Oudtshoorn - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Oudtshoorn


Situated in the heart of the Little Karoo (locally referred to as the Klein Karoo), Oudtshoorn is a lovely town that makes a popular stop on any holiday in the Western Cape of South Africa, especially along the scenic drive between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

Surrounded by the majestic Swartberg Mountain range, the landscape around Oudtshoorn is a patchwork of farms and forests that receives more than 300 days of sunshine each year. The area is part of the Cape Floral World Heritage Site, and the stunning displays of fynbos and other local flowers make for great vacation photos.

Oudtshoorn's main claim to fame is as the 'ostrich capital of the world', and several farms in the area offer tours, shows, and other family-friendly activities for visitors. The presence of so many unique birds is also apparent in the many ostrich feathers and eggs available in tourist shops, and the abundance of ostrich on the menus of local restaurants which are complemented by excellent local wines.

The other most popular attraction in Oudtshoorn is exploring the famous Cango Caves, South Africa's largest show cave system. Towering stalagmites with names like the 'bridal couple' and the 'hanging shawl' are visible in the 3,200 feet (1km) of the caves that are open to visitors.

A number of nature reserves are located nearby, and while they may lack the excitement of the 'big five' predators, those looking for a wilder experience can explore other animal farms in the area offering up-close-and-personal experiences with cheetahs, meerkats, and even crocodiles. Great hiking and mountain biking trails, golf courses, horseback riding stables and 4x4 routes provide plenty of activities for busy holidaymakers in Oudtshoorn, and there are plenty of cosy guesthouses and B&Bs to retire to after a busy day in the sunshine.

Information & Facts

South Africa has 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho. English is widely spoken.

South Africa's currency is the Rand (ZAR), which is divided into 100 cents. Money can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and the larger hotels. ATMs are widely available (there is a daily limit for cash withdrawals) and major international credit cards are widely accepted, except in petrol stations where cash is required. Visitors should be vigilant when drawing cash from ATMs, as con artists are known to operate there. Travellers cheques and some foreign currencies are accepted at larger hotels and shops, but commission is charged, otherwise all commercial banks will exchange them.

Local time is GMT +2.
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