Oudtshoorn is known as the ostrich capital of the world due to the large number of ostriches which make their home in this region. A number of ostrich farms are situated in Oudtshoorn, producing feathers of extremely fine quality that are sought after around the world. The ostriches are just one of the many attractions in the area; however.
Oudtshoorn is situated in a unique position as the commercial center of an ancient plain between the Swartberg and Outeniqua Mountains, the Klein Karoo. As a result of this unique position, every road emerging into the region passes through some of the most picturesque scenery in the area.
While you are in Outdtshooorn, you will certainly want to stop by one of the prize winning show ostrich farms; Safari, Highgage, Congo and Oudtshoorn; where demonstrations and daily tours provide visitors with an opportunity to learn more about ostriches. Be sure to stop by one of the many shops located on the farms; many of which specialize in fine ostrich feather and leather products.
If you happen to be in the region in April, you will be treated to a veritable feast of South African music, culture and cuisine during the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees; the Small Karoo National Arts Festival. During this nine day festival there numerous opportunities to enjoy art galleries and craft markets as well as to see a variety of international and local acts from dozens of different venues. During this time is an excellent opportunity to soak up local culture at many of the local pubs and restaurants as well as temporary venues that open just for the festival.
Experience a bit of local history with a visit to Cango Caves; the oldest and most popular sight in Klein Karoo. There, you will find three systems of fabulous limestone caverns. The longeest cavern, Cango Three, spans approximately 1600 m. Inside the cavern you will be treated to spectacular sights including stalagmites, stalactites and helictites. Visitors may choose from two different tour options, including a 90 minute Adventure tour that follows a route that passes directly through the mountain.
Throughout Outdtshoorn, you will find a number of outdoor recreational activities and attractions including birding, mountain biking and walking trails. If you happen to be a 4×4 enthusiast, you will certainly delight in Klein Karoo’s rugged terrain.
For a more laid-back and relaxing day, be sure to visit one of the wine estates in the local area. Some of the finest wines in the region are produced here. In fact, Outdtshoorn, along with the Klein Karoo Wine Route, actually form part of the longest wine route in the world, Route 62. More than a dozen wineries are open for purchases and tastings. You will find that the wines of Klein Karoo offer a somewhat distinctive character, especially some of the fine dessert wines which are produced in the region.
With a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities, astounding natural beauty, interesting and unique curio shops and fine accommodations and restaurants, Oudtshoorn is the perfect destination for travelers of all budgets and tastes.