Family travel starts here: 33.6007° S, 22.2026° E
If travel is not a reward for working but rather education for living, surely this would encourage us to do more exploring and adventuring, right?
I am all over the idea of giving experiences and treasured family memories rather than buying gifts which are often resigned to the back of a drawer unused. In a time when we want more out of life, are looking to reconnect with nature and spend time in open spaces, it’s time to pack a bag in search of a Klein Karoo caper.
Arriving in Oudtshoorn involves a mountain pass of some kind, towering roads and the back-seat chant of ‘are we there yet’ would probably announce your arrival. Research the many accommodation options to choose from, backpackers, B&B’s, hotels and guest houses and for something completely different look up Mount Noah for nautical lodging with a difference.
For wanderlust families pack your sunhat and sunscreen before heading out on safari at either Buffelsdrift or Chandelier Game Lodges, day visitors are welcome at both camps. Definitely investigate the elephant feeding at Buffelsdrift which includes ellie hugs, being dwarfed by these gentle giants is a moment you will treasure for a lifetime. I had a tender moment with the matriarch which was almost spiritual and brought me to tears.
If you are more interested in a guided walk, lunch and encounters of a different kind then head to Cango Wildlife Ranch where you will have a chance to meet over 90 animal species. The wildlife here are ambassadors for their breeds each with a story that is enthusiastically shared by guides. Cheetah, lemur, serval and reptile encounters are available with a summer only opportunity to dive with croc’s so remember to bring your cozzie!!
This is ostrich country so definitely book a visit to one of the many farms including Highgate, Safari or Cango Ostrich Farms. Learn about the various types of ostriches, their behavior and breeding, you even have an opportunity to stand on an egg to see just how strong they really are.
29 km from the town centre you will find Cango Caves, recognized as one of our South Africa’s top tourist destination and is certainly a must-do when visiting the Klein Karoo. The Heritage Tour is accessible to all visitors.
An interesting combo would be to explore the hidden wonders of the caves followed by a high-altitude-high-adrenalin zipline ride from the parking area of the caves with Cango Caves Estate Ziplines. Wilgewandel Holiday Farm is located on the road back into the town and is a great chance to catch your breath with refreshments and a laid-back camel ride.
If you are willing to start your day early the fun of seeing Meerkats wake up and leave their burrows is entertaining. The little legions of meerkats facing the sun before they begin their day foraging makes for a cool photo opportunity. Five Shy Meerkats, Buffelsdrift Game Lodge are among several places offering Meerkat encounters.
Try to include a lunch at Swartberg Country Manor’s Patat Restaurant, wine tasting at Karusa Wines both have big open lawns for children to explore. Black Swan and Nostalgie are great options for dinner.
Don’t leave Oudtshoorn without a colourful feather duster or crafted ostrich shell trinket which are to be found for sale on street corners or pop in at Cape Karoo Emporium, Lugro or Ostrich International for quality leather products.
As this crazy year draws to a close book your holiday, take many photos and most importantly make cherished memories. Many roads lead to Oudtshoorn be sure to travel this way soon.