Oudtshoorn lies inland from the Cape’s famous Garden Route, amidst breathtaking mountain passes, magnificent red rocks and the wide open spaces of the Klein Karoo. Oudtshoorn is famed as the Ostrich capital of the world, but is also worth visiting for the Cango Caves, the opportunity to see meerkat in their natural habitat and the stunning scenery which contrasts and combines perfectly with the Garden Route.
Oudtshoorn is home to the largest population of ostriches, with several dedicated breeding farms located throughout. While staying here, there’s a breadth of activities both in the town itself and nearby. The ostrich farms are worth visiting not only to see the ostriches but also to learn about them and how the town has survived thanks to its two major ostrich farming booms. There’s a very good line-up of restaurants and eateries, pretty much all of them featuring ostrich meat on their menus. The town is the start of South Africa’s Route 62, also known as the Wine Route, and is known for the excellent wines it produces. Many who visit enjoy exploring the Cango Caves; guided tours are offered and enable guests to explore roughly a kilometre of the cave network, with the chance to see fascinating cave paintings and ancient limestone formations. Meerkat tours are available at De Zeekoe and Buffelsdrift.
In terms of accommodation, Oudtshoorn has several superb small guest-farms and country manors and the surprisingly good Buffelsdrift game reserve, with guest tents set around a hippo dam and a beautiful reserve with good wildlife populations. It isn't going to compete with the Kruger for a serious safari, but is a fun and relatively inexpensive way to get a safari experience of sorts.
Oudtshoorn's hot season starts in November and lasts through to February, with January typically the hottest month of the year. March is the wettest by far, while July tends to be the driest. Temperatures are generally quite favourable throughout the year. For those looking to stay in the town, there are more than enough accommodation options to choose from. These range from campsites and B&Bs, to guest houses and country manors.