South Africa

Oudtshoorn tours & holiday packages

Gateway to the Klein Karoo

Race an ostrich, cage dive with crocodiles, crawl through the Devil's Chimney and drive one of South Africa's most scenic mountain passes.

Oudtshoorn in South Africa's Western Cape is home to a collection of rather quirky attractions. The Karoo town lies in the foothills of the Swartberg mountains and is an ideal place to base yourself when you are exploring the Klein, or Little, Karoo, a semi-arid region in the interior. 

Prepare to be overwhelmed by ostriches; Oudtshoorn is the global capital of these large birds, with the biggest population of ostriches in the world. Attend an ostrich derby, sample some ostrich-neck stew (it tastes better than it sounds) at one of the town's many excellent restaurants, or visit one of the "volstruis paleis" or ostrich palaces, the mansions of the ostrich feather barons who once flourished here. Most of these elaborate Victorian houses have since been converted into guesthouses or restaurants.

Our African Travel Expert

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Carla Lewis-Balden says

Swartberg Pass is a must when visiting Oudshoorn. You can drive it in a ordinary sedan but I recommend a multi-terrain vehicle with a bit more ground clearance. Pack a picnic basket and stop at the look-out points. Be sure to leave the wine at home, the hairpin turns require nerves of steel and a clear head.

More on Oudtshoorn holidays

At the Cango Wildlife Ranch, you can cage dive with giant Nile crocodiles, while at the Cango Caves avid spelunkers can scamper through narrow passages with names like the Tunnel of Love and Devil's Chimney. Quaint Karoo towns like Barrydale, Prince Albert and Calitzdorp are also a stone's throw from Oudtshoorn and are great day-trip destinations. Foodies will love the road stalls and small restaurants on the way that sell the region's wine, fresh produce and, of course, ostrich meat.

If you have access to a multi-terrain vehicle, a drive along the Swartberg mountain pass is a must. The pass snakes through gorges and winds through hairpin turns so tight they'll have you clutching the car's panic handles. The views are worth it, though; Swartberg Pass offers probably the best panorama of the Klein Karoo. 

Oudtshoorn Map

Oudtshoorn's location on Google Maps

Frequently Asked Questions about Oudtshoorn

What kinds of animals will I see on safari?

Whether you are in the Southern or East Africa you will generally be able to see the big five. The difference really comes in when considering antelope as they are based on your chosen location. go there.

What vaccinations should I get?

This is all dependant on the countries that you will be visitng and due to the status of certain vaccinations changing at times, please consult our experts before getting vaccines. go there.

Is it okay to drink the water?

In some parts of Southern Africa it is safe to drink the tap water, however it is highly recommended to stick to bottled water (mostly supplied) during your trip as even drinkable African water is completely different in taste and… go there.

Oudtshoorn - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Reviews on our Oudtshoorn safaris

We went on Safari to Phinda Game Reserve which was our choice as was the choice of two nights on the Rovos train.Our agent was quite happy with helping us with anything we requested. We worked out dates of where we wanted to be and when and…

Madeline & Raymond Goodman

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Our African Travel Expert

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