Oudtshoorn

Oudtshoorn

Oudtshoorn 

The ostrich capital of the world is an adventure, culture and environment destination in the Klein Karoo – the unique semi-arid landscape that lies between the Swartberg and Outeniqua mountain ranges.

Meet the ostriches at one of our 4 ostrich show farms, visit the world famous Cango Caves (Africa’s largest heritage cave system), watch game or feed an elephant, see big cats or take a crocodile cage dive.

With an annual rainfall of less than 150mm, Oudtshoorn is the ideal location for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and exploring the wonders of nature in one of the nearby nature reserves.

Because of this ideal climate, Oudtshoorn is also a natural choice to host events, and up to 25 regular events are held here every year.  These include many mountain bike races, as well as the National Championships for many different sporting codes and it is also home to the ‘Klein Karoo Nationale Kunstefees’, the National Arts Festival, held in April.

The Klein Karoo is an ecological hotspot where the succulent Karoo, Cape thicket, and fynbos biomes converge – and the Swartberg Mountains form part of the Cape Floral Kingdom World Heritage Site.  Drive or cycle up the Swartberg pass for unparalleled views of the Klein Karoo.

Taste wines and enjoy an abundance of Karoo style food, and when the adventuring is done, you’ll find comfortable accommodation at a wide variety of camp sites, caravan parks, backpackers, guest farms, self-catering, B&Bs, hotels, and luxury lodges – Please contact Oudtshoorn Tourism for details or book directly on our website.

History

The history and development of Oudtshoorn is inextricably connected with the growth of the ostrich feather industry from as early as 1860. By the turn of the twentieth century (during the Edwardian Period) the use of prime ostrich feathers in ladies clothing was high fashion, especially in England and Europe.

The area in which Oudtshoorn is situated was originally inhabited by Bushmen, as evidenced by the many rock paintings that are found in caves throughout the surrounding Swartberg Mountains.

Amenities