Oudtshoorn Info
Thursday, 25 May 2017  2:31pm SA Time 

Oudtshoorn: The Ultimate Destination

Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world. Here ostriches are found in great numbers and the region produces the best feathers, leather products and ostrich meat world wide. But the world's biggest bird is just one of the many attractions in this area of interesting contrasts. Visit Oudtshoorn West Cape and see all these great animals live! Book your accommodation now and treat your family and loved one's to an adventure of a lifetime that is truly amazing!

This small, safe town is the commercial hub of the greater Klein Karoo region (encompassing Prince Albert, De Rust and Calitzdorp) and is situated in a beautiful valley between the Outeniqua- and Swartberg Mountains.

This unique position ( being surrounded by mountains) means that every road into Oudtshoorn follows a dramatically picturesque pass or “poort” (portal) and all these present travellers – whether they’re entering the region from Port Elizabeth, the Garden Route, Cape Town or the hinterland – with magnificent scenic drives through unspoilt areas of great natural beauty.

Several ostrich show farms offer entertaining daily tours and demonstrations during which one learns about the history and use of these unique birds, about their life cycle and about how they are farmed. Curio shops on the farms and in Oudtshoorn specialise in the finest ostrich leather, ostrich meat and ostrich feather products.

A number of imposing sandstone “ostrich palaces” and public buildings have survived in and around Oudtshoorn, bearing witness to the opulence of the “ostrich feather boom” early in the twentieth century. The rich culture of Oudtshoorn is reflected in its museums and national monuments – there is the CP Nel museum with its collection of musical instruments, antique shopping mall, feather fashions and vintage vehicles. It is the only secular museum in the world containing a complete Jewish Synagogue. The museum traces the story of the “ostrich feather boom” that made instant millionaires of the ostrich farmers in the early 1900’s.

The Le Roux Townhouse Museum and “Arbeidsgenot”, home of the Afrikaans lawyer and author of part of our National Anthem, CJ Langenhoven, provide interesting and authentic glimpses of life as it was once lived here in the Klein Karoo. Many of the older buildings in Oudtshoorn showcase fine examples of traditional “Karoo” and Victorian architecture. There is also the unique suspension bridge originally made in England and suspended over the Grobbelaar’s river.

In Oudtshoorn visitors can also do a township tour that takes them on the post box route (with pottery post boxes made by previously unemployed women – each post box an individual work of art), visit the taverns in Bongolethu and have a traditional meal at Ma Bettie’s Xhosa complex while enjoying traditional dancing. Several crafters are visited during the tour and visitors can purchase goods directly from them. There is also a wonderful development project at Chandelier game farm and Hazel’s Homestays offers tourists the opportunity to sleep over in the township.

Every year, in April, approximately 80 000 people stream into Oudtshoorn to enjoy a week of South African cuisine, culture, art, drama and music during the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival. They come for the local craft markets and art galleries and to see and hear the best local and international acts in more than 50 venues. The KKNK (Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees) is a mindblowing experience. Visitors can also experience a unique ostrich cabaret on an ostrich farm, learn about how one of the pioneers in the region arrived and settled here during the Pioneer Experience performance and visit local artists in their studios by appointment.

The Cango Caves are the oldest and one of the most popular attractions in our region. It is also one of the great natural wonders of the world. Several systems of spectacular limestone caverns have been discovered. All are filled with a wonderland of stalactites, stalagmites and helictites (limestone formations that grow in unusual directions). Different tour options are available:The standard tour is an enchanting hour long journey through the first six chambers and the 90 minute adventure tour which follows a 1 200 metre route through the mountain is only recommended for the physically fit. A wheelchair-friendly museum, interpretation centre and restaurant welcome visitors and all tours are accompanied by top-rated guides.

The Oudtshoorn region’s outdoor attractions include hiking trails, mountain biking, caving, abseiling, rock climbing, quad biking, hot air ballooning, microlight flights, eco tours, visiting the Meerkat colony, going to Hell (the Gamkaskloof), travelling on a donkey cart, driving across a historical pass, birding and taking part in a large number of sports activities on the excellent facilities in the Klein Karoo. Four by four enthusiasts relish the rugged terrain of the many 4 X 4 routes in the region. Oudtshoorn now also offers unique bush safaris and game viewing experiences in the heart of the Klein Karoo as we have a couple of very upmarket game lodges situated just outside Oudtshoorn on the R328 and the N12. The Oudtshoorn region is a very unique ecological hotspot where three distinct plant biomes meet. The Swartberg Mountain is South Africa’s most recent world heritage site. In addition to all this Oudtshoorn is a year round holiday destination as the Klein Karoo climate provides sunny weather for approximately 330 days of the year.

The Klein Karoo is a fine wine-producing region, with a variety of cultivars growing abundantly in the area. Oudtshoorn and the Klein Karoo Wine Route form part of Route 62 (the unique alternative entrance route to the region) and the world’s longest wine route. Visit seventeen local wineries for tasting and buying award winning wines ports and sherries. For the brave the locally distilled “witblits” is just what is needed.

Families with children are welcome – various activities in and around Oudtshoorn make it an ideal holiday destination for families. Take a hilariously entertaining camel ride at a holiday farm, which also offers bumper boats and a touch farm – or visit the Cango Wildlife Ranch for an opportunity to touch a cheetah, to see rare white Bengal tigers and wild dogs, to cage dive with crocodiles and for an enthusiastic insight into the breeding and conservation of many other species of wild animals.

No visit to the Klein Karoo would be complete without dining on its favourite delicacy – delicious, healthy, low-cholestrol ostrich meat in all its interesting forms. A number of top class local restaurants offer a wide selection of ostrich dishes.

Oudtshoorn lies within easy distance of all the attractions of the Garden Route and the town can be conveniently used as a base to experience the Klein Karoo region and do day trips to the Garden Route. Its quiet, rural atmosphere provides an excellent distraction-free environment for conferences, business meetings and sports meets as it contains a good selection of excellent conference venues and sports facilities and most of the activities are suitable for incentives as well as team building occasions.

The Oudtshoorn region offers accommodation facilities that cater for all accommodation needs and several unique wedding venues.

The people of Oudtshoorn enjoy meeting visitors and go out of their way to make everyone feel welcome. Oudtshoorn visitors have an experience that makes them want to return again and again. So,

COME FOR THE SUN !

 

Attractions

Cango Caves

Cango Ostrich Farm

Cango Wildlife Ranch

Ma Bettie's Xhosa Cultural Experience

Routes & Scenic Drives

Activities

Buffelsdrift Game Lodge

Chandelier

Joyrides

TBI Adventures

Wilgewandel Holiday Farm

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WWW Oudtshoorn Info

Did You Know ?

The road through Meiring's Poort, constructed by Adam de Smidt, was officially opened on the 4th of March, 1858.

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