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Oudtshoorn


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" Oudtshoorn " is situated in a very dry valley surrounded by mountains and was named after the Countess Gesina van Reede van Oudtshoorn. It is the most important town in the Little Karoo and is still to this day the world centre of ostrich farming. Oudtshoorn was founded in 1847 and has a population of about 50 000. Before the First World War , over 750 000 ostriches were bred and farmed in the area.

In those days, especially with the Ladies, it was very popular to decorate hats, coats and dresses with ostrich feathers. The ostrich farmers made a fortune by exporting feathers all over the world. The Victorian inspired Villas, the so-called  "Feather-palasts" from this era are still to be seen and admired . During this " boom " many Jewish immigrants came to Oudtshoorn and during this period the town was also called “Little Jerusalem".

After the ostrich business stagnated for decades, it has slowly been revived due to ostrich meat being almost cholesterol- and fat free. Ostrich meat can be found on the menu of most of the finest restaurants all over the world. The typical look and feel of ostrich leather make it the ideal material for shoes, handbags and other accessories.
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Other highlights are several Ostrich Farms, the Cango Caves, the Cango Wildlife Ranch and the spectacular Swartberg-Pass.


Ostriches on a farm
Cango Caves

   Cango Caves,
   at the foot of
   the Swartberge.

Cheetah,    
in the    
Cango Wildlife Ranch    

    White Tigers,
   in the Cango Wildlife Ranch.


CroCodile    
in the Cango Wildlife Ranch    
Oudtshoorn
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