Tuesday, April 9, 2013

One Weekend in Oudtshoorn – a 20-something's guide

Explore the arty Karoo town of Oudtshoorn through these pictures from my weekend away during the KKNK. It's around 450km away from Cape Town, just up the Garden Route, and it makes for a great weekend getaway when you're craving hearty food, hospitable people and true South African culture. This post could easily serve as a 'visitor's guide' to a weekend spent in this small town... Where and what to eat, places to visit, activities and so forth :-)

Buy a 'Roosterkoek' from a street vendor... this is a traditional 'bread' is cooked over an open fire, filled with whatever you like really... think apricot jam or, in this case, a piece of boerewors and a tomato-and-onion sauce.

I stumbled upon this amazing little confectionery shop in the Pick n Pay centre, called Meel & Kameel. They also sell jams, house-hold accessories and, of course, biltong.

Meel & Kameel had the most adorable little biscuits. You'll find cute memorabilia to take home with you from this store.

Visit the CP Nel museum. I loved it because this little town was bustling in the 1800s and they have recreated 'shop windows' filled with items of what would have appeared in the 1800 to early 1900s. The above image showcases a typical pharmacy. For more info on the museum, visit: http://www.cpnelmuseum.co.za/index.php?p=17

Another stand at the museum - an old ostrich feather dealer, which is of course, what made Oudtshoorn famous. Ostrich leather items, feather accessories and ostrich biltong are still found everywhere around this little town. The museum is at 3 Baron van Rheede Street, +27 (0)44 272 7306. Entrance to the museum was free when I visited.

An old and beautiful synagogue forms part of the museum too...

It was the Arts Festival (KKNK) when I was there, so local artists were seen painting in various galleries. The town is full of exhibition centres.

This is a traditional South African dish called Babotie. It's like a mince curry dish with an egg topping, served with pumpkin frittas (a Karoo specialty) and chutney. I had this for one of my lunches at a restaurant called Paljas: 109 Baron Van Reede, 044 272 0982

Another dish from Paljas - traditional Cape Malay chicken curry. It was so delicious!!

More intriguing art work – love this artists use of texture and light

Make sure you pop into the Cango Wildlife Ranch. They rehabilitate animals and have a breeding programme for endangered species. Entrance is R120 per person: http://www.cango.co.za/ Below are some of the animals we saw on our visit...
white lion

baby tigers
They have a snake park within the wildlife ranch, which I find fascinating

White tiger in the background

Cango Wildlife Ranch offers crocodile cage diving for those thrill-seeking visitors...

They also have a petting zoo for little ones
Karoopot is a great little restaurant on one of the main roads, 6 Baron Van Reede Street, 044 272 3570

A traditional South African dish called 'Waterblommetjie Bredie' is a must-have when visiting this area. It's a type of Karoo lamb stew with The Karoopot makes an excellent one. Be warned though – the portions are huge!

Glenhoff beer is brewed in the Garden Route town of Mossel Bay – it's a micro brewery and their draught is excellent! It's also available at Karoo Pot restaurant.

Too much Glenhoff might get you into precarious situations...
I am a big believer in enjoying local produce... you know 'when in Rome' and all that jazz. So I drank this Garden Route Shiraz throughout the weekend. It's honestly amazing and I hope to get my hands on some more now that I'm back in Cape Town – just need to find a stockist. It goes for around R80 per bottle.

Ostrich steak - a must-have in Oudtshoorn. This Ostrich fillet was beautifully cooked and comes with a choice of starch from Karoo Pot (Yes, I ate lunch their twice). Also, you may notice that the Karoo locals are not big on their veggies... It's pretty much meat and starch all the way!
I loved these ostrich light sculptures (I'm not really sure what to call them), they were fabulous!

For more information on the festival, KKNK and the town, visit:



Maggie Nagel said...

Fantastic guide Amy - I really enjoyed it!

Amy Hopkins said...

Thanks maggie :-)
It was such a fun weekend!