Oudtshoorn - Ostrich Capital of the World

Trip Start Dec 27, 2008
Trip End Jun 27, 2009

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Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Monday, January 5, 2009

The Intercape turned out to be a Christian company, we asked the Lord for a safe journey and were treated to the film, 'A Pilgrim's Progress', the story of Hopeful and Christian's voyage to the Celestial City. Not really our thing but we enjoyed the eight hour drive which was actually very pleasant. The scenery of the Garden Route is sublime.

Our Hostel, Backpacker's Paradise is just that, or at least is when compared to Long Street. Our room is spacious with ensuite. There is a pool which comes in handy as the weather is extremely hot, there's a slight danger I might get a tan. On the second day we took a tour to the Cango Caves and the Ostrich Farm. The caves are incredibly beautiful and vast. One large chamber actually hosted rock concerts throughout the 80's and 90's but were stopped in 1995 after visitors climbed the stalagmites and broke away souvenirs (idiots). Our guide showed us stumps of stalagtites that had been broken off, considering they take 100 years to grow 7mm, it would take about 1000 years for them to grow back to their original length. Perhaps these people simply couldn't get their heads around that, or were too pissed to care. 

The Ostrich farm was so much more impressive than I could have imagined. We held a day old baby and hugged a less agressive female, being careful to not get too close to her front; their clawed feet can disembowel a human in one kick. I then had an ostrich neck massage, I just held a tub of food and they pecked at it over my shoulders, it was more disturbing than relaxing. Shortly after seeing one pair getting down and dirty (the male performed an initiation dance but the female looked rather unimpressed, hilarious!) we had the opportunity to ride one, alas, I was too muscular (heavy) and Charlotte too scared but a few people had a go and it looked awesome, hold on to their wings and use their neck as a joystick, honestly. But it was not to be, I guess i'll have to make do with eating one later. So I did and it was perfect, better than any beef steak i've ever had. I also had crocodile and springbok for starter, all beautiful.

Our last trip in Oudtshoorn was to the Cango Wildlife Ranch. We saw Meerkat, Crocs, Emus, Snakes, Lions, Tigers, Cheetahs etc. and decided to pay R150 for a Cheetah encounter. The midday heat meant that they were pretty docile but I liked the fact that they could tear my face off at any moment, not likely but it added a bit of danger (they weren't sedated at all). It was definately worth it, they purred like crazy when we stroked them. It was also great to think that it was all for a good cause, the ranch isn't government funded at all. We nearly paid R300 to Croc cage dive but seeing one couple go down, it looked plain lame, totally unnatural. Even when the bait was thrown in they just chomped it down and swam off. For R300 i'd want them knashing away at the cage, some proper danger but it was all a little familiar to them. Maybe i'll Shark cage dive up the coast. Next up, sunny Knysna.
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Where I stayed
Backpacker's Paradise
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