Located in the heart of the Klein Karoo and surrounded by the majestic Langeberg and Outeniqua mountains, Oudtshoorn is famed as being the ostrich capital of the world as well as being home to the world-renowned Cango Caves. Here visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the spectacular limestone caves which are filled with stalactites and stalagmites.
The sandstone feather palaces which are found throughout the town are a reminder of the heydays of the feather boom of the early twentieth century. Today visitors can enjoy a tour of an ostrich show farm including trying their hand at riding an ostrich.
A wide variety of outdoor and adventure activities are available around Oudtshoorn, including hiking, mountain biking and 4x4 trails.
Meerkat Magic Tour
Get an early start to the day with the Meerkat Magic Tour outside of Oudtshoorn. The tour starts just before sunrise to allow you to watch the family of meerkats wake-up.
The walking tour lasts 3-hours and is lead by Grant McIlrath who has a wealth of knowledge regarding these fun creatures. Learn about the meerkats' way of life, characteristics, and family and social dynamics, while you watch them in their natural environment playing and foraging for food.
Watch the Meerkat Magic Tour Video.
Breakfast at Nostalgie
Enjoy breakfast on the veranda at Nostalgie. Aurona Weideman and her daughter, May, have created a charming haven from a bygone era at Nostalgie in the centre of Oudtshoorn.
An extensive selection of breakfasts are served accompanied by home-baked breads warm from the oven. Fresh cakes and scones can be nibbled on while sipping tea in the shady garden.
Explore the many beautiful ostrich palaces around Oudtshoorn. The great feather boom began in 1870 with ostrich feathers being exported at around 450 000 kilograms a year. The fashions of Europe demanded more and more feathers, inspiring a growth in the industry and record prices in international markets. The consequences of the boom meant that ostrich farmers experienced a new level of opulence, and were able to build beautiful mansions made of the local sandstone. These 'ostrich palaces' are now a common sight in the Klein Karoo town. Sadly, the feather boom came to a standstill during the First and Second World Wars and has yet to recover to such high levels.
Ostrich Show Farms
Head to a show farm to experience and interact with these large and unusual birds. Visitors can spend up to an hour and a half interacting with and feeding the ostriches and, the more adventurous members of the group can even try their hand at ostrich riding and take part in a race. The Chandelier Game and Ostrich Show Farm is one of the many farms you can visit and also offers game drives around the estate.
Watch the Ostrich Show Farm Video.
Lunch at the Cango Caves
About 28 kilometres from Oudtshoorn, in the beautiful Cango Valley, lies one of the greatest wonders of the Klein Karoo - the Cango Caves. Just before you depart on an adventure into the caves why not enjoy lunch at the Cango Caves Restaurant. The restaurant was recently accredited by Klein Karoo International as a "Blue Ostrich Restaurant" and highlights the distinctive flavours of the Little Karoo. With beautiful views of the Cango Valley, the restaurant offers a comprehensive a la carte menu which caters for a wide variety of tastes and appeals to both local and international visitors.
Explore the Caves
The vast underground caverns that make up the caves lie in the Precambrian limestone foothills of the Swartberg range. The extensive system of tunnels and chambers stretches for 4 kilometres of which only a small portion is open to visitors. Water has seeped over the limestone ridges for thousands of years, creating spectacular calcite masterpieces.
Visitors are taken on a guided, informative tour through the series of caves where stalactites of varying shapes and sizes hang from the cavern roof and stalagmites tower up from the floor below. The standard tour lasts around one-hour and for the more daring, the adventure tour is a 90-minute tour which sees visitors negotiating the Devil's Chimney and crawling through the Devil's Postbox.
Watch the Cango Caves Video.
Cango Wildlife Ranch and Valley of the Ancients
Just 3 kilometres out of Oudtshoorn on the road to the Cango Caves, the Cango Wildlife Ranch is home to over 47 different species of animals and reptiles as well as a leading cheetah breeding project. Visitors to the centre can spend time exploring the walkways leading to many different endangered animals as well as an enclosure home to abandoned baby cheetahs. Time spent at Cheetahland will also introduce visitors to the resident Bengal tiger cubs as well as numerous other wild cats.
The Cango Wildlife ranch is much more than simple entertainment; here many hunted and endangered species find refuge and a safe home while allowing visitors the opportunity to learn more about them.
Watch the Cango Wildlife Ranch Video.
After a day exploring the many interesting attractions around Oudtshoorn why not enjoy some succulent Karoo lamb, or a tasty ostrich fillet for dinner. Ostrich meat is in fact known for being low in fat and cholesterol when compared to beef and chicken. There are a number of restaurants to choose from, but one of our recommendations is Jemima's. They offer a variety of wonderful Karoo meals, and are acknowledged as one of the top 10 restaurants in South Africa. Despite this achievement, the restaurant has managed to maintain an intimate and warm atmosphere - complete with a library that leads onto the surrounding green lawns.