Day Trip 1
George – Herold – Dysselsdorp – Oudtshoorn – Mossel Bay
Your journey start in George – Take the turn-off onto the historic and scenic Montagu Pass and follow the signs to Herold Wines. Cool mountain mists keep summer temperatures moderate and create a long ripening season for the Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Things to do: Cellar tour; wine tasting; tearoom; bring your own picnic; mountain pool; farm and fynbos walks.
From here, travel through Herold, turn right onto the R62 and left onto the gravel road to Dysselsdorp over the Perdepoort Pass. Turn right (north-east) onto the N12 to Doornkraal for their Tickled Pink sparkling or some fortified wines. Things to do: Browse through the country shop with lots of local goodies. Find wines from all the cellars in the Klein Karoo at cellar prices. A Klein Karoo wine shop! Now towards Oudtshoorn.
Reasons to visit Oudtshoorn: Hug, ride or feed an ostrich; stroke a cheetah; dive with crocodiles; Meerkatmagic; feed an elephant; ride a camel; Cango Caves; ostrich products; township tours; kloofing; horse riding; hot air balloon; game viewing; mountain biking; absailing; caving; Klein Karoo food and wine. Karusa Vineyards is 15km from town along the R328 in Schoemanshoek. Things to do: Taste superb wines and handcrafted beer; eat at the deli; relax on the stoep. The shortest route back to George is the N12 or, if you are more adventurous, stock up with Ruby Port, traditional witblits and liqueur at Grundheim Wines. Travel from there on the R328 over the Robinson Pass to Mossel Bay for a sundowner on the beach.
Spend an unforgettable day in the Klein Karoo
Distances: George to Herold (22 km) – Herold to Doornkraal (39 km) – Doornkraal to Oudtshoorn (23 km) – Oudtshoorn to Mossel Bay (77 km) – Mossel Bay to George (44 km). Round trip is 205 km.
Reasons to visit Oudtshoorn
Oudtshoorn is a great place for outdoor activities. Surrounded by mountain ranges and blessed with a rich variety of bird and plant life the Klein Karoo reveals its beauty to those who get out and make the effort to explore.
Culture and history
The Wilgewandel Holiday Farm
The Wilgewandel Holiday Farm have recreated the era of the 1700 pioneers of Southern Africa with their Wilgewandel Pioneers Experience. See how they lived, dressed, played. Listen to their music. Taste their cuisine. The farm also offer a wide variety of fun activities for young and old, including camel rides, walking trails, animals to feed, donkey cart rides, and a restaurant.
Ostrich Show Farms
Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world. Ostriches are found in great numbers and the region produces the best feathers, leather products and ostrich meat in the world.
- Cango Ostrich Show Farm – www.cangoostrich.co.za
- Highgate Ostrich Show Farm – www.highgate.co.za
- Safari Ostrich Show Farm – www.safariostrich.co.za
Cape Nature is responsible for the management of two of the Klein Karoo’s largest wilderness areas, namely the Swartberg Nature Reserve , which includes the remote Gamkaskloof, or “The Hell” and the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve – a succulent botanist’s dream destination in the Red Mountain Range. Gamkaberg Nature Reserve – www.capenature.co.za
29km from Oudtshoorn, at the head of the picturesque Cango Valley, lays the spectacular underground wonder of the Klein Karoo – the Cango Caves. Situated in a limestone ridge parallel to the well known Swartberg Mountains, you will find the finest dripstone caverns, with their vast halls and towering formations. Website: www.cangocaves.co.za
Cango Wildlife Ranch
Tucked away in the Klein Karoo you will find a place offering sanctuary to a number of endangered species such as cheetah and Bengal tiger. The ranch originated as a crocodile farm, but developed to a full-scale conservancy. Today they instigate a totally new experience in interactive tourism combined with conservation. Activities include stroking a cheetah or diving with crocodiles! Website: www.cango.co.za
Birding in the Klein Karoo, and particularly the Oudtshoorn area, offers a large variety of bird-friendly habitats. This ensures that a diverse variety of birds can be observed within a relatively short drive from hotels and guest houses in the area. These habitats include vegetation along permanent streams, the thickets on the slopes of hills, the fynbos which is found on the tops of hills and on the Swartberg itself, the open karroid veldt with its succulent shrubs and man-made habitats such as dams and tree rich local gardens.
Discover the succulent Karoo – walk with wild meerkats and view other shy, secretive wildlife from the “shy 5”. Website: www.dezeekoe.co.za
Buffelsdrift Game Lodge
Buffelsdrift Game Lodge is a sprawling game farm in the Cango Valley at the foot of the Swartberg Mountains. Pristine bushveld, lush vegetation and a 5 ha dam provides a haven for 20 game species and more than 217 bird species. Website: www.buffelsdrift.com
Chandelier Game Lodge & Ostrich Show Farm
Chandelier Game Lodge & Ostrich Show Farm Relax, sit back and become part of nature, while enjoying game viewing from our open-top Landcruiser or take part in our wide range of other activities including quad bike trails. Website: www.chandelier.co.za
The Klein Karoo is criss-crossed with secondary roads (dirt or gravel) which provide a large variety of interesting and scenic drives as well as the highest concentration of 4x4 routes in the country. Several options exist with differently graded routes suitable for all types of off-road vehicles and drivers with different levels of experience.
Ballooning Experience the unique sensation of hot air ballooning in the Klein Karoo. Drifting on a gentle breeze, you will enjoy a sense of peace and tranquility and enjoy the panoramic view of Oudtshoorn and the majestic Swartberg Mountain range. Website: www.oudtshoornballooning.co.za
Some people just love the wide open spaces of the Klein Karoo, others appreciate the fact that they are hiking a world heritage site, still others appreciate the beauty of walking through an ecological hotspot where three plant biomes (succulent karoo, cape thicket and fynbos) converge.
Try the quad bike trail to the beautiful, 80 m high Rust-en-Vrede Waterfall; the fantastic quad biking trips over the Swartberg Pass, to “The Hell”; a sunset cruise or quad bike game viewing at Chandelier Game & Ostrich Farm.
The clear Karoo sky is perfect for stargazing and organised group or individual tutorials are offered by an experienced guide. If you already know what to look for, you will find many incidental vantage points from which to view the best of the night sky. Website: www.truesouthtravel.co.za
Local tourism information
To find out more about Oudtshoorn and its surround, places to stay, where to eat or to get the contact details of the activities mentioned, please contact the Oudtshoorn Info or the Oudtshoorn Tourism Bureau.
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