Vacations to Oudtshoorn, South Africa

Known as the ostrich capital of the world, Oudtshoorn is located in the heart of the Klein Karoo between the Swartberg and Outeniqua mountains. Two ostrich feather booms truly established the town and then, following the end of World War II, new markets emerged for ostrich meat and leather, which further strengthened the town’s position as the world’s largest breeders of ostriches for global trade. A visit to Oudtshoorn would not be complete without visiting these gigantic birds, which you can do at various locations across the town. Reaching up to 400 lbs and standing at heights of up to 10ft which makes the world's tallest bird rather intimidating. 

There’s much more to do in Oudtshoorn than just see the ostriches though! The town rests at the edge of South Africa’s stunning Garden Route; a 300km stretch of coastline that winds along the cliffs from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River in the Eastern Cape. It’s not just the coast that beckons though and one of the most spectacular sites is actually found by driving inland through the Swartberg Pass, where giant quartzite cliffs of the upper Table Mountain Group give way to waterfalls cascading down their sides. Much of the area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and these exposed mountain chains are some of the best in the world with astonishing, vivid-colored faces.

Africa’s largest show cave system, the Cango Caves is just 29km from Oudtshoorn. This 20-million-year-old network of chambers and tunnels continues for over 2.5 miles, passing cave paintings and artefacts that point to the caves having been in use during the Later Stone Age; a period in African history that is thought to have occurred between 50,000 and 39,000 years ago. Depending on your fitness (and comfort) levels, you can take a standard tour of the caves or an adventure tour, where you squeeze your way through narrow passages, including one that’s just under 15cm… it’s an experience alright, but it’s certainly not one for the faint-hearted!


  • Come face-to-face with a 10ft tall bird at the ostrich capital of the world

  • Take a drive through the vivid-colored mountains of the Swartberg Pass

  • Visit the 20-million-year-old Cango Caves - Africa’s largest show cave system

Travel Designer & Safari Expert
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I adore Africa and have lived and worked in South Africa as well as travelling across the wider region. Spotting a leopard during a night safari at Nambiti Private Game Reserve is definitely an experience I'll remember forever.

Things to do in Oudtshoorn

Here are some of the things you can do in Oudtshoorn. When you've chosen your favorite experiences, just give our Travel Designers a call and they'll put a trip together for you. If you need help choosing an experience, or if you want to learn more about it, our Travel Designers will be more than happy to talk to you. Just call them on: 01483 319 333

Map of Oudtshoorn