Oudtshoorn is famous for its ostriches, but it has much more to offer. It is surrounded by the breath-taking Swartberg and Outeniqua mountain ranges and is a great base for exploring the Klein Karoo, the Garden route and the Great Karoo. There is so much to see and experience in Oudtshoorn that it’s well worth not turning back early the next time you decide on a road trip along Route 62. Here are our top 3 Oudtshoorn activities that will hopefully lure you to this wonderful, unique South African town.
One of the major attractions in the Garden Route and Oudtshoorn area is the Cango Caves, which extend for kilometres into the extensive limestone hills. Africa’s largest show cave system is definitely worth a visit just to see the beautiful crystal and flow structures alone. Although the massive system of tunnels and chambers stretch for over four kilometres, only a quarter of this is open to visitors. For the more daring, an adventure tour takes you through a set of twisting tunnels and curvy cavities, often on hands and knees and sometimes on your belly.
Home to the world’s largest bird; the ostrich, the Klein Karoo and Oudtshoorn have been famous for these large birds since the ‘feather boom’ in the late 1800’s. Today Oudtshoorn is home to a number of ostrich farms where visitors can spend up to an hour and a half interacting with and feeding these beautiful birds. The more adventurous members of the group can also try their hand at ostrich riding and take part in an ostrich race. Tours usually kick off with the interesting story of how Oudtshoorn owes its history to the ostrich. After seeing the adult ostriches, you will meet the curious and friendly youngsters in the farm paddocks.
The spectacular Swartberg mountains run along the northern edge of the Klein Karoo. The Swartberg Mountains were once thought to be impenetrable with most of the mountain being above 2000m high. Three breathtaking passes wind through the mountains linking the interior of the Great Karoo with the towns of the Klein Karoo and the coast beyond. Navigating the passes combines a thrilling experience with unforgettable scenery and views.
It can be said that Oudtshoorn is definitely a place to visit as part of your Garden Route experience. The area of the Klein Karoo is beautiful, the climate is exceptional, and the ostriches are just so much fun. Plan at least one full day and an overnight to visit Oudtshoorn. You will not regret it.
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