You’ve got one day in Oudtshoorn and want to see as much as possible? Here is your ultimate one day itinerary for this famous Klein Karoo town.
The Swartberg Pass
Start your day on the Swartberg Pass. Built by Thomas Bain in the 1800s, the Swartberg Pass is an incredible sight, snaking up and over the mountains. With its highest point at 1585m above sea level, you will be blown away by the jaw-dropping views of the Klein, and Great Karoo, below. The Swartberg Mountain Circle Route runs all the way through to Prince Albert – although currently this is not possible because of flood damage – and is a must for any traveller, with non-stop photo-ops along the way. To Hell and Back takes you into ‘Die Hel’ an isolated valley in the mountains. Only accessible by a 4x4 road, Die Hel is very isolated and cut off over the rainy season.
The Cango Caves
The Cango Caves are an iconic site and are both a cultural and natural landmark in South Africa. Dated to be around 20-millions years old, the caves are situated in the Swartberg Mountains, 30km outside of town, and are roughly one kilometre in length. You can choose from the Heritage Tour, which lasts for one hour, and runs through the larger chambers, or the Adventure Tour, which runs for 90 minutes and requires a bit more courage when it comes to tight spaces! Both tours are led by experienced and knowledgeable guides. You can also grab a bite to eat here in the Cango Caves restaurant.
Velskoen shuffle heritage walks
There are few people who know Oudtshoorn and its culture as well as local tour guide Jeremy van Wyk. His new tour – the Velskoen Shuffle – takes visitors on a journey through the town centre, explaining how it was shaped by its history. Incorporating everything from the ostrich feather trade to the town’s large Jewish community, the Velskoen Shuffle looks beneath the skin of this charming Klein Karoo town and brings the past to life.
For more information: 073 240 7898
Visit an ostrich farm
The ostrich feather industry is indelibly linked to Oudtshoorn, with the town’s growth connected to the industry as early as 1860, and you cannot travel to the town without paying one a visit. While the birds’ feathers are no longer considered as fashionable in high society as they once were, there are still a number of show farms operating in the area that showcase not only the industry, but the birds themselves. Highgate Ostrich Farm, Safari Ostrich Farm and Cango Ostrich Farm are three farms that offer various tours highlighting the town’s link to these magnificent birds.