Tourism, Cars, Traffic

Wednesday, 28 August 2013 17:23

Highgate, Oudtshoorn’s original ostrich show farm, re-launched with new owners

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Highgate, the world’s oldest ostrich show farm, is re-opening under new ownership and will provide visitors with a whole new authentic ostrich experience. The opening day event on 14 September 2013, will highlight the exciting new features of the expanded tour.

Viljee Keller, one of the new owners, said “When my brother Johan and I agreed to take over Highgate from the Hoopers, it was like preserving a heritage. Our two families have been friends and neighbours since 1887, when the Kellers and the Hoopers bought the land that became the two farms Highgate and Steyldrift. It is a privilege for us to now acquire Highgate and take it to new horizons.”

The Keller family have been in the ostrich business for centuries. Today they are involved right from the farming of ostriches and eggs to the final production of feathers, leather, egg shells, and meat products. They produce about sixteen thousand chicks and supply the market with eight to ten thousand ostriches per year. The current Keller farms cover four thousand hectares, where they also farm alfalfa, making them self-sufficient in feeding their birds.

“We’re bringing this whole ostrich farming value chain to the new Highgate show farm experience,” said Keller. “Visitors to Highgate will now experience the production of feather products such as boas and feather dusters, the colouring of the feathers, and the decoupaging of egg shells. The tannery process of the leather and the processing of the ostrich meat will also be explained. And of course the famous Highgate curio shop is well stocked with everything a tourist could want.”

The new tour continues to provide the Kodak-moment essentials: One thousand ostrich chicks, baby ostriches hatching in the incubator, the opportunity for guests to sit on and ride an ostrich, and the chance to emulate David Attenborough and stand on an egg in the nest!

“The races have always been a big favourite at Highgate, and they are back in action!” said Keller. “There’s a lot of fun and laughter on the Highgate tour, and plenty of photo opportunities to make your Facebook friends smile. And if you just want to kick back with a meal and a drink while you look out at the spectacular Swartberg mountain vista, our restaurant is open all day. There’s plenty of accommodation too, at the neighbouring four-star guesthouses Mooiplaas and De Denne. So if you’re interested in the Klein Karoo, why wouldn’t you make the new Highgate experience the starting point of your adventure?”

About Highgate Ostrich Show Farm 

Highgate has been farming ostriches since the 18th century, and, since 1938, is the world’s first ostrich show farm. Highgate’s generations of experience in tourism, couple with the authentic commercial ostrich business expertise of the Keller family, provide a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors from all over the world. Tours can be conducted in most common languages.

Published in Tourism, Cars, Traffic


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