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Introducing Oudtshoorn

In the late 1860s, no self-respecting society lady in the Western world would be seen dead without an ostrich plume adorning her headgear. The fashion boom in ostrich feathers lasted until the slump of 1914 and during this time, the ‘feather barons’ of Oudtshoorn made their fortunes.

You can still see their gracious homes today, along with other architectural pointers to Oudtshoorn’s former wealth such as the CP Nel Museum. The town remains the ostrich capital of the world and is now the prosperous tourist centre of the Little Karoo. Ostrich leather is much sought after, and expensive; feathers, eggs and biltong are available everywhere and the meat is always on the menu (a healthy option with no cholesterol).

Oudtshoorn, though, has much more to offer than ostriches and makes a great base for exploring the different environments of the Little Karoo, the Garden Route (it’s 55km to George along the N12) and the Great Karoo.