The small town of Clarens which is located in close proximity to the spectacular Golden Gate Highlands National Park features old sandstone buildings, art galleries, and many different accommodation options ranging from charming B&B's, Self catering and Hotel accommodation to rustic log cabins.

The sandstone of this region has been used for the beautiful buildingswhich are located on the Eastern Highlands.  Decoratively painted Sotho houses dot the grasslands of the Free State. Some of South Africa's most precious San (Bushman) rock art is found in the Free State, particularly in the regions around Clarens, Bethlehem, Ficksburg, Ladybrand and Wepener.

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