Our first arranged activity in Oudtshoorn was a tour of the Cango Ostrich Farm, located 14km outside of Oudtshoorn on the main route towards the world famous Cango Caves.
Now as a child I have fond memories of one of our only family holidays taking us through this fascinating town… a visit to the ostrich farm and the Cango Caves are etched in my memory and I was really keen to give my kids the same memories!
In and around Oudtshoorn there are plenty of ostrich farms that are open to the public. We picked this one as it was the closest one to where we were staying – it definitely isn’t the biggest or most impressive, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in character.
We were very warmly welcomed and show to the education room where we learnt more about the ostrich industry of old and where it has come to today. Then we went through to the incubator room and the kids had their first ostrich egg experience!
This was followed by a meeting with Betsie, the ostrich ambassador at the farm, who kindly gave us each a “hug” while we fed her, being careful to hold out our hands as flat as possible to avoid a rather large peck!
We then went to meet a few more of the ostriches who call the Cango Ostrich Farm their home (You’ll be pleased to know that all the ostriches here are only kept for tourism purposes and not for leather, meat or biltong!)
The option to ride on an ostrich presented itself, but I declined fearing for the poor bird!! My son was a little braver than me…
And then it was time for a “neck massage” courtesy of the ostriches… well, truth be told, they were mostly interested in the bucket of food we were holding! What was fascinating was amazing strength that these birds have. Their neck is pure muscle and feels soft and fuzzy to touch.
My kids were mostly fascinated by the size of the ostrich eggs, and the best part for them was the chance to stand on the eggs… not a real nest though, these eggs are all old and used only for display purposes!
Once our tour was over, we had the chance to pop into the curio shop…. Obviously we had a buy and empty egg for show-and-tell purposes and Abi was super keen on a very long feather which found its way into our shopping bag, and then got transported around the countryside before making it’s proud appearance at school a few weeks later!!
We loved our visit to the ostrich farm, it really felt like a “traditional” South African family thing to do on a holiday – but maybe that’s just me!
Planning a visit to the Ostrich Capital of South Africa? Visit this post for more about Oudtshoorn
If you find yourself in this part of the country be sure to pop in, the farm was very quite when we were so I’m sure they would welcome more visitors… Tours last 45 mins are cost R85.00 for adults and R50.00 for children.
Images: Kathryn Rossiter