Oudtshoorn Ostrich Farm

Located at the heart of the Little Karoo valley is the arid town of Oudtshoorn; an area famed for its illustrious ostrich farms and ostrich feather industries. The town is blanketed by constant sunshine that creeps over the crags like luminous fingers alive with energy, blanching the sands and sweeping travellers on board a train tour of South Africa into a wondrous world that echoes with the faded croon of the Victorian era.    

During the 19th century, ostrich feathers were highly sought after by affluent Europeans and North Americans. It was during this period that the sandy town of Oudtshoorn grew to be a big exporter of lavish ostrich plumes, following local efforts to domesticate the large bird species during the 1870’s. During the peak of the Victorian ostrich-feather boom, these flightless creatures were fervently hunted to the verge of extinction.

After successful experiments to domesticate ostriches, Oudtshoorn became a hub of activity where the much desired large, jet-black plumes of male ostriches were plucked, baled and hauled to Port Elizabeth for auctions and exports.

The town is flanked between the majestic Swartberg Mountains in the north and picturesque Outeniqua Mountains in the south, and while it’s famous for its ostrich farming industry, it’s also a centre of agricultural trade for fruit, dairy products, tobacco and alfalfa.

The surrounding area of Oudtshoorn also offers incredible attractions. The Cango Caves; located just a short drive away from the town and nestled within a limestone ridge parallel to the Swartberg Mountains, are a natural underground wonder comprised of towering hallways and the finest dripstone caverns. All travellers enjoying luxury train travel into Oudtshoorn will find the natural beauty and the attractions of the Klein Karoo drenched in history and simply sublime.