Visit an Ostrich farm and also take a ride if it is ok with you. We went to a farm but decided not to ride the ostriches. Honestly speaking I did not like this visit to the farm much. Except for the fact that we got to know about what really happens.
Very near Oudtshoorn are the Cango Caves. Ecologically significant and impressively beautiful the Cango Caves are a highlight of the Klein Karoo region. The caves offer an exciting tour. Their caverns began forming 20 million years ago when acidic ground water chemically eroded the 100 million year old limestone rocks. There are two tours to be done in the caves, one an easy one which requires you to just walk through. The other one which took about 90 minutes and which is strictly for lean people only requires you to crawl and creep and bend and needs a degree of physical fitness. My boys opted for this and thoroughly enjoyed it.
- Adventure Travel
They are a series of dripstone caverns that have to be seen to be believed as they are just breathtaking in size and beauty.
They do 2 tours the standard one and the 'adventure' one. the standard tour takes an hour and our guide was brilliant and really knowledgeable, at no point did you have to clamber over anything and it is done at a good pace.
In peak time I would suggest booking as they only do tours on the hour but they do have a good cafe/resturant with nice seating inside and out of you do have to wait for the next tour.
The adventure one is just that and takes 1.5 hours they do offer childrens rates but it does sound a bit much for children under 12 have a look at the website and see some of the 'gaps' you have to scramble through... Some as narrow as 30cm!
Our guide told us in New Year's day a few years ago 1 woman got stuck for 11 hours in the Tunnel of Love.....! One of the photos shows the actual size of that gap and you can work out how easy that would be.
I would combine a visit here with a drive over the Swartberg Pass as the views from the top are stunning.
Address: From Oudtshoorn: 29km
Directions: Directions here http://www.cango-caves.co.za/index.php
- National/State Park
Every year around easter, Oudtshoorn transforms from a quiet sleeping village to a vibrant festive place when the ABSA Arts Festival takes over the whole village. To your hearts content you can then go and watch shows, fashion, or just sit and people watch.
The Cango Wildlife Ranch is a privately-owned zoo outside of Oudtshoorn that specializes in big cats, especially cheetahs, but also has lions and tigers. Visitors are taken through the complex on guided tours that take about an hour. The first part of the the tour shows you local animals and birds from South Africa and neighboring countries, including bats, crocodiles, vultures, flamingos, and lemurs. The second part of the tour takes you through a series of enclosures inhabited by the big cats. They have numerous rare white tigers and lions. Their primary specialty is cheetahs, which they raise and rehabilitate. They have adult cheetahs as well as babies, which were very cute. For an extra fee, adults (not children) can hold and pet the baby cheetahs.
There is also an area dedicated to snakes, which you can self-tour, as well as a petting zoo.
In addition, there is a restaurant, where we ate lunch on the day that we visited. The food was pretty good, although the service was a bit slow.
Directions: The Cango Wildlife Ranch is located about two or three kilometers northeast of Oudtshoorn on Route R328 (Baron van Reede Street).
Phone: 27 44 272 5593
- Family Travel
The Cango caves are a beautiful cave system located about 30 km north of Oudtshoorn. There are organized tours of the cave that begin every hour throughout the day. The 1-hour tour takes you through the first three large chambers, which contain a lot of stalactites and stalagmites, as well as rock curtains, that have formed over thousands of years from the minerls carried by the water dripping through the caves' limestone rocks. There is also a longer "adventure tour", which takes you deeper into the cave, but requires one to crawl, climb, and quezze through tight passages.
Directions: The Cango Caves are on Route R328, about 30km North of Oudtshoorn
- Family Travel
The CP Nel Museum is a good little museum in Oudtshoorn that is full of exhibits about the town and its history. There is an interesting section devoted to the ostrich trade, which made the town rich in the late 1800s. There are also a number of rooms which reproduce historic shops, offices, and other buildings from Oudtshoorn's past, including a pharmacy, a general store, a bank, and a synagogue. In addition, there are displays of china and silverware, old pianos and organs, antique cars and carriages, and furniture. There are also displays about the roles of Oudtshoorn's citizens in various wars. One of the most interesting displays in the museum was a display about Oudtshoorn's role in World War II as a haven for Polish war orphans.
The CP Nel Museum is housed in an interesting building which was built in the early 1900s and formerly contained a boy's school. The museum takes at least an hour to tour. We spent about 90 minutes and could have used a little more time.
Address: 3 Baron van Reede Street, Oudtshoorn
Directions: The CP Nel Museum is locate on Baron van Reede Street in Downtown Oudtshoorn, next to the Queens Hotel
Phone: 27 44 272 7306
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Oudtshoorn is famous for its ostrich ranches, which are scattered around the countryside surrounding the town. There are a number of them which you can tour. We toured the Chandelier Ostrich Ranch, which is about 7km north of town on the road from George.
Our tour at Chandelier lasted for about an hour. It was low-key, but very informative. We saw adult and infant ostriches in the fields, got to handle ostrich eggs, and also got to feed an ostrich. We learned all about the ostriches' lives, diets, and breeding habits. Anna had a chance to sit on an ostrich, and we also saw an ostrich race with three jockeys riding the birds.
After the tour, we found some good souvenirs in their small, but well-stocked gift shop, where they sell a variety of ostrich items, including decorative eggs and items made from ostrich leather (wallets, purses, etc.).
Directions: The ranch is located on the N12, about 7km south of Oudtshoorn
Phone: 27 44 272 6794
- Family Travel
- Farm Stay
Several ostrich show farms offer entertaining daily tours and demonstrations during which one can learn about the history and use of these birds, their life cycle and about how they are farmed. Curio shops on the farms and in Oudtshoorn specialise in the finest ostrich leather, ostrich meat and ostrich feather products.
As we drove past Wilgewandel Holiday Farm we noticed the camels waiting for the next rider to pitch. They have seven very friendly and well-trained dromedary camels that can't wait to offer you a ride. Their names are: Joshua, Moses, Vossie, Abraham, Nelson, Thabo and Josef.
They offer many other interesting things to do, cannot tell you anything about the prices.
Phone: +27 (0) 44 272 0878 / 8119 (a/h)
A very interesting museum to visit located in a great, great building. In 1972 the CP Nel collection was brought to its present home - the former Oudtshoorn Boys' High School. As a result of this, the sandstone building, with its beautiful clock tower, was saved from demolition. The building as a whole dates back to the second "ostrich feather boom" (1900 - 1914) and was declared a National Monument in 1981.
Monday to Saturday 9:00 - 17:00
After visiting Botha's hall and climbinb a flight of steps you reach the Bridal Chamber. Known by this name due to its fourteen-post bridal bed. The bride may be spotted in the kitchen to the rear, sitting on a low stool and weeping quietly to herself. A clue to her tears may be found in the Peach Brandy Bottle, prominently displayed on a rock mantlepiece. Active stalactites drip constantly from the low roof above
Near the base of the staircase, stands an impressive formation known as The Pulpit , complete with angel's wings, sculptured by nature's own chisel. They say that at the base of this formation imaginative eyes may make out the shape of The Kneeling Camel, against the side of which nature's artist has left an unusual stain known as The Moses Figure. It represents the biblical Moses, dressed in a flowing, brown robe, his arms outstretched in blessing. I was not able to see this. But the Pulpit is a magnificent piece of art from nature.
The first hall you enter in the caves is the Van Zyl's Hall which is dominated by the giant Organ Pipes, a spectacular dripstone/flowstone combination. However, your eyes are drawn to a tall, slender stalagmite which rises nearly 10 metres towards the ceiling, called Cleopatra's Needle. Still active and growing, the Needle is estimated to be in excess of 150 000 years old. For her age is she looking remarkably well.
Upcoming Events Oudtshoorn and surrounding area
Event Place Category Starts Ends
ABSA KLEIN KAROO NASIONALE KUNSTEFEES ( Oudtshoorn) Festivals -21 March 2008 29 March 2008
ABSA Cape Epic ( Knysna )Sport -28 March 2008 5 April 2008
National Trampoline Trials (Oudtshoorn) Sport- 4 April 2008 9 April 2008
Springbok Trampolien Proewe ( Oudtshoorn) Sport -8 April 2008 8 April 2008
Prince Albert Town Festival (Prince Albert) Festivals- 25 April 2008 27 April 2008
Buffelsdrift Mountain Bike Challenge ( Oudtshoorn )Sport -24 May 2008 24 May 2008
Wacky Wine Weekend ( Robertson) Festivals- 6 June 2008 8 June 2008
SWD/Klein Karoo Kickboxing Challenge ( Oudtshoorn )Sport -7 June 2008 8 June 2008
Drummie and Cheerleading Nationals (Oudtshoorn) Sport -28 June 2008 5 July 2008
SA Race Walking Championships ( Oudtshoorn) Sport- 8 July 2008 8 July 2008
Kaapprovinsie Gimnastiekkampioenskappe ( Oudtshoorn) Sport- 10 July 2008 12 July 2008
Volstruisfees ( De Rust) Festivals -11 July 2008 13 July 2008
Meiringspoort Prettrap ( De Rust) Sport- 12 July 2008 12 July 2008
Calitzdorp Portfees 21,1 km running (Calitzdorp) Sport- 19 July 2008 19 July 2008
Weskaap Interdistrikte o/13 Hokkie ( Oudtshoorn) Sport -8 August 2008 10 August 2008
Acker and Maloney Business Relay ( Oudtshoorn) Sport- 17 September 2008 17 September 2008
Medi-Clinic To Hell and Back Cycle Race ( Gamkaskloof) Sport -8 November 2008 9 November
- Family Travel
- School Holidays