WELCOME TO GATEWAY OUDTSHOORN
Oudtshoorn is a town in the Western Cape Province.
With 80,336 inhabitants, it is the largest town in the Little Karoo region.
The area in which Oudtshoorn is situated was originally inhabited by Bushmen, as evidenced by the many rock paintings that are found in caves throughout the surrounding Swartberg mountains.
1859 signalled the start of a long and serious draught which severely dperessed the national economy - by 1865, there was serious poverty.
The main reason for the large rise in prosperity was the ostrich, whose feathers had become extremely popular as fashion accessories in Europe. The town is home to the world's largest ostrich population with a number of specialized ostrich breeding farms. In 1914 the bottom dropped out of the feather market and farmers who had been millionaires one day found themselves in poverty stricken to the next. A popular reason given for the collapse is that ostrich feather hats were no longer practical due to the growing popularity of the topless motor car.