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Often tagged the 'ostrich-feather capital of the world', Oudtshoorn is a town with broad lanes, and some beautifully maintained Victorian and Edwardian buildings. Have a look at the Oudtshoorn Info website for more information about all sorts of things.
The town itself is quite small and, apart from some of the architecture and a plethora of ostrich farms, it doesn't really have much to offer.
However, several things are certainly worth doing or seeing:
If you stay at a backpacker's, ask for discount vouchers; many of the hostels offer vouchers up to 50% off for the Ostrich farms and the Wildlife Centre.
Shosholoza Meyl has the following train:
Located just north of George on the Garden Route, take a turn off the N2 and take the N12 north. It's about an hour from George.
Whilst in Oudtshoorn, try an ostrich burger or steak. It is a local speciality, and most of the restaurants in town have them included on their menus. Ostrich meat tastes similar to lean beef and is low in fat and cholesterol, as well as high in calcium, protein and iron. When minced it tastes just like beef, and is very versatile (don't surprised to see ostrich lasagne on the menu!).
|Amber Lagoon||Langverwacht Road Oudtshoorn 6620, Klein Karoo||Hostel||-|
|Backpackers Oasis Shanti||3 Church Street||Hostel||-|
|Backpackers Paradise||PO Box 381 6620 Oudtshoorn||Hostel||89|
|Karoo Soul Backpackers||170 Langenhoven Rd, Oudtshoorn 1 Adderley St, Oudtshoorn||Hostel||91|
|Lodge 96||96 Langenhoven Road||Hostel||-|
|Sunbird Accommodation & Backpackers||78 Langenhoven Ave||Hostel||-|
|Die Fonteine Guesthouse||Schoemanshoek Oudtshoorn, Western Cape||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|88 Baron van Reede Guesthouse||88 Baron van Reede Street Oudtshoorn, Western Cape||Guesthouse||-|
|Old Mill Lodge & Restaurant||R328, Schoemanshoek Cango Caves Road||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Earthbound B&B||Naude Street 19 Oudtshoorn Western Cape||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Eagle Falls Country Lodge||Ruigtefontein Farm Scenic route 62||Hostel||-|
Big cities and most of the popular places in the country usually have an internet café though they are not as abundant as in, for example, Asia or South America. It's also relatively expensive, usually 20-30 rand an hour, sometimes even more. Many of the accommodation options have internet access available, either wireless with your own laptop or by their own computer(s). Wireless access is also available throughout the country in more and more cafes and eateries, sometimes free and sometimes for a small fee. Note that you usually have to login anyway and agree with the terms and conditions. It is cheapest to buy a prepaid cell phone starter pack (less than R10) and access the Internet with GPRS or 3G. Generally R2 per MB for out of bundle data from most providers (50c for Virgin Mobile), but it becomes a lot cheaper if you buy a data bundle. In general coverage is good except the more rural parts of the northern and northwestern parts of the country (especially Northern Cape).
See also International Telephone Calls
South Africa's country code is 27. Telephone numbers in South Africa are 10 digits, including the local area code. There are also some prefixes like 0800 (toll free), 0860 (charged as local call) and 0861 (flat-rate calls). The general emergency number is 10111, ambulance is 10177 and police is 1011.
South Africa has very good phone facilities, which are also becoming more and more competitively priced, now that more operators are active on the market. The main ones are Neotel and Telkom South Africa. Local phone calls are cheap (about one Rand an hour), domestic long-distance calls are about twice as expensive. International calls start at around 6 Rand an hour but can be (much) higher to less usual countries. Note that public phones are about twice as cheap as new private phone centres. Phone calls tend to be the cheapest during the weekend and during business hours (8:00am to 5:00pm) on weekdays and more expensive during the evening and nights at weekdays.
There are also good mobile-phone facilities, with GSM and 3G networks. There are five cell phone providers in South Africa: Vodacom, MTN, Cell-C, Virgin Mobile and 8ta. SIM card prepaid starter kits are available from R10. You will need a passport and a proof of residential address and it has to be registered before you can call or receive calls. You can buy credit for prepaid phones just about everywhere, remembering you will usually need cash to do so from service stations.
The SAPO (South African Post Office) is the nation's postal service. They have a track & trace system for parcels as well. Post offices are open from 8:30am to 4:30pm from Monday to Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Domestic and international deliveries are reliable but can sometimes take up to several weeks. If you want to send something oversees of any value, try using one of the private mail services, like Postnet. Also international courier companies like TNT, UPS and DHL tend to be fast, very reliable and competitively priced.
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