Sunday, 27 November 2016

Cape Eagle Owls at Safari Ostrich Show Farm


The Cape eagle-owl (Bubo capensis) is a species of owl in the family Strigidae. It is one several large species of the eagle-owl genus, Bubo.
The Cape eagle-owl is nocturnal, roosting by day. They roost at Safari in our large blue gum trees. Often a male and female can be found roosting together, especially just before the breeding season.
The predominant prey for the species is mammals. These can range in size from shrews and small rodents to animals the size of hares which are heavier than the birds themselves. Other important prey can include other birds, up to the size of francolins and hamerkops. Opportunistically, the Cape eagle-owl will supplement its diet with reptilesfrogsscorpionscrabs and large insectsMole rats are locally often a favorite prey item and 1 to 3 mole rats can be taken each night during the breeding season. A pair with half-grown chicks requires about 600–750 g (1.32–1.65 lb) per night. Hunts are from prominent perches, with the owl gliding in descending flight after prey and killing them with their powerful talons or bill.
These territorial owls may exist in close proximity where populations are dense, occurring at 2.5 km2 (2,500,000 m2). The male advertises the territory by calling, with duets being rare in this species. During courtship, the male bows and hoots in front of the upright, silent female.

 Normally the Cape eagle-owl breeds every year, but may breed in alternate years. Usually 2 (rare 1 or 3) white eggs are laid, measuring 5.2–5.7 cm (2.0–2.2 in) x 4.3–4.8 cm (1.7–1.9 in) and weighing 62 g (2.2 oz), at 2 day intervals. The female incubates for 34 to 38 days, while the male feeds her. The young hatch at intervals of up to 4 days. New hatchlings weigh 42–51 g (1.5–1.8 oz), then weigh 500 g (1.1 lb) at 20 days and are nearly adult size by 40 days. The female broods the chicks, feeding them with small piece of meat brought by the males. At 11–13 days old, the chicks sprout buff down from the mesoptile plumage. Although at times of plenty, all chicks may survive, usually the second, smaller chick dies from starvation. By 17 days, the female occasionally leaves the nest but still roosts near the young. By 3 to 4 weeks, the mother stops coming to the nest but still roosts with the young. If the nesting site permits, the young start walking away from the nest at around 45 days old and can fly well by 70–77 days. The young are cared for a total of 6 months and reach sexual maturity the following year.
source wikipedia

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Honeybush Tea sold at Safari Ostrich Farm

The Honeybush is part of the unique fynbos biome. This amazing plant grows wild in the
Western and Eastern Cape.

Farmers have also begun planting it as a crop to harvest.

This tea has unique health benefits including:

  • caffeine free
  • Lower tannin content than black tea
  • Anti oxidant
  • Helps to protect against cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
Give this tea a try at Safari Ostrich Show Farm.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Wanna win a genuine ostrich wallet?

Safari Ostrich Farm turns 60 this year.   We are running a Facebook competition.
To win all you need to do is
Like our page, post your favourite picture of your Safari Ostrich Farm experience on our facebook page and share it with your friends.
Easy don't you think.
You could win a mens or ladies ostrich leather wallet to the value of R800. We will send it to the winner, wherever they may be.
Lucky draw at the end of November 2016.

T&C's applyImage result for win cartoon pics

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Learn more about the handcrafted beer available at Safari Ostrich Farm

Hops into Handcrafted Beer









While the hop plant, Humulus lupulus, has its origins in Northern Europe, we in South Africa has been farming with hops successfully for the last 80 years.  Hops are one of the key ingredients in beer, bringing aroma and flavour as well as preservative qualities. Hops contain alpha acids, which give beer its bitter taste. 
Hops were first introduced to South Africa in the 1650’s. Jan van Riebeeck planted the first hops garden at the Cape and in 1658 the first beer was brewed and only a year or two later the first wine was produced.
By developing our own cultivars in South Africa we are able to breed specific varieties suited to our climate. Our location and disease-free status attracts international interest.  Hops breeds like Southern Star, Southern Promise and Southern Dawn to name only few.






 
Hops are predominantly grown in the northern hemisphere between latitudes of 40 & 50° north. This climate typically comprises freezing winters and very long summer days. In South Africa all our hops are grown in the George area, which lies 34° south of the equator. The area’s mild temperatures, little frost and reasonable amount of rain suit the plant well.
Microbreweries in South Africa have evolved from a hobby into a countrywide trend that only grow year on year. At present there are over 60 microbrewers around the country turning hops, malt, yeast and water into beer.

Currently the Western Cape leads the movement of real beer, being beer that’s naturally brewed using artisan methods and with no chemical or artificial additives.  Microbreweries like Robertson Beer, Mitchell’s Brewery, Jack Black Beer to only name a few have a wide menu range.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

60th Birthday Special


Safari Ostrich Farm is 60 years this October 2016.  To celebrate we are holding a 20% special discount on tour prices.  This can only be booked online on our website www.safariostrich.co.za and only be redeemed for October 2016.

Visit our website, have a look at what we offer and come enjoy the great Klein Karoo farm feeling.

                                                  entrance 60 years ago

                                                   entrance today
                                                   Book for a tour now

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

New Dining Area at Safari Ostrich Farm


Over the years Safari Ostrich Farm, Oudtshoorn, consistently strives to make positive changes. This year we have focused on our outer dining area and boutique shop. The outer dining area has always been shaded awnings.  While enjoyed by our clients throughout the year the challenge has been rainy days and those excessive hot summer days.  

    

Our solution is to have built a new structure at Safari Ostrich Farm without losing our farm feel.  Thus far clients have enjoyed dining in our new farm style shed. Still new and getting polished




Monday, 4 July 2016

How many people does Oudtshoorn have






Many people wonder how many people live in the Oudtshoorn district. Oudtshoorn seems a small town, but stretches to the hamlets of De Rust, Volmoed and Matjiesrivier.  They are incorporated into the Greater Oudtshoorn Municipality. The municipal boundary now spans over 3535 km/sq
 Oudtshoorn was laid out in 1847 on the farm Hartebeesfontein. By 1865 there were 1145 people living in the town.
In 1891 it had risen to 4386 and by 1904 - 8849 people lived here.  The 2011 Census indicated that Oudtshoorn has 95 933 people living within its municipal boundary.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Lucerne and the honey bees at Safari Ostrich Farm


Safari Ostrich Farm has 312 hectare of Lucerne under flood irrigation.  We would not be able to produce Lucerne without the help of bees. The Lucerne produce on Safari Ostrich Farm is mostly used as food production for our ostriches.  The Lucerne of the Oudtshoorn district is also highly regarded for its nutritional value and its seed sold all over the world.  There are more than 100 known species of bees in Southern Africa.  The one that we are interested in is the honey bee or Apis mellifera. South Africa is home to two sub-species or races of honeybees which are indigenous to the country: Apis mellifera Scutellata (or “African bee”) and Apis mellifera Capensis (or “Cape bee”).  Bees pollinate most of the food you eat. Locally the indigenous honeybee is regarded as the most important pollinator of many of South Africa’s food growing crops. I the Western Cape alone, Ransom estimates about 60 000 hives are required to service the numerous deciduous fruit and seed crops in the province alone.  Interesting facts of bees are
They live in communities of between 20,000 and 80,000
Bees have 3 castes – Queen Bee (only one position); Worker Bee (all female and do all the work); Drone Bee (male layabouts only interested in food and reproduction)
Bees do different jobs depending on their age. Young bees are cleaners, baby sitters and guards.  Older bees are involved in production – fetching pollen and sap for honey.  Engineers make the honey combs. Scouts survey and map the area in which they live. Bees are able to fly upto 800 kilometers in their lifetime pollinating flowers and collecting pollen to make honey.
The next time you eat fruit, nuts, rooibos tea and vegetables, just remember that without bees it would not be possible to do so.

 Sources SABIO, Southerns beekeeping association

Friday, 13 May 2016

The Polish refugees of Oudtshoorn

When World War 2 broke out, the Soviet Union attacked and invaded Poland.  1.2 million Poles were taken to Siberian labour camps.  In 1942 750 000 were freed and allowed to cross into what was then Persia. The allied forces took pity and sent them to various safe havens across the world. On the 10th of April 1943 a group 500 Polish orphans arrived in Oudtshoorn and were housed at the army barracks.  As they were Catholic, they local Catholic community undertook to assist the orphans and intergrate them into the community.
After the war Poland fell under communist rule and most of the orphans remained in South Africa. In 1993. fifty years after arriving from Poland the group donated a copy of Poland's most valued treasure to the Cathedral in Oudtshoorn, the Black Madonna.  The original is found in the monastry of Jasna Gora in the city Czetshowa. Visit www.safariostrich.co.za for more interesting stories and offerings at Safari Ostrich Farm

Monday, 25 April 2016

New ostriches at Safari Ostrich Farm



A new addition to the Safari Ostrich Farm family, Oudtshoorn,  are 15 beautiful South African “Black “Ostriches. They are 14 months old and weigh approximately 100 – 120kg. They can be seen on the tractor tour at Safari Ostrich Farm, the only ostrich farm that offers a tractor tour through its farm.  These birds will be used for breeding and educational purposes. You can also have the opportunity to feed the ostriches in a close encounter with these magnificent birds. Visit www.safariostrich.co.za for more information on our offerings.


Sunday, 3 April 2016

How Oudtshoorn became Oudtshoorn




Oudtshoorn famous for its Ostriches is located in the Little Karroo almost 400km east of Cape Town. It was first inhabited by the San (Bushmen) who left numerous rock paintings in the Swartberg mountains.  The Swartberg is now a UNESCO natural world heritage site.

The first Europeans to find the Little Karoo was led by Ensign Shrijver who was guided there by a Griqua via an ancient elephant trail in 1689.
The first settlers arrived 100 years later on the farm Hartenbeesrivier.  The first permanent structure was a Dutch Reformed Church built in 1839 near the Grobbelars river on land donated by Cornelius Petrus Rademeyer.  The town was first known as Veldschoendorp, but was renamed Oudtshoorn  in 1847 by the magistrate of George in the memory  of Baron Pieter van Rheede van Oudtshoorn.  He was appointed as Govenor of the Cape Colony by the Dutch East India company, but died at sea in 1772 on his way to Cape town.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

10 Interesting Historical Ostrich Feather Facts

Ostrich Feather's became sort after products in Britain and Europe during the major boom periods of 1875-1880 and 1902-1914.

  1. In 1821 the Cape of Good Hope sold 1230kg of ostrich feathers for 115 590 rix dollars.
  2. In 1858 only 915kg were sold at double the price of 1821
  3. There were only 80 breeding birds in 1865 which rose to 20 000 in 1875
  4. From 1875-1880 a pair of ostriches were selling for 1000 Pounds
  5. Quality feathers cost R200 per kilogram in 1884
  6. The most famous ostrich farmer was Max Rose who arrived in 1890, within 10 years he was the unrivalled feather baron of Oudtshoorn.
  7. Double -fluff feathers were produced by the cross breeding of Barbary Ostrich and South African bloodlines.
  8. In 1913 the best double fluff feathers fetched R650 per kilogram.
  9. This earned South Africa R6 million in 1913
  10. 1914 was the final year of the feather boom, A cheque for 100 000 Pounds was honoured by a bank in 1914 for a feather merchant. A year later a cheque for 1 Pound was refused by the same bank.
By the end of the First World War there were 314 000 domesticated ostriches in South Africa, this number fell to 2000 in 1940.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Railway over the mountains from George to Oudtshoorn

The building of the railway line from George to Oudtshoorn started in December 1908 from the George side and 1911 from the Oudtshoorn side. There were 2500 workers on the line.  7 tunnels were excavated and was completed in April 1913. The cost was 465 000 Pounds. It was officially opened on 6 August 1913 by Sir David de Villiers Graaff.





 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

The amazing bio diverstity of the Klein Karoo

Did you know the Klein Karoo has 4500 species of plant that occur now where else on the planet?
It has 3 internationally recognised biodiversity hotspots and to aquire recognition for a biodiversity hotspot you need at least 1500 endemic species.
The hotspots are
1 Valley thicket - shrubs,trees and climbers. This is an important corridor for wildlife, its food and has a large population of invertebrates.
2. Succulent Karoo, pretty much what you see when driving around the Klein Karoo. The "fat" plants on the side of the road you see. There are over 6000 plant species spread into the Northern Cape and Namibia. Around half are endemic to South Africa
3. Fynbos - higher up the mountains these fine leafed shrubs and restio reeds are amongst the most threatened plant species in South Africa
source, sa venues


Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The first car of "Die Hel" Gamkaskloof in the Swartberg Mountains

Image result for pics of first car in die helThe Valley know as Die Hel was first discovered in 1830. People that settled here were called klowers. The only contact with the outside world was via dangerous footpaths. The fastest way in or out the valley was by climbing a steep and dangerous 20km cliff path.  In 1958  4 men decided to visit the hel. They met a Mr Snyman and were invited to stay the week end. They realised that the people of the Hel had never seen a motor car and promised to bring one. The 4 men (Ben and Dirk Van Zyl, Izak Burger and Andries Van den Berg) four a 1938 Morris for R20 and 2 weeks later were on their way back to the valley. A message was sent a few days before reaching Seweweekspoort and a group of eight men and four donkeys met them to get the car down the mountain. So through ardous slopes,boulders river sand and thick bush the first car arrived in Die Hel. Within the next five years the famous Swartberg Pass began its construction which opened up Die Hel to the outside world
Image result for pics of first car in die hel


Image result for pics of first car in die hel

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Cape cobra in the klein Karoo






 The Cape Cobra is a slender, nervous cobra with a broad head and smooth dull scales The Cape Cobra's colours vary according to the region it lives. In the Klein Karoo they are yellow to a copper brown colour as they get older.  The Cape Cobra is a diurnal hunter, hunting small vertebrates that include frogs,birds,mice and other snakes.  The venom is highly toxic.  The Cape Cobra spreads its hood  when threatened and readies itself to strike. They lay 8-20 eggs underground in its "nest". Rather stand still when coming across this snake, it will move on when it no longer feels threatened.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Zeekoegat School project





Safari Ostrich Show Farm supports our local communities school. The Zeekoegat School Project is a non profit organisation that provides meals, additional teaching staff, uniforms, educational material and a better educational environment for the children of the Welgeluk District outside of Oudtshoorn. If you would like to get involved and assist with a donation, contact Vanessa at Safari Ostrich Farm, 044 2727311 or safariostrich@gmail.com. The website is www.zeekoegatschoolproject.co.za

Thursday, 14 January 2016

How to build an easy wormery





Watch this easy to make wormery. You can use your kitchen scraps and create a whole new ecosystem with your worms.  They will turn it into awesome compost that you can use in your garden

Wednesday, 13 January 2016