With 330 days of sunshine a year, Oudtshoorn, in the Western Cape of South Africa, offers great weather if you’re planning a trip along the famous Garden Route. Hotels range from cosy thatched chalets to luxe B&Bs – here’s our pick.
Oudtshoorn is known for its blisteringly hot temperatures and has been dubbed the ostrich capital of the world – when you see all the farms, you’ll understand why. The town makes a great stop-off point en route from Mossel Bay to Storms River, and a base to explore the semi-arid desert and mountains of Little and Great Karoo. Plus you’re not far from the wineries – you can enjoy their wares at some of the hotels on our list.
Protea Hotel by Marriott Oudtshoorn Riempie Estate
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Courtesy of Protea Hotel by Marriott Oudtshoorn Riempie Estate / Expedia
The cosy thatched chalets set on a plush green lawn at Protea Hotel make for an ideal jumping off point to visit what makes Oudtshoorn famous. Explore the cavernous Cango Caves or head to the area’s crocodile and ostrich farms for nearby entertainment, but there is also golf, tennis, squash and lawn bowling for activities closer to home.
This luxury bed and breakfast offers travellers all they need to set themselves up for the day, whether that’s locally sourced fruit and yoghurts, homemade muffins, or a full-on Champagne breakfast. It’s also a short walk from Oudtshoorn’s award-winning selection of restaurants. The front desk can assist with booking local attractions as well as printing photos taken on your trip.
What do the United Kingdom and Turnberry Boutique hotel have in common? Not a lot, but this luxury outpost does have a Scottish-themed pub and restaurant, with imported drinks to match. The bar also shows big sports matches. For guests looking for an authentically South African experience, the kitchen offers a braai (barbecue) for groups of 10 or more guests.
A wine-lover’s paradise, this country house’s heritage should entice those with a nose for a good drop. The owners’ passion for vintage wines means the cellar is always well stocked, while a stroll around the grounds reveals 20 varieties of roses alongside pomegranate, lemon, quince, fig, olive and pear trees, dating back to when the homestead was built in 1852.
Getting to the heart of what makes Oudtshoorn famous, this boutique guesthouse is sat on the grounds of an ostrich, alfalfa and cattle farm. Guided tours mean visitors can learn about their giant feathered neighbours as well as how one of South Africa’s only full-time ostrich farmers operates. Rooms feature roll-top baths and stylish furniture, alongside views of the sweeping Olifants River Valley from the veranda.
The self-catering log cottages at this guesthouse have private balconies overlooking the Grobbelaars River and Swartberg Mountains. Perfect for families, there’s also a wood burner for roaring fires and a stash of boardgames. Other rooms on site have heated beds and wooden floors throughout. It’s a short walk from the CP Nel Museum and the Cango Wildlife Ranch, where you can soak up some local history and do some cheetah spotting.
On the outskirts of town, facilities for caravans, tents and family-friendly self-catering chalets make the Kleinplaas Resort a top option for explorers in search of wildlife. Nearby fauna includes elephants, rhinos, cape buffalo, giraffes, hippos and more than 200 bird species. A short hike through ferns and wildflowers will also take you to the Rust-en-Vrede waterfalls.
Lodge 96 offers options for the high-end budget traveller – someone that wants a social atmosphere, with on-site ostrich barbecues, but also wants to end the day in a well-furnished, comfortable room. Activities including skydiving, walking with lions and dips in a shark cage are bookable in advance, and make this the perfect option for the ardent adrenaline seeker.
This bed and breakfast, in the centre of town, is a perfect base for foodies interested in sampling restaurants such as Jemima’s, Black Swan and Nostalgie nearby. While some rooms are B&B, others offer self-catering. From here, you can organise a tour of the Karusa winery and craft brewery, or take a cycle through the Swartberg Pass.
Situated in the heart of Oudtshoorn, the colonial-era Queen’s Hotel boasts a rich history. Built in 1880, it was recently restored to its former glory and has taken inspiration from bygone eras in the way it conducts business today. One for foodies, its Colony Restaurant and Cafe Brûlé serve all the steak and ostrich you can eat, alongside delicate cakes and freshly baked bread.