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Bethulie in the Free State (South Africa)

This sleepy 'dorpie' (village) is situated in the southern Free State province (previously known as the Orange Freestate) of South Africa on the northern banks of the Gariep Dam (!Xhariep Dam) (previously known as the Hendrik Verwoerd Dam). It is also located on the Lake Gariep (!Xhariep) Tourism Route, about 90 minutes drive (185Kms) from Bloemfontein.

Bethulie caters to the needs of the sheep and cattle farmers in the area.

The town was originaly formed around a settlement started in 1828 by British Missionaries.

The name Bethulie is derived from the word "Bethulua" meaning “Place of Worship” and was so named by JP Pellissier, the director of the French mission station.

Bethulie is of great historical significance as one of the largest of the concentration camps that were erected during the ABW (Anglo Boer War) was located here. 

Bethulie also has many outdoor attractions that will appeal to most visitors.

Where is Bethulie

Bethulie is very centraly located within South Africa, on the southern Free State border, approximatey 185km south of Bloemfontein, on route to Colesberg in the Western Cape and also from the Eastern Cape between the main national routes, the N1 and N6.
It can be accessed on the R701 from south via the Gariep Dam (Hendrik Verwoerd Dam) (54Km), from the North via Smithfield (65Km) and Aliwal North (98Km) or from the west from Springfontein (35Km) off the N1

Click for >Bethulie location map<

Directions to Bethulie

Along the N1 from Gauteng via Bloemfontein to Cape Town:
You take the N1 towards Colesberg, turn in at the R715 (near Springfontein) cross over the tarred R701 (Gariep Dam - Smithfield road).

Along the N6 from Bloemfontein to East London:
You take the N6 towards East London, turn onto R701 to Bethulie (66kms) just past Smithfield .

Along the N1 from Cape Town to Gauteng :
Take the N1 towards Bloemfontein, 48 kms from Colesburg, after crossing the Orange (Gariep) River, turn off towards Gariep and then turn left onto the R701 (1.5 kms) to Bethulie (54kms).

The climate in Bethulie

The Free State enjoys moderate temperatures in summer but relatively cold temperatures with some snow in the northern areas in winter.

The western and southern areas of the Free State and Karoo are classified as semi-desert. These parts experience large temperature fluctuations between day and night.

Bethulie is located in the South African summer rainfall region.

In Summer the Temperatures range from 19° to 37°.
In Winter the Temperatures range from  1° to 18°.

Bethulie is proud of

Patrick Mynhardt, Bethulie's best known son was born here in Bethulie on 12 June 1932 to an Afrikaner father, Johannes Tobias Mynhardt and an Irish mother, Elizabeth Beattie. His one-man shows featuring Herman Charles Bosman's character "Oom Schalk Lourens" were very popular in South Africa and internationaly. He also wrote his autobiographical show "Boy from Bethulie", which formed the basis for a book of the same name. He passed away on Thursday, 25 October 2007whilst in London performing in his one-man show Boy from Bethulie at the Jermyn Street Theatre in the West End. See also: www.PatrickMynhardt.com

Jacques Loots, an actor who featured in many South African movies and also in South African sitcoms such as "Koöperasie Stories" as  Genis and in "Orkney Snork Nie" as Oupa van Tonder.
At one stage he was also a teachers on an Afrikaans school that was started at Thomson's Falls in Kenya that was called Van Riebeeck school.
During his later days he owned and ran a Coffee and Bookshop, "Die Boekwinkel" (The Bookshop) in Bethulie.

Mzi Tyhokolo, who was a contestant on the first season of the Survivor South Africa reality series, entitled Survivor South Africa: Panama. He was a member of the Aguila tribe and was the 9th person eliminated from the game, on Day 20. He was given a reprieve, however, on Dead Man's Island, returning to the game for the Deadman's Challenge, on Day 27. He then made it to the final four, getting eliminated on Day 29, the final day before the jury vote. In the end he was third overall.
He holds a BSc honours degree and is an energy advisor for a big petrol company.
He grew up here in Bethulie, moved to Welkom and now lives in Honeydew Ridge, Johannesburg.

A.J. (Albertus Johannes) Venter, the well known and loved Springbok who played for the Sharks and then for Stormers, was born in Bethulie on 29th July 1973 and attended Pellissier primary school.

Should you ever plan on just passing through, do yourself a favour and consider staying over in our friendly 'dorp' for a couple of days longer in order to discover the town, its immediate surroundings and its many treasures, big and small alternatively, consider making Bethulie your ultimate destination for taking a break from the everyday rat race.

Bethulie being off the beaten track, it offers you the chance to take a break and rediscover your roots with its "rustige" (laid-back /
tranquil) settings.

Experience nature, beautiful sunsets, enjoy the peace and quiet, and most important of all, rediscover yourself.

It is guaranteed to be an unforgetable experience and well worth a little detour.

You are welcome to contact us to arrange an accompanied tour of Bethulie

 eMail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it    Cell: +27 (0)83-251-3555

After exploring the surroundings, there are numerous Guest Houses to rest your weary body

PS: Don't forget to bring your hiking shoes



© 2015 Bethulie - Freestate - South Africa

This website is sponsored by Bethulie BikePackers