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Ostriches and caves in South Africa's Klein Karoo region

Two ostrich-feather booms, during 1865–1870 and 1900–1914, truly established Oudtshoorn and were the engine of the local economy; the town's growth was initially constrained by the limited supply of water in the area

Two ostrich-feather booms, during 1865–1870 and 1900–1914, truly established Oudtshoorn and were the engine of the local economy; the town's growth was initially constrained by the limited supply of water in the area

Lee volunteered for this ostrich massage; it made for a fun photo op and at least the ostriches didn't have long black tongues like the giraffes in Nairobi

Lee volunteered for this ostrich massage; it made for a fun photo op and at least the ostriches didn't have long black tongues like the giraffes in Nairobi

I had never seen baby ostriches before; Oudtshoorn is home to the world's largest ostrich population, with a number of specialized ostrich breeding farms such as the one we visited

I had never seen baby ostriches before; Oudtshoorn is home to the world's largest ostrich population, with a number of specialized ostrich breeding farms such as the one we visited

The Cango Caves were discovered in modern times in 1780 by a local farmer; today you can only visit the caves as part of a guided tour which was pretty entertaining

The Cango Caves were discovered in modern times in 1780 by a local farmer; today you can only visit the caves as part of a guided tour which was pretty entertaining

The Cango Caves didn't compare to Carlsbad Caverns but did make for a nice stop; some of the chambers were quite large with more being discovered as explorers continue to map the system

The Cango Caves didn't compare to Carlsbad Caverns but did make for a nice stop; some of the chambers were quite large with more being discovered as explorers continue to map the system

The Cango Caves are one of South Africa's finest, best known, and most popular tourist caves; the chambers extend more than 2.5 miles but only 25% i open to the public

The Cango Caves are one of South Africa's finest, best known, and most popular tourist caves; the chambers extend more than 2.5 miles but only 25% is open to the public

We learned so much about ostriches during our visit to the ostrich breeding farm; they had an elaborate set-up to incubate the eggs and you could even stand on a ostrich egg without it breaking

We learned so much about ostriches during our visit to the ostrich breeding farm; they had an elaborate set-up to incubate the eggs and you could even stand on a ostrich egg without it breaking

Stoffie was the friendly 13 year old dwarf ostrich at the farm we visited; dwarf ostriches are extremely rare and can't survive in the wild because they can't run fast or protect themselves like normal ostriches

Stoffie was the friendly 13 year old dwarf ostrich at the farm we visited; dwarf ostriches are extremely rare and can't survive in the wild because they can't run fast or protect themselves like normal ostriches

The sausage tree grows a fruit that is up to 2 feet long, weighs about 15 pounds, and looks like a sausage (I think they look more like potatoes); the fresh fruit is poisonous but it can be cooked

The sausage tree grows a fruit that is up to 2 feet long, weighs about 15 pounds, and looks like a sausage (I think they look more like potatoes); the fresh fruit is poisonous but it can be cooked

There were so many strange items in the grocery stores (even more at the informal food stalls on the street); if I baked bread it would probably look like this charcoal panini bread!

There were so many strange items in the grocery stores (even more at the informal food stalls on the street); if I baked bread it would probably look like this charcoal panini bread!

Feathers were the rage in the early 1900s and the local farms still supply them for Rio Carnival and the fashion houses of Paris; surprisingly, the feathers are more valuable now than ostrich meat

Feathers were the rage in the early 1900s and the local farms still supply them for Rio Carnival and the fashion houses of Paris; surprisingly, the feathers are more valuable now than ostrich meat

This ostrich is actually smiling but they don't have any teeth; I fed her and she would occasionally peck my hand with a hard bite but without teeth it did no damage

This ostrich is actually smiling but they don't have any teeth; I fed her and she would occasionally peck my hand with a hard bite but without teeth it did no damage

Male African masked weavers have several female partners and build a succession of nests, typically 25 each season; these colorful birds typically build their nests in trees over water

Male African masked weavers have several female partners and build a succession of nests, typically 25 each season; these colorful birds typically build their nests in trees over water

The traditional Dutch houses here reminded me of the Heights in Houston; the town of 60,000 is best known as being the ostrich capital of the world

The traditional Dutch houses here reminded me of the Heights in Houston; the town of 60,000 is best known as being the ostrich capital of the world

Posted by VagabondCowboy 21:51

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