Experience The Proud And Rich Culture Of The Klein Karoo
Ma Betty’s Xhosa Cultural Experience
Bongolethu, means – our pride – and in the Bongolethu Township of Oudtshoorn, Ma Betty Jantjies runs an authentic Xhosa village where you can truly experience the Xhosa culture. The women are eager to share their culture and traditional activities with visitors and talk to them about the preservation of their culture. Enjoy a meal prepared by Ma Betty according to old Xhosa traditions. Entertainment is also offered in the form of energetic dancing and stories told by a traditional healer (Sangoma) with Xhosa singing.
Find out more about Ma Betty’s Xhosa cultural experience.
Day and evening tours by minibus (or your own transport) through one of the safest townships in the country. Meet the locals, some of the warmest people you will ever get to meet. See the local handicrafts, visit a genuine shebeen, be entertained by local cultures and end with a traditional meal. A shebeen is an “illicit bar”.
C.P. NEL MUSEUM:
The Museum owes its origin to the private collection of Colonel Charles Paul Nel, who was a successful businessman and a collector of antiquities. In 1972 the collection was brought to its present home – the former Oudtshoorn Boys’ High School. As a result of this, the historic sandstone building, with its beautiful clock tower, was saved from demolition and in 1981 was declared a National Monument.
The museum is essentially cultural-historical in nature and endeavours to collect, preserve, research and exhibit the unique heritage of Oudtshoorn and the Klein Karoo. A unique feature of the museum is that it has a full synogoue inside that is still in use today. A large jewish community, primarily from Lithuania, immigrated to Oudtshoorn (1881 – 1890) and played a large role in the worldwide marketing of ostrich feathers.
The museum is open Monday – Saturday at 9:00 – 17:00.
Visit the C.P. Nel Museum website.
LE ROUX TOWNHOUSE – GRACIOUS OPULENCE:
In earlier years, many South African farmers had a townhouse (dorpshuis) in the nearest town to make overnight or longer stays possible. These townhouses were purely functional. But the Le Roux Townhouse – which now forms part of the C.P. Nel Museum-complex – was different. It was built in 1909, in the midst of the second Ostrich Feather Boom (1900 – 1914) and money was no object. It was designed by one of Oudtshoorn’s best-known architects, with the most modern innovations, and built with the best of imported and local materials.
It is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 17:00
Read more about the Le Roux Townhouse.
Oudtshoorn is one of the homes of the Afrikaans language and culture. The town’s most famous resident Cornelius Jacobus Langenhoven (1873 – 1931) is considered to be the father of Afrikaans. By 1914, he became a member of parliament where he fought to have Afrikaans recognised as a national language. He was a prodigious writer and authored important literature.
Arbeidsgenot is Langenhoven’s home and is a national monument. Oudtshoorn is die werkswinkel waar Afrikaans gevorm is en waar “Die Stem van Suid-Afrika” uit die hart en pen van C.J. Langenhoven verrys het.
Translated: Arbeidsgenot Oudtshoorn is the workshop where Afrikaans was formed and where “The Voice of South Africa” poured from the heart and pen of C.J. Langenhoven (this was the previous South African national anthem).
Museum is open Monday – Friday 9:30 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 17:00. Visits can be arranged on Saturday on request.
Visit the C.J Langenhoven’s website.
Additional information on Oudtshoorn Information website.