Around and about Oudtshoorn

 Oudtshoorn, situated at the foot of the imposing Swartberg Mountains, is the principal town of the Klein Karoo and is frequently referred to as the Feather capital of the World. In the late 19th century European and American fashion houses discovered the beauty of ostrich feathers and Oudtshoorn became the centre of the ostrich feather industry.
Today there are still more than 400 ostrich farms in the vicinity. The town is dotted with historic buildings, once the grand houses of the ostrich barons of the day.
 
Oudtshoorn, with its wide open spaces and broad streets, is stretched out along the banks of the Grobbelaars River.

The Klein Karoo National Arts Festival

This annual festival, held in March/April, featuring a week of dance, theatre, film, music, and visual art, attracts more than 100,000 visitors every year. More info...

 

The Cango Caves

The Cango Caves are listed among the world's greatest natural wonders. Formed over millions of years, the caves offer a fascinating journey through breathtaking limestone formations. Although the caves had been used by Bushmen they remained unexplored until sometime around 1780. They are one of the 10 most visited tourist attractions in South Africa and are must to be visited. The caves were declared a National Monument in 1938 and stretch for more than 2 kilometres into the mountain. 

The Swartberg Pass

The Swartberg Pass, also a National Monument, is just a few kilometres further north along the R328 towards Prince Albert and is described as one of the most spectacular and dramatic roads in the World. This untarred road winds and zigzags to the summit 1583 metres above sea level. 

The Swartberg Nature Reserve

 The Swartberg Nature Reserve encompasses 129000 hectares of tranquility and features remarkably diverse vegetation, including renosterveld, mountain fynbos, Karooveld, spekboom veld and numerous geophyte species. There are a wide range of mammals here including leopard and caracal. Temperatures can reach 40°C in summer and the winters are very cold.

Cheetah Breeding Farm

One of only two in the southern hemisphere, this highly successful breeding station is an excellent example of eco-tourism. Have yourself photographed holding a cheetah cub in your arms. 

Rivers and Waterfalls

Visit some of the area's numerous rivers, streams and falls in the nearby Swartberg, Outeniqua and Kamanassie Mountains. Two fine examples are the Vrede and the Meiringspoort Falls. 

Top attractions in the area include:

  • Caving
  • Touch a Cheetah
  • Crocodile Cage Diving
  • Ostrich Show farms
  • Abseiling
  • Mountain Biking
  • 4 x 4 Routes
  • Wine Tasting
  • Chocolate tasting
  • Cheese Tasting
  • Museums and Art Galleries
  • Festivals
  • Die Hel