Oudtshoorn's CP Nel Museum owes its origin to a local businessman who collected historical objects and antiques, Colonel Charles Paul Leonard Nel. He bequeathed his collection to the town and in 1972 the collection was brought to its present home, the former Oudtshoorn Boy’s High School.

The prominent Clock tower was designed by Charles Bullock and erected in 1906. The building itself dates back to the “ostrich feather boom” period of between 1900 and 1914 and is regarded as Southern Africa’s finest example of stone-masonry. The Museum was declared a national monument in 1982.

The main theme of the Museum is the ostrich industry and the Ostrich Room has a series of exhibits depicting every aspect of the evolution and commercial use of ostriches. Other exhibits at the museum include geological items, stuffed birds and is the only Museum with a Synagogue inside which is still in use.

The Museum is famed for being one of the best small town museums in South Africa. It received a four-star rating in 1983 and is appreciated for its variety of beautiful displays. Today the Le Roux Town House also forms part of the CP Nel Museum. It is the only ostrich feather boom period house open to the general public.

Things to do and see

  • Synagogue
  • School Hall
  • Ostrich Room
  • Firearms display
  • 1837 Ox-wagon
  • 1848 Chain-drive Car
  • Store
  • Natural History
  • Music Room
  • Le Roux Townhouse


There is a nominal admission fee, please contact the Museum directly to confirm prices.


Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 16˚C and 32˚C with high rainfall in March and October/November.

Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 5˚C and 20˚C with the lowest rainfall in June and July.


Commercial Airlines offer flights into George Airport, 56 km away from Oudtshoorn. Car hire facilities are located at the Airports. 

Please note that the Museum is open on Sundays and Public Holidays by request only

Contact Us

CP Nel Museum
3 Baron van Rheede Street
6625 Oudtshoorn
Western CapeSouth Africa
33° 35′ 31.614″ S, 22° 12′ 6.955″ E
work: +27 44 272 7306
fax: +27 86 553 9226
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http://www.cpnelmuseum.co.za Visit Website

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Opening Hours

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Saturday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm

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