Best time to travel to South Africa

Oudtshoorn Ostriches in South Africa

Have you ever ridden an ostrich? Trying to curb this bird might turn out to be more challenging than you think. Otherwise, simply learn about the life of these magnificent birds

Best time: all year round

Oudtshoorn Ostriches
Oudtshoorn Ostriches
Oudtshoorn Ostriches
Oudtshoorn Ostriches
Oudtshoorn Ostriches
Oudtshoorn Ostriches
Oudtshoorn Ostriches

Browse the net for Oudtshoorn, and you'll soon find that it's the world's ostrich capital. This relatively small town in Klein Karoo, Western Cape, literally brims with flightless birds. Keep in mind, however, that they are flightless, not helpless. The largest bird species can surely stand up for itself and you'll discover their fervent temper if you venture to ride one. Ostrich rides are normally offered within an ostrich safari. Well, birds don't like it that much, so it's up to you whether to ride an ostrich or not.

Oudtshoorn has several ostrich farms where you can learn all about their breeding, starting from incubation to adulthood. On a normal ostrich tour, you'll be able to meet large flocks of curious birds staring at you, feed them by hand, cuddle the chicks, and maybe even witness one hatching from an egg.

Just like the birds themselves, ostrich eggs are also the largest in the world. They equal 2 dozen chicken eggs in size. You can even stand on one and it won't crack.

If you're a meat lover and haven't become too attached to the birds during your encounter, you're welcome to try ostrich meat—it's served in every restaurant in Oudtshoorn. This meat is said to be extremely healthy, as it contains almost no fat. Besides meat, ostriches have other uses in making feather dusters and boas. You'll discover these crafts during your ostrich tour as well.

The tours are available all year round, however, they are weather-dependant. Dry weather is obviously better, which coincides with South African winter—April to October.

Practical info

What can tourists do at an ostrich farm in Oudtshoorn?

There are several activities available for tourists visiting an ostrich farm in Oudtshoorn. One can feed the ostriches, cuddle the chicks, witness an ostrich egg hatching, buy souvenirs, and even participate in ostrich safaris. However, tourists should exercise caution when it comes to riding the ostriches. They are known to be strong and fast birds and hence must follow all safety instructions to avoid accidents. Show more

What should tourists keep in mind while attempting an ostrich ride?

While attempting an ostrich ride, tourists should exercise caution and follow all safety instructions provided by the tour operator. Though the birds cannot fly, they are strong and fast. Tourists should not attempt to ride the ostrich without supervision. To avoid injuries, the tourists with back or neck problems must refrain from attempting for it. Hence, safety is a crucial aspect while indulging in ostrich rides. Show more

Where is ostrich meat available in Oudtshoorn?

Ostrich meat is a local delicacy and is available in almost every restaurant in Oudtshoorn. It is considered a healthy alternative to beef, chicken, and pork, as it contains almost no fat. The taste of the meat is often compared to lean beef. Tourists who wish to try out ostrich meat can check out the various local restaurants that specialize in ostrich dishes as well. Show more

What is the best time to visit Oudtshoorn for ostrich tours?

Although ostrich tours are available throughout the year, the best time to visit Oudtshoorn for ostrich tours is between April and October. During this period, the weather conditions are cool and dry, which is ideal for such tours. In addition, one should check with the tour operators beforehand, as the tours may get canceled or modified due to safety reasons, especially during the rainy season. Show more

Apart from meat, what other uses do ostriches have in Oudtshoorn?

Besides meat, ostriches are useful for making a variety of products in Oudtshoorn. The ostrich feathers can be used to make feather dusters and boas, which are durable, soft, and naturally hypoallergenic. Tourists can purchase these as gifts or souvenirs from the local shops. The ostrich leather is also highly prized for its softness and durability, and it's utilized in crafting high-end leather products like shoes, gloves, and handbags. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin