Oudtshoorn & Cango Caves, South Africa

Oudtshoorn & Cango Caves, South Africa (1/29-30/2023)

Cango Caves Oudtshoorn South Africa
Not to Miss - Cango Caves, Oudtshoorn
We spent one night in Oudtshoorn (pronounced ‘oats-horn’) for an interesting break in the driving trip to the Garden Route from Cape Town and South Africa’s Stellenbosch Cape Winelands Wine Region. Oudtshoorn’s fertile valleys are encompassed by the Swartberg Mountains to the north and the Outeniqua Mountains to the south creating a scenic landscape.

Rock Tunnel Cogman's Kloof Pass
Rock Tunnel - Cogman's Kloof Pass
On the way to Oudtshoorn, the natural rock tunnel at Cogman’s Kloof Pass (see photo) on Route 62 outside Montagu is a beautiful drive. The breathtaking views from the Quteniqua Pass on N9/N12 to George is a beautiful way to drop into the Garden Route. Stop at the 4 Passes viewpoint to take it all in.

Cango Caves Oudtshoorn South Africa
Dramatic Cango Caves - Oudtshoorn
We were fascinated by Oudtshoorn’s Cango Caves where you can visit a series of huge artfully lit caverns and dramatic stalactites and stalagmites that were formed over millions of years in the limestone rock (see photos). The Cango Caves are one of the most visited sites in South Africa.

Stalactite Cango Caves Oudtshoorn
Stalactite - Cango Caves
The Cango Cave 1-hour Heritage Tour is an easy walk with a few stairways taking you through the first six largest and most spectacular halls with informative narrative. The longer Adventure Tour is challenging, involving crawling and narrow tunnels requiring a degree of fitness and for lean people only - the adventurous will enjoy it. Wear light clothing because the temperature inside the Caves is comfortable. Before arriving in Oudtshoorn, it is wise to make advance reservations at reservations@cangocaves.co.za.

'Feather Mansion' - Oudtshorn
Oudtshoorn is home to the world's largest ostrich population and bills itself as the ostrich capital of the world, once providing the world with feathers from these animals since the 1860’s. Victorian fashions for ostrich feathers during the turn of the 20th century created fortunes and ‘feather barons’ built mansions (see photo). 

Ostrich Capital of the World  Oudtshoorn South Africa
Ostrich Capital of the World - Oudtshoorn
Today, at an ostrich show farm you can get close and learn about them. You can also buy ostrich leather products and have a farm-style ostrich meal. At the CP Nel Museum, you can learn about ostriches, the interesting history of Oudtshoorn, and tour a mansion.

Buffeldrift Game Park & Lodge
People told us they had a good experience at Buffeldrift Game Park & Lodge located just outside Oudtshoorn (see photo). Upscale accommodations are available and activities offered are Bush Safaris (game drive), Night Drives, Meerkat Safaris, Elephant Experiences, Lion Experience, Heritage Nature Walk, and Free-Roaming Cheetah Experience.

Other Things to Do
Other activities to enjoy while visiting Oudtshoorn include early morning Meerkat Tours which people greatly enjoy, the Cango Wildlife Ranch where you can do a crocodile cage dive, a visit to the Rust-en-Vrede Waterfall, and hot air ballooning. A short drive to the north of Oudtshoorn is the unpaved Swartberg Pass often referred to as the most beautiful scenic drive in South Africa. While in Oudtshoorn, try the Black Swan restaurant for upscale dining.

Driving is on the left-hand side of the road and 10% tipping in Oudtshoorn’s restaurants.

Map - Oudtshoorn
A word about ‘Load Sharing’ in South Africa… periodically electricity is lost randomly day and night in Oudtshoorn. Hotels, restaurants, attractions, etc. are prepared for this because it happens daily. Commonly there is a light powered by a battery that you can turn on (we could read with it) and some places have backup generators. It would be good to bring a small flashlight to use at night.

While visiting Oudtshoorn, do enjoy the many things to do in this area including others not included in this post. HAVE FUN!

Click on these links to view other places we visited in Southern Africa...

Cape Town, South Africa

Garden Route, South Africa

Stellenbosch Cape Winelands Wine Region, South Africa

Port Elizabeth & Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa - A Safari Day Trip

Richards Bay and Hluhluve Game Reserve, South Africa - A Safari Day Trip

Durban and uShaka Marine World, South Africa 

Hermanus, South Africa

Chobe National Park, Botswana - A Safari Day Trip

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe & Zambia

Walvis Bay, Namibia


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