This was one of our favourite things to do in Oudtshoorn! These guys are too cute!
The trip starts early, around 6am in summer and 7am in winter. After driving from our accommodation at Berluda Farmhouse and Cottages (who run the trip) you will arrive at their game reserve and board your safari vehicle. Sion even got a chance to drive the safari truck for a short distance!
The reserve itself its stunning and as the sun rises the landscape looks truly spectacular! After a short drive we pulled up at a good viewpoint for a morning coffee/tea and some traditional South African rusks.
Here you will find many types of antelope including eland and springbok, buffalo, giraffes and of course the meerkats!
The reason the trip starts so early is because the meerkats also start their day early. When we visited, they had around 15 meerkats on the reserve who have two separate burrows, perhaps one is their holiday home!
The guides from Berluda (we had Leon) have taken the time to come everyday to these burrows to make sure the meerkats are comfortable and not scared by the presence of the vehicle and humans – as a result, you are almost guaranteed to see many meerkats very close up!
We quickly spotted the meerkats and spent about 30 minutes watching them whilst the guide explained all about how they live and their routines. Apparently, they get up, sun themselves to warm up, clean their home, clean themselves and then head out for the day! Very civilised indeed.
This was an incredible way to start the day and we absolutely loved it. We highly recommend the experience as one of the top things to do in Oudtshoorn!
The trip is run by Berluda Farmhouse and Cottages as they own the reserve. The trip is open to guests staying at their accommodation (which we loved) but is also open to outside guests. Just send them an email to book.
The cost is R440 and well worth it!
Ostrich Farm Tour
No list for ‘things to do in Oudtshoorn’ would be complete without an ostrich farm tour. The region is known for its ostriches and you simply can’t miss them!
Again, because we were staying at Berluda Farmhouse and Cottages we took the option to go with the same guide Leon.
We took a short drive to the nearby Ostrich farm to see them, learn about them and also learn about the farming industry.
Depending on what time of year you go will determine the ages of the ostriches you see (and whether you visit the hatchery). We were lucky enough to see babies right through to full grown adults and even see a mother incubating her eggs.
Again, our guide Leon was able to teach us all about the ostriches. They are quite hilarious to observe, with brains smaller than their eyeballs expect to see them trying to eat rocks and fences!
We really enjoyed the tour and it was good to see that the ostriches had so much space to live compared to some farms in other countries where the same cannot be said for their animals.
To end the tour is something quite special. The owner of Berluda, Laura, has worked with the local community for a long time and opened the Vreugdevoetjies Pre-School to provide education to 80 of the underprivileged local children between ages 1-6.
We visited the school for the first time 5 years ago and were very impressed with the work they were doing and happy to donate to their cause. You can read more about their work here.
Where to stay in Oudtshoorn?
We have been to Oudtshoorn twice and both times stayed at the beautiful Berluda Farmhouse and Cottages. These are luxury cottages set on beautiful grounds with a pool, ostriches (of course), a really good breakfast and the staff are all so friendly – this is an easy recommendation from us!
Check them out here.
In case you can’t already tell, we love Oudtshoorn and highly recommend you visit when you travel to South Africa. We would happily go back again!
Go check out the The Globe Trotter Guys at their blog. https://theglobetrotterguys.com/2019/05/03/top-things-to-do-in-oudtshoorn/