COUNTRY: South Africa
AREA: Swartberg and Karoo
Commercial ostrich farming started during the late 1880's in South Africa, with the Oudtshoorn district quickly being established as the Ostrich capital of the world.
During the first decade of the previous century, ostrich feathers gained record prices on foreign markets, amazingly ranking 4th on the list of South African exports after gold, diamonds and wool... The consequence of this newly found opulence meant that ostrich farmers were able to build beautiful sandstone mansions.
A unique feature, of the Safari experience is a visit to the Ostrich Palace "Welgeluk" which was built at the height of the feather boom in 1910. The homestead is a National Monument and a superb example of the type of architecture that was used at the time.
Safari Ostrich Show Farm is an operating farm where visitors will see large flocks of ostriches at different stages of development in the surrounding fields.
The tour starts in the breeding camp, with a nest of ostrich eggs, where the first stage of the ostrich life cycle is explained. You can even test the strength of the eggs by standing on them - a great photo opportunity.
During the breeding season visitors get to see ostrich eggs hatching in the incubator rooms. Visitors get to sit on an ostrich and those who are brave enough can even try their hand at riding one!
Every tour ends with an "Ostrich Derby" where local jockeys display their riding skills. A highly entertaining and educational tour is guaranteed.
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