Bethlehem is a large town in the eastern Free State that is situated on the Liebenbergs river (also called Liebenbergs Vlei) along a fertile valley just north of the Rooiberg Mountains on the N5 road.It is the fastest growing town in the Free State province, with its target of being the Fourth largest city after Kroonstad in balance.
It is a wheat growing area and named after the biblical Bethlehem (from “Beit Lechem”, Hebrew for “house of bread”).
The town lies at an altitude of 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) and this contributes to its cool climate with frosty winters and mild summers. The average annual temperature is around 24 °C (75 °F)
Bethlehem is situated approximately 240 kilometres (150 mi) north-east of Bloemfontein, 140 kilometres (87 mi) east of Kroonstad and 90 kilometres (56 mi) west of Harrismith. The town is strategically situated in the heart of the picturesque north-eastern Free State and originally developed as a service centre.
Bethlehem has many shopping centres like any other town in the Free State. Bethlehem is the main center of the eastern Free State where people from other towns do their shopping.
Bethlehem is considered as retail, medical, and educational hub for the Eastern Free State. It has three private hospitals and four star Frontier hotel, Casino and Entertainment Centre located near the beautiful Dihlabeng Mall and Bethlehem Aerodrome.
Following the Free State’s southern border with Lesotho, the Eagle route runs from Ficksburg to Harrismith through some of the most picturesque landscape in the country. Activity highlights include cherry picking, seeing dinosaur fossils and rock paintings, arts & craft shopping, skiing in the winter slopes, horse riding and 4X4 trips.
At Bethlehem you’ll find Lions Rock, an extraordinary wildlife rehabilitation and breeding centre that has rescued more than 60 big cats from all over the world.
Also visit the monuments at Sol Plaatje Dam and the Old Nazareth Mission Church.
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