The caves were known to indigenous people long before the Europeans landed at the Cape. Recent finds, such as tools left behind in ancient hearths in the cave mouth, prove that humans such as the Khoi have lived and sheltered here for at least 80 000 years.
The entrance was used as a home by the San and the walls were painted with pictures of game animals. Over two hundred years ago, in 1780, a Khoi herdsman again stumbled on the entrance to the caves while searching for missing cattle.
Oudtshoorn is one of the founding homes of the Afrikaans culture and language.
The Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (translated: Klein Karoo National Arts Festival) is held each year in Oudtshoorn in honour of this rich heritage and one of the founding fathers of Afrikaans, C.J. Langenhoven .
Langenhoven's home, Arbeidsgenot, is a National Monument and an important historical stop during your visit to Oudtshoorn.
Experience the living story of Afrikaans at Arbeidsgenot:
- Learn about the history of Afrikaans.
- Learn more about the pivotal role Langenhoven played.
- Get the latest "sun-time" from Langenhoven's sun dial.
- Meet Herrie the Elephant, Langenhoven's imaginary pet elephant.
+27 (0)44 272 2968
217 Jan van Riebeeck Road, Oudtshoorn
Ma Betty's traditional Xhosa Cultural Village is situated in the impoverished township of Bongulethu.
Xhosa is South Africa's second biggest home language, behind Zulu .
Bongulethu translates to "our pride" in Xhosa.
Experience traditional Xhosa activities, culture, cuisine, dance and story-telling during a visit to the Cultural Village.
Resident women prepare authentic Xhosa meals in black iron pots on traditional open fire.
Enjoy the unique flavours of Africa through Xhosa sausage, steamed corn bread and 'samp' (thick corn porridge) made from recipes passed down through generations.
Explore traditional Xhosa healing. Traditional healers called 'Sangomas' (witchdoctors) throw bones to call healing spirits.
Xhosa women and children dance enthusiastically stomping their feet on the dusty African earth. Xhosa songs and stories carry customs in harmony on an African beat. African music and feasting can be enjoyed in the arrangement of your own traditional Xhosa wedding.
Transport to the cultural village can be arranged from the local Tourism Office. All visitors are welcome and contribute greatly to the upliftment of this Xhosa community.
+27 (0)83 597 5289 (Ma Betty Jantjies)
Bongulethu Township, Oudtshoorn
The Jewish Community of Oudtshoorn was so vast that it was named, with some degree of exaggeration "Little Jerusalem" or "Yerushalayim' beDerom Afrika" (Jerusalem of South Africa). The CP Nel Museum is the only museum in the country with a synagogue inside which is still in use.