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City Oudtshoorn

Oudtshoorn is located between the Outeniqua Mountains and Swartberg in the Klein Karoo along the famous route 62. A village situated in the fertile valley on the Grobbelaars River in the Western Cape Province.

Oudtshoorn has the sunniest days in South Africa and throughout the year. In summer temperatures are between 26 and 36 degrees here. Little wind and dry winters are very pleasant but at night it always cools down from 0 to 5 degrees.

The tobacco, grapes, corn and vegetables that are grown here, ensures good export opportunities but Oudtshoorn was put on the map by the ostrich industry and the feathers of these fast birds! Oudtshoorn is known for several centuries as the centre of the ostrich breeding and there are still many ostrich farms. In the last century the market reached its peak and there was a great demand for ostrich feathers. The farmers, also called barons, built their 'feathers palaces', which now belong to the national monuments. After World War II the industry collapsed due to insufficient demand for the feathers. Today, farmers have picked up the ostrich breeding and now it is mainly earned on the meat and skin of ostriches. Eggs and feathers are now an afterthought but still nice souvenirs. Visit one of the many ostrich farms and learn about these special birds.

Houses in ostrich capital Oudtshoorn come in different styles; the Art Nouveaux and Victorian architecture really stand out. Most houses allure can be found in Baron Rheede Street where you can also find the C.P. Nel Museum. It is truly a rural museum.

Just outside the city are the Cango Caves, a beautiful natural phenomenon which offers daily guided tours. The 20 million year old limestone caves lie in the Swartberg Mountains 30km from Oudtshoorn and are one of the wonders of the world and South Africa's oldest tourist attraction. You can do a standard tour and for those who do not suffer from claustrophobia and that are agile, the adventure tour.

For seeing a wide variety of exotic animals such as white lions, tigers, big bats, crocodiles, beautiful fish, lemurs, snakes and many others you should visit the Cango Wildlife Ranch. You will find this park near Oudtshoorn and especially with kids this is a fun and also educational trip.

A beautiful adventure is also driving the Swartberg Pass and Meiringspoort, on the road you can stop in Prince Albert or at one of the many wonderful stops along the way, for example at the waterfall with a rock pool, where silence and beautiful nature will amaze you. De Rust and the Hell are small villages around Oudtshoorn and fit perfectly in a day tour through the Gamkaberg and Swartberg. You can also take different types of 4x4 tours or much sportier: go hiking!

A route of a totally different calibre is the wine route, beautiful, entertaining and perhaps instructive and tasty. There are plenty of wine farms to find in and around Oudtshoorn and the nearby Calitzdorp is known for its port wines.

Every year in the village there is the "Klein Karoo National Arts festivals" which is Nationally, South Africa's biggest art festival. There is the Cango Marathon and the Mountain tour "To Hell and Back". Doesn't sound so strange if you know that Hell is a place located next Oudtshoorn. And where you go here you will find beautiful Fynbos grow and prosper everywhere. If you drive an hour to the south you arrive in the coastal town of George.

Please note: Due to severe floods in April 2017, parts of the Swartberg Pass will be closed for a long time (estimated 18 months). Because this mountain pass is part of the South African National Heritage, the road has to be rebuilt in an original way and this takes a lot of time. Some tour operators can guide you on tours on the pass, but with your own (rental) car, this is not recommended (in connection with insurance). For example, take a look at the half day trip and day trip we offer.

Your holiday begins at South Africa Specialist!