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History and more about us

Join Wayne and Riana Orlandini in this exciting hospitality development and venture Bethulie Guest Farmin the heart of Bethulie, in the re-opened Bethulie Guest Farm which was previously known as The White House Guest Farm.

Wayne a well-seasoned hospitality professional has run several award-winning establishments and brings with him years of international hospitality experience. Riana’s financial acumen and eye for detail brings not only a woman’s touch, but more importantly the strategy behind the winning formula, cement this partnership as a winning combination! Working closely with local artists and community-based projects the future vision is to put Bethulie on the map as a landmark destination for travellers off the beaten track and explorers alike.

Bethulie History
Bethulie Guest Farm The town of ‘Bethulie’ set in the Free State Province in South Africa is one the country’s hidden gems dating back to before 1829, when the San (aboriginal peoples of Southern Africa known as bushmen) knew it as T’Kout’Koo. Soaked in early settler history the area offers the off the track explorer a totally unique experience of history, art, culture, nature and some of the best trails in the country. The name aptly means ‘chosen by God’ and describes the beauty of the grassy Karoo surroundings and not too distant hilly mountains that surround the area.

Bethulie Guest House (previously The White House Guest Farm) was built in 1924 by Mr Pellesier (a descendant of one of the founding families of Bethulie) for his daughter by one of his friends the renowned architect Sir Herbert Baker, one of the most well-known architects in South African history.


Sir Herbert Baker, a British architect, is most famous for his work on the Union Buildings, the seat of government in South Africa completed in 1915 as well as Groot Constantia, the Rhodes Memorial and St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town among others.


The guest house now almost 100 years old is steeped in history. It has been lovingly maintained over the years with many of its original features and décor remaining and offers a truly unique hospitality experience. The Farm, a working concern, boosts a pecan nut plantation of just over 300 trees on approximately 8 hectares of land. 

Bethulie Guest FarmBethulie Guest Farm is located approximately 56 kilometers from the Gariep Dam the largest storage reservoir in South Africa boosting 5 500 000 000 cubic metres. Near the town of Bethulie is the D.H. Steyn Bridge or Hennie Steyn Bridge a beautiful arched bridge spanning the Orange, 1,152 m (1,260 yds) long, and 51.5m high and thereby the longest bridge in South Africa. It is also claimed to be the longest in the southern hemisphere.

Rock art in the district, less than 20km from Bethulie, provides evidence of the early San in the area, while the movements of the Voortrekkers, and the strife of numerous wars can be seen all over the district. The area has some interesting tales to tell about the origin of the San, with evidence to substantiate the story.


Because the sequences of the fossils embedded in its rock has been found to be of the most complete, some paleontologists regard the Karoo as the eighth natural wonder of the world. Thousands of fossils and early San utensils were found in the valleys that are now covered by the waters of Lake Gariep. Some of these can now be seen in the museum in Bethulie http://www.bethulie.co.za/history_heritage_culture.html.

Bethulie Guest FarmSadly enough, Bethulie is best-known for the concentration camp dating to the South African War (also known as the Anglo-Boer War) outside the town, where more than 1 700 Boer women and children died. Their remains were later exhumed and moved to a special memorial garden on higher ground. You can still see their gravestones – mounted in brick walls – standing mute testimony to one of the most infamous passages of the war. By the end of the war, however, the concentration camps had claimed the lives of more than 27 000 Boers (http://www.southafrica.net/za/en/articles/entry/article-southafrica.net-historical-bethulie).

The Pellissier House Museum in the town of Bethulie, was built in 1834-35 by C Gosselin, and it is now one of the oldest buildings in the Free State is well worth a visit. The story of the history of Bethulie and the surrounding area is told through an exhibition of original furniture, photo galleries, clothes, war relics, farm implements and vehicles.

Bethulie has been home to and is still home to many notable personalities and artists. It's most famous son was Patrick Mynhardt, whose one-man shows featuring Herman Charles Bosman's character Oom Schalk Lourens were very popular in South Africa. His autobiographical show Boy from Bethulie formed the basis for a book of the same name. Many local artists reside and have roots in this small historic town and their works can be viewed in different parts of town.


Bethulie Guest Farm

Bethulie Guest Farm

16 Wardaugh Street, Bethulie, 9992

Bethulie Guest Farm

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