Ostriches have always had the raw end of the deal in Oudtshoorn. From a carefree existence roaming the African plains, they found themselves on a supply-and-demand joyride at the turn of the 19th century. First, they made local farmers wealthy, satisfying the whims of Victorian fashion with their feathers. The feather.com bubble burst soon after, leaving many farmers in financial ruin and a glimpse of hope for the birds. But this was short-lived as local entrepreneurs cottoned onto new ways to keep the ostrich industry alive and kicking. Oudtshoorn is living testimony to their success - a bustling town lined wall-to-wall in ostrich ranches, curio shops, B&B’s and restaurants deriving income from this hapless bird. This said, there’s a whole lot more to Oudtshoorn than “ostrich capital of the world.” The town is the best base for visiting the nearby Cango Caves and the Swartberg Pass. It also has a balmy climate and a vibey atmosphere that reaches boiling point once a year at the Klein Karoo Arts Festival.