Oudtshoorn, situated at the foot of the imposing Swartberg Mountains, is the principal town of the Klein Karoo and is frequently referred to as the Feather capital of the World. In the late 19th century European and American fashion houses discovered the beauty of ostrich feathers and Oudtshoorn became the centre of the ostrich feather industry.
Today there are still more than 400 ostrich farms in the vicinity. The town is dotted with historic buildings, once the grand houses of the ostrich barons of the day.
Oudtshoorn, with its wide open spaces and broad streets, is stretched out along the banks of the Grobbelaars River.
The Cango Caves are listed among the world's greatest natural wonders. Formed over millions of years, the caves offer a fascinating journey through breathtaking limestone formations. Although the caves had been used by Bushmen they remained unexplored until sometime around 1780. They are one of the 10 most visited tourist attractions in South Africa and are must to be visited. The caves were declared a National Monument in 1938 and stretch for more than 2 kilometres into the mountain.
The Swartberg Nature Reserve encompasses 129000 hectares of tranquility and features remarkably diverse vegetation, including renosterveld, mountain fynbos, Karooveld, spekboom veld and numerous geophyte species. There are a wide range of mammals here including leopard and caracal. Temperatures can reach 40°C in summer and the winters are very cold.