Oudtshoorn, Western Cape

The Oudtshoorn area – all about ostriches.
If at any stage you want to check on the progress of one of the world’s youngest cultures – the Afrikaners of South Africa – then come to the KKNK Festival in Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo in April with your party hat on.

With more than 200 productions, 1 000 shows and 135 000 tickets sold, the entire eight-day event celebrates Afrikaans arts to the full. The shows are good, the music entertains young and old, the food stalls are Afrikaans country cuisine to the core and packs of party animals wearing funny hats stalk the streets in search of a good time.

The success of the KKNK has changed perceptions of Oudtshoorn, and has definitely turned the town into a major tourism node in the Little Karoo.

Because Oudtshoorn is a bit of a long-haul destination for everyone except Capetonians, the idea is to celebrate the festival and then spend a few days fossicking through the Little Karoo on Route 62.

Oudtshoorn is much more than a once-a-year festival spot. It’s the launch pad for day trip adventures that include cage-diving with crocodiles, visits to ostrich farms, a wander through the fascinating local museum and, perhaps best of all, discovering the famous Cango Caves complex.

The local ostrich industry grew white-hot in the late 1800s. Fortunes were made off ostrich feathers. Palaces were built all over Oudtshoorn. For years it looked like the good times would never end. Then World War I broke out, and no one had time for feathered fripperies.

But the Era of the Ostrich has returned. The demand for the big bird has resumed – this time for its leather, its lean meat and its feathers…

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3 thoughts on “Oudtshoorn, Western Cape

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