Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world and as such visitors to this naturally beautiful town can expect this amazing bird to form a big part of their experience here. Oudtshoorn is the largest town in the Klein Karoo region with a splendid backdrop of the Swartberg, Langeberg and Outeniqua mountains.
Oudtshoorn also enjoys the most sunshine days in South Africa, with dry winters and little wind; being surrounded by the magnificent mountain ranges.
When one learns more about Oudtshoorn’s rich history one will find that it’s once thriving ostrich feather industry played a massive role in transforming a small village into earning it the impressive accolade as the “Ostrich Capital of the World”.
During the time of the “feather- boom”, in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, prime ostrich feathers were considered incredibly valuable and were mostly regarded as a must-have high fashion accessory to high-class ladies from all over the world. The wealthy were willing to pay enormous amounts of money for these ostrich feathers, which were light in weight and easy to import the world over. Not before long Oudtshoorn became home to many rich farmers and traders, all basking in the resulting prosperity the ostrich feathers had brought to this little village.
At the height of Oudtshoorn’s success and riches, farming communities even went as far as to showcase their extreme wealth by building extravagant “ostrich feather palaces” – beautiful mansions of stained glass, cast-iron work and palatial turrets. Unfortunately only a few of these sand-stone “castles” can still be seen today and Safari Ostrich Farm boasts on of them : the “Welgeluk” Ostrich Feather Palace.