Oudtshoorn is a town in the Western Cape province in South Africa. With 80,336 inhabitants it is the largest town in the Little Karoo region. The town is home to the World's largest Ostrich population with a number of specialized ostrich breeding farms such as the Safari Show Farm and the Highgate Ostrich Show Farm.
The area in which Oudtshoorn is situated was originally inhabited by the Bushmen, as evidenced by the many rock paintings that are found in caves throughout the surrounding Swartberg mountains.
The first European explorers of the area was a trading party led by a certain Ensign Shrijver, who were guided there by a Griqua via an ancient elephant trail in January 1689. The expedition reached as far as present-day Aberdeen before turning back and exiting the Klein Karoo valley through Attaquas Kloof on 16 March of the same year. However, it was only a hundred years later that the first farmers started settling in the region.