While still famous for ostrich farming, Oudtshoorn has become famous for its amazing beauty and the incredible quality of holiday destinations of all types.
Originally inhabited by Bushmen, as evidenced by the numerous rock paintings that are found in caves and the surrounding Swartberg Mountains, the Oudtshoorn area first saw European explorers in the year 1689. The explorers were a trading party led by Ensign Shrijver, who was guided to the area by a Griqua via an ancient elephant trail.The first permanent building to be erected in the area was a Dutch Reformed Church, built in 1838 on the farm Hartebeestrivier. The village gradually grew around the church and 9 years later, the town of Oudtshoorn was founded.The ostrich industry in Oudtshoorn dates back to 1864 when the ostrich feather boom in Europe demanded large amounts of exports from the Cape Colony and facilitated the accelerated growth of the area. By 1880, the value of ostrich feathers per pound was equal to that of diamonds.Today, the ostrich feather boom is over and the town has lessened its pace of growth, however still a popular destination for those looking to get away from the busy city.
Exceptional stone masonry is displayed throughout this small town and ostrich palaces scatter around the land, lending an interesting feel to the area. The main attraction is undoubtedly the Cango Caves. Limestone formations created by nature over a number of years have created an intricate maze of tunnels, which are available for all to explore.
Over 400 ostrich farms are dispersed throughout Oudtshoorn and guided tours provide laughs and fun for the whole family. First class hotels, lodges, inns, bed and breakfasts, guesthouses and boutique hotels are all options when looking at accommodation in Oudtshoorn. Accommodation in Oudtshoorn varies to suit the needs of every traveler. The relaxed, friendly, hospitable atmosphere offered, ensures guests enjoy their stay in town or at the various surrounding farms.
Oudtshoorn wedding venues are also in abundance and the area provides an amazing contrast to that of the Winelands of the Cape. While both are beautiful, each have their own specific attributes which make them amazing spots to tie the knot.