Oudtshoorn is the centre of the Klein Karoo, the 'ostrich-feather capital' of the world and location of the famous Cango Caves. A lush oasis catering for adventure, cultural and geological tourists.
Surrounded by natural beauty, Oudtshoorn is situated at the foot of the majestic Swartberg Mountain range. Numerous rivers, streams and falls have their origins in the Swartberg, Outeniqua and Kamanassie ranges around the town.
Waterfalls abound, and visitors can safely visit two spectacular examples at Rus en Vrede and at Meiringspoort - a narrow, vertical cleft in the Swartberg Mountain, with the road through crossing the Meiring's River no less than 32 times!
The Swartberg Pass, between Oudtshoorn and Prince Albert, is one of the most sensational drives in southern Africa, declared a national monument. It is the masterpiece of a brilliant engineer, Thomas Bain, and dates from the 1880's, when it was hand-built in 5 years' time.
The eco-tourist, and those thriving on the outdoor life, alike, will be faced with a large selection of challenging opportunities in the Oudtshoorn and Swartberg areas.
One of the world's great natural wonders, the Cango Caves, was sculpted by nature through the ages. Mysterious and breathtaking limestone formations in a wide variety of natural colours, only some 20 odd km from town. With daily guided tours, this is really a trip worth-while.
Amidst the 400 ostrich farms surrounding the town, three have distinguished themselves worthy enough to be named show farms - Highgate, Safari and Cango Ostrich Farms. Get to know this exotic bird species, and, for the more adventurous, take an ostrich ride.
Or visit the Cango Wildlife Ranch, one of the foremost examples of eco-tourism in the world. A superb mixture of conservation and tourism. This is a highly successful breeding station, one of only two in the southern hemisphere. Be photographed cuddling a cheetah, the fastest animal on land.
Exceptional stone masonry through the ages led to that special touch. Admire the grandeur of the numerous ostrich palaces, like Pinehurst, established in the times of the feather boom. Conserved to this day as museums, guesthouses and dwellings for the discerning.
Visit the C.P. Nel Museum, with the theme The Ostrich through the Ages, and relive the booming Ostrich Era. Visit the home of the famous C.J. Langenhoven, Arbeidsgenot, or any of the many historical church buildings, or experience a walk over one of the most elegant suspension bridges in the country. And just over the mountains is the world-famous Garden Route!
The Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in Oudtshoorn is the annual gathering in March/April, of more than 100 000 lovers of the various arts, for a week of dancing, films, cabaret, classical music, comedy, contemporary music, open air concerts, plays, literary art and poetry. A momentous event, enjoying international sponsorship.