Oudshoorn, Klein Karoo, Western Cape

Feather dusters
“A heart without dreams is like a bird without feathers” (from Suzy Kassem).
I’ve been to Oudshoorn several times and I personally think it’s a real gem of a place. It does get very hot, but then you just go to the Cango Caves and you’ll be nice and cool in there. Now the Cango Caves could belong to the 7 wonders of South Africa if such a thing existed.

Le Roux Town Hall
Oudshoorn is known for its ostriches and was once the centre of the feather trade when no self-respecting woman would be seen without a feather adorning her fine head. Those days may have passed, but the ostriches remain and today serve other purposes, one of which I consider much more fun, namely, ostrich riding! Horse riding is so last year darling.
We didn’t get round to it this last visit, but did it the last time and it remains a glorious memory. Firstly, they put a bag over the ostriches’ head and then you can basically do whatever you like with it. Only good of course, so don’t get your knickers in a knot! The old adage, like an ostrich with its head in the sand, is just so true. The neck (which also makes an excellent potjie/stew…sorry, but you have to see the funny side of it all!) has extra flesh so that if and when (they are feisty birdies) they get into a fight with another bird, they can pull the skin without hurting the oesophagus.
But back to riding / racing these beauties. Joerg and I each got on our ostrich and we were told to hold on to the top wing (where it connects to the body) and lean back. It feels like you’re falling off all the time! Then they said that the more noise we made, the faster the animals would run. This was no problem for me as the “falling off position” coupled with the ostrich heading out of the stalls like a bat out of hell, I screamed my bloody head off and I won by far more than just a wing and a prayer! Great fun is all I can say.

NOTE: All farms follow animal rights rules and do not allow the animals to be ridden if the temperature goes above 30C. At 30.5C the farms refuse to allow riding. Good on you and thank you for respecting the animals.
There are also lovely crocodile and other wild animal farms, including a cheetah sanctuary. There is some lovely old architecture to behold – I love the “broekie lace” buildings. This is a South African term for ornate ironwork found on Victorian buildings. The photo up top is of such a building, the Le Roux Town Hall, annex to the C.P.Nel Museum. There is so much to see and do in the area, you just have to go and have a look!
We were lucky enough to stay in a lovely Airbnb with Danielle and Charles Theron and their adorable grandson. It’s right in the centre of town within walking distance of shops, restaurants and museums. There is plenty of space and an enormous shower – stay there and have a look yourself! (NOTE: There are many Airbnb’s around Oudshoorn from basic to absolute luxury. Chose whatever level of luxury you require to keep you happy!)
Danielle and Charles’s dog

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