Ostrich Ride

Jockeys assist a visitor in mounting an ostrich.

An ostrich ride is one of the most exhilarating activities available on a tour of South Africa.

A ride on the backside of an African ostrich may prove the most exciting part of your tour in South Africa. Seated on the feathery hide of a 2m tall bird is one of the most unconventional modes of transport you will find, and is as thrilling as it sounds strange.

Ostriches can reach speeds of up to 70km an hour, but this adrenalin rush is limited to those participating in an ostrich derby. While ostrich derbies are not recommended for novices, if you are not afraid of a few scrapes and bruises, the experience is akin to no other. It is still important to be wary of these great birds - they can kick forward quite violently with those clawed long legs!

The Karoo town of Oudtshoorn may be the ostrich capital of South Africa, but many ostrich farms occur throughout the Western Cape. Most farms offer other activities in addition to ostrich rides, such as interacting with young chicks, feeding the ostriches and observing how feather boas are made. Ostriches are intrinsically African and magnificent to behold - an encounter will serve a highlight on any South African tour that includes the Cape or Garden Route.

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