Day 5 : Prince Alfred Pass and Oudsthoorn
Drive Time : 3 hours +
Leave Storms River/Nature’s Valley along the N2, remembering that today, you’re on the way back to Cape Town, so follow signs for Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.
Turn right on to the R340 towards Uniondale and head over the Prince Alfred pass (not to be confused with a Prince Alfred Village, in the Western Cape, if you’re using a GPS!)
From Uniondale, you can take the N9 to Oudtshoorn (or, for a longer drive, take the R339 and then R341 to De Rust. From there, take the N12 to Oudtshoorn).
You travel through the Prince Alfred Pass from Storms River to reach Oudtshoorn, so today is quite a drive. If you’re not in the mood for the mountain pass, skip it and just take the N2 and then the N12 to Oudtshoorn. Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world: every aspect of the bird is farmed and used here from the eggs to the meat to the features and even the bones. The whole area is much dryer and more mountainous than the coast but it’s a land of exceptional contrasts and natural beauty.
The region is home to the spectacular Cango Caves, Africa's largest cave system.
It also has three distinct plant biomes (succulent karoo, cape thicket and fynbos) and the Swartberg mountain range is part of the Cape Floral World Heritage Site. It’s a surprisingly large town considering its remoteness but it doesn’t have the sophistication of towns closer to the Cape and the coast: be prepared for very amiable people (most of whom will speak some English but Afrikaans in the main) and a great welcome but not a lot of superb food and wine (in comparison to what you can get elsewhere in the Western Cape).
Places to Stay :
Tel : 044 272 7516
La Plume is a working ostrich, vine, cattle and alfalfa farm and a tour with owner Bartel, by prior arrangement, to see first hand the activities on a commercial farm is a must for anyone visiting the Klein Karoo! There’s bird watching among fynbos and rare succulents. You can also visit the world’s only meerkat conservation program where you can walk with these little “earth people” and be at one with nature.