Knysna, the Cango Caves and a lot of ostriches

Oudtshoorn Travel Blog

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What a thrill it must be to take a dive here.

After another great night sleep we get up quickened at 6.45 am and everybody is on the bus at 8.30. Today we go to the ostrich capital of the world: Oudtshoorn. During this 210 kilometre trip, we drive through an alternating landscape. From shoreline to mountain pass. I love this country! We are only a few minutes underway when we cross the bridge where one of the highest bungee jump in the world can be made, 216 metres! I had read this in our travel guide and discussed it with my girlfriend, but she wasn’t happy with the idea of me hurling myself off a bridge with just a rubber band to save me from becoming a human pancake. As the bridge disappears behind us I feel that if I would ever make a bungee jump, it would have been this one.

We stop in Knysna at 9.

This lady tried to sell us some pottery when we were having coffee in Knysna.
30 am. The town doesn’t appeal to me very much, but it has one big plus: a darn good coffee shop! I’m having an espresso with a huge scoop of vanilla ice-cream in it. For the rest there’s not much to do here, just shops (and the shop Johan recommended for buying stones with healing capacities isn’t even open today). I let the girls shop and tug along. I do not regret having only an hour here before leaving again.

Our next stop is what I am looking forward to, the Cango Caves. The caves are situated 20 kilometres north of Oudtshoorn, exactly the direction we are not coming from. The entrance of the caves is behind a very nice restaurant, it has several stories and from the upper one the view is not bad at all. We order a salad with grilled pieces of ostrich, which tastes superb. I didn’t really feel like having a hot meal, since the outside temperature in this area is 42 degrees centigrade in the shade at the moment.

Sights for sore eyes in the Cango Caves.
Everything cold is more than welcome. It’s two o’clock when we get to go into the caves. Unfortunately we are not the only ones. Several groups are joined together, making the number of people going in one go way to big to my liking. We are doing the “standard” tour, my preference would have been the “adventure” tour, which would have included crawling through narrow passages and so forth. The temperature inside the caves is nice and cool and the rock formations are mind-blowing, especially when they are illuminated in colourful manners. One particular hall is called the Music hall, because people used to sing here and use one of the stalactites as a bass drum. Of course the guide has to show his skills on “Bedrock drumming”. Before leaving the caves the lights are turned off for a little while, just to see what it was like for the first people ever to go in. Utter darkness and no idea where the exit is...

It’s been 3 o’clock already when we leave Cango and head for an ostrich farm.

What a difference lighting makes...
On the way we see a couple of elk deer, just a little off the road.

At the farm the tour starts with an introduction, the history of ostrich farms in general and the rise and fall of the trade in ostrich feathers are explained to us. Also we get to feel the feathers, skin and eggs of the ostrich. Then we move on to the conservatories, where at this very moment eggs are hatching. Who wants to, gets to hold an ostrich chick. Outside there are many adult ostriches and one of them kisses you on the lips when you hold some feed between them. When you’re not heavier than 80 kg you can ride an ostrich if you want. That rules me out, but Trudy gets the ride of a lifetime. With Trudy on its back, the bird dashes off like its life depends on it. Laughter all around of course, and when Trudy sees back the clip of her ride later on she can’t keep a straight face either.

Trudy rides an ostrich on an Oudtshoorn ostrich farm.
Trudy and Ria get a neck massage (the ostrich version) and you can stand on the raw eggs that lie in a nest. There’s no other way out than through the souvenir shop in which everything is ridiculously expensive.

From here it’s not far to the Kleinplaas Lodge, where we share an apartment with Anke and Jos. We put our bags inside, put on our bathing suits and go for a refreshing swim in the pool that, at this time of day, lies in the shadow of some trees, so we don’t have to worry about sunburn too much. Trudy and Jos are trying to pull each other under the water, Anke and I stay calm and watch the “children” play.

At 6.45 pm we leave for Buffel’s Drift, a fairly new and very beautiful restaurant on a superb spot near a waterhole, on some distance from other buildings and with the Swartberge (Black Mountains) in the background.

Dinner at Buffel's Drift.
The buffet is inside, but everybody chooses to sit outside and watch the waterhole in the fading light. The sunset we cannot directly see, because the terrace is on the wrong side of the restaurant for that. The food is great and the atmosphere is fantastic. We all have a great time.

It’s nine when Gert comes to tell Johan that we cannot go back to the bus, because there are two rhinoes on the parking-lot. Some dash off immediately, ignoring Johan’s warnings to keep enough distance not to disturb the animals and make them mad. I stay back some more and watch the scene from a distance. Around ten the tanks on legs have left and we can go back to the lodge and prepare for bed.

thenewextrememimi says:
Sounds like a fun trip!
Posted on: Dec 04, 2007
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What a thrill it must be to take a…
What a thrill it must be to take …
This lady tried to sell us some po…
This lady tried to sell us some p…
Sights for sore eyes in the Cango …
Sights for sore eyes in the Cango…
What a difference lighting makes...
What a difference lighting makes...
Trudy rides an ostrich on an Oudt…
Dinner at Buffels Drift.
Dinner at Buffel's Drift.
Sights for sore eyes in the Cango …
Sights for sore eyes in the Cango…
Sights for sore eyes in the Cango …
Sights for sore eyes in the Cango…
Sights for sore eyes in the Cango …
Sights for sore eyes in the Cango…
Sights for sore eyes in the Cango …
Sights for sore eyes in the Cango…
Sights for sore eyes in the Cango …
Sights for sore eyes in the Cango…
Sights for sore eyes in the Cango …
Sights for sore eyes in the Cango…
An elkdeer grazing.
An elkdeer grazing.
And another baby ostrich sees the …
And another baby ostrich sees the…
An ostrich chick is the cutest thi…
An ostrich chick is the cutest th…
The ostriches need to do nothing b…
The ostriches need to do nothing …
...and pose for a portrait every n…
...and pose for a portrait every …
Did I hear something crack??
Did I hear something crack??
Rhinos in the headlights of our b…
Rhino's in the headlights of our …
Oudtshoorn
photo by: Stormcrow