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TRAVELBUCKET

OUDTSHOORN – MORE THAN FEATHERS AND CAVES

CATCH UP ON HISTORY

Did you know that the town of Oudtshoorn once had the biggest Jewish (originating from Lithuania) community in South Africa?  About 100 immigrant families arrived in Oudsthoorn between 1881 and 1890, after fleeing persecution in their country, as the town held many business propositions due to the feather boom.

In Baron van Reede street, tucked away behind some trees and almost unseen, are a beautiful sandstone synagogue.

SWARTBERG CIRCLE ROUTE

Take your time and drive over the famous Swartberg Mountains, lying just to the North of Oudtshoorn,  to Prince Albert in the Groot Karoo while marvelling at all the different cliff formations and the Cango valley down below.  Return via the spectacular Meringspoort and De Rust. 

Allow a whole morning to complete this route. 

You can either have some morning tea or lunch in Prince Albert or you can pack a picnic basket and enjoy it at one of the spots in Meiringspoort.  Cape Nature provides clean bathroom facilities and running water at these shadey spots. 

VISIT A MUSEUM TO ESCAPE FROM THE SUN

When the harsh Karoo sun is getting at you there are a couple of museums that you can visit.  A very interesting one, yet quite unknown, is the homestead of CJ Langenhoven, one of the well-known sons of Oudtshoorn.  He was the composer of parts of our national anthem.

The Le Roux Townhouse in High Street is also interesting to visit to see what life was like in the early years of Oudtshoorn.

If you follow the link you can read more about all the interesting buildings in Oudtshoorn under Sandsteen Roete, Oudtshoorn – http://travelbucket.co.za/sandsteen-roete-oudtshoorn/?hilite=%27Sandsteen%27

GRUNDHEIM WINES

You can treat your taste buds and experience wine products, witblits and gin like never before.  

Grundheim is  famous for their hand crafted Naakte (an Afrikaans word meaning without clothes) Naartjie gin as well as their famous witblits with its beautifully designed Bull Terrier logo’s.  The witblits is par to a Bull Terrier = rough,  tough and loyal and will never disappoint you.

Located on the R62 just 20 minutes outside Oudtshoorn you will have the opportunity to meet the friendly team at Grundheim.   Be responsible when you visit the winery – nominate a driver to take you home!

BUFFELSDRIFT  GAME LODGE

Enjoy a bushveld experience with stargazing in the heart of the Klein Karoo without the fear of contracting malaria.    Here you can sleep in elegance with the Swartberg mountains as your backdrop and spoil your loved one with a game drive.  An experience not to be missed.

They offer excellent package deals and even has a volunteer programme if you are interested. 

NOSTALGIE EATERY

If you are an adventurous eater and never tasted ostrich before, this is the place to visit! 

This eatery is famous for traditional South African food.  At Nostalgie you can experience typical South African cuisine if you ant to. Escape the Karoo heat and enjoy your lunch under a lovely sausage tree in the front garden while observing the comings and goings of a small town.

Go hungry as the menu has a good variety and the portions are generous.

ZIPLINING

If you fancy some alternative adrenaline there is a new activity on the scene in Oudtshoorn – ziplining.  It is guaranteed to provide fun and get the adrenaline flowing.  Less than one kilometer from the entrance to the Cango Caves you will find these passionate guys who know what they are doing.  It is ideal to combine it with a visit to the famous Cango Caves

They are open daily between 09:00 and 16:00.   Allow yourself about 2 to 3 hours for an enjoyable experience.

ADMIRE SOME SANDSTONE CRAFTMANSHIP

Oudsthoorn is also famous for its sandstone buildings. 

Being the ostrich capital of South Africa there are some stately sandstone houses, known as ostrich palaces, dating back to the booming ostrich feather era, dotted around town

“At first encounter the Karoo may seem arid, desolate and unforgiving, but to those who know it, it is a land of secret beauty and infinite variety.”

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