Monday, 26 October 2015

Healthy Ostrich steaks, great for a braai

Ostrich is one of the healthiest types of meat you can eat.  Its great on a braai (bbq) and tastes superb. Ostrich is low in cholesterol and has very little fat in the meat.  Its is sold in different parts of the world especially European countries.  Be sure the next time you think of enjoying something different try ostrich. Visit

Monday, 12 October 2015

Klein Karoo splendour

The Klein Karoo transforms itself each year in spring after the winter rain has fallen. The normally arid landscape is awash with purple,yellow,white and other beautiful colors.  The vygies of the Mesemb family create carpets of color. They include Showy Lampranthus and Collared Ruschia have superb purple flowers whilst the Scarlet Dew Flowers create a pretty red flowers  Along the roadside motorists can see the Chinese Lanterns - endemic to this region - flowering in abundance with their lovely lanterns hanging from their branches. From the tiny Stoneflowers and Horseshoes to the largerAloes. The Klein Karoo has many interesting a pretty plant that flower magnificently during September and early October.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

The story of the Barbary Ostrich

Safari Ostrich Show Farm
The story of the Barbary ostrich

Steam boat – 1911

In 1911 a party led by Russel W Thornton, for the South African government, set out on an expedition to find the Barbary ostrich what was found in middle and West Africa regions.  Their goal was to catch breeding pairs of Barbary ostriches and bring them back to South African ostrich farmers in the Oudtshoorn area.  Oudtshoorn area was first farmers to domesticate ostriches in 1863.  Thornton and his party were to find the feather caravans and the right type of feathers. It was a long and difficult rout with train, steam boat and camel caravans inland in Northern Africa.  They found what they were looking for and the sellers were Arabs from Timbuktu.  The ostrich lived in French territory and hundreds of miles away from any inhabited land.
Plugged Barbary Ostriches transported in 1911
Thornton received permission from the South African government to proceed in bringing the Barbary ostrich back to South Africa. The team have to wait months for the approval from the government and were allowed to spend seven thousand pounds to buy 150 Barbary ostriches. The French however banned export of live birds from their territory.
The explorers proceeded into the prohibited lands, pursued by French spies. The explorers divided into 3 groups and buy bales of worthless feathers to put the French spies of their scent.  The Thornton party bought 156 Barbary ostriches and porters had to carry the birds for thousands of miles to Lagos. From Lagos they had to travel another three thousand miles to Cape Town.  Arriving in Cape Town 140 ostriches survived.

Loading ostrich in Lagos

The George White - The Best Ostrich Feathers in the World

The ostriches you may see along the road in Oudtshoorn have an interesting story to tell.
The ostriches used in large scale farming stem from the cross breeding of the indigenous South African ostrich and the blue necked Barbary ostrich from North African.  141 Barbary Ostriches were smuggled out of North Africa and brought to Oudtshoorn by RW Thornton on 20 September 1911. By doing this Oudtshoorn eventually controlled the world market for ostrich feathers in this period.  Farmers became know as Feather Barons due to the wealth that was created.
The most famous of all Ostrich Feathers are known as the George White ostrich feather. In 1913 a farmer by the name of George White spotted some beautiful looking ostriches in the East London zoo. Regard by many as one of the best ostrich breeders of all time George White negotiated with the zoo to buy one.  He transported it back to his farm in Grahamstown and began to cross breed with his own bloodlines.  This produced the best and most famous of all feathers. The George White. A very dense feather with magnificent curls that will fetch around R10 000 per kilogram today. 

There are very few ostriches from the George White bloodline left today.  One such farmer who still farms with them is Ockie Olivier from the Welgeluk Ostrich Farm outside Oudtshoorn.  His uncle was a friend of George White and in 1942 George White gave his uncle some of these special birds as a gift.
The George White feather is also known as the miracle feather as it is almost flawless. So the next time you see ostriches along the road just think of the 141 ostriches from 1911 and the famous George White.
Visit for more info on ostriches and all we have to offer.