OudtshoornThe history and development of Oudtshoorn (named after Baron van Reede van Oudtshoorn) is inextricably intertwined with the growth of the ostrich feather industry. By the turn of the 19th century prime feathers were height of fashion and very expensive. When the ostrich feather market crashed in 1914 with the outbreak of World War I, many wealthy merchants and farmers lost their fortune almost overnight. Today the many sandstone buildings dating from that period, called “ostrich palaces” are the legacy of a time of fabulous riches and unrivalled extravagance in the history of Oudtshoorn - the Ostrich Capital of the World.
This town with its wide open spaces and broad streets is the capital of the Klein Karoo, which lies in a fertile valley between the Swartberg mountains to the north and the Outeniqua Mountains to the south. Warm, dry summers and sunny winter days make it the ideal breeding ground for the most majestic of flightless birds - synonymous with Oudtshoorn - the ostrich.
Oudtshoorn is situated in the Little Karoo, 55 kilometres from the large coastal town of George. Lovely guest farms, lodges and guesthouses await the visitor. Enjoy the relaxed, friendly, hospitable atmosphere offered in town or at the various surrounding farms. Experience the joy of life in the country!
Visit the magical, lit up Cango Caves and an Ostrich show farm (where you will learn much about these versatile birds from incubation to adulthood). At the Wildlife Sanctuary you can see a Pygmy Hippo, go Crocodile cage diving or get up close for a photograph with one of the Big Cats. Delight in the rustic scenery of the Swartberg Pass as you travel through the Swartberg Mountains and return via the magnificent Meiringspoort. Tour the Little Karoo, self-driving, or let us organise a 4x4 guided trip for you.