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Gansbaai Snapshot

For a town synonymous with adrenaline and the great white shark, Gansbaai is a tad desolate. Not that this has stopped migrating Gautengers from buying homes and setting up shop – over the past few years, the number of businesses has exploded, the local council has employed its first traffic cops, and come Sunday the NG Kerk is so jam-packed you can’t see the dominee. While Gansbaai itself may be nondescript, the jagged coastline extending from De Kelders to Pearly Beach has both beauty and a haunting past. It is a long, fairly undeveloped stretch of coastal fynbos, rocky coves, abundant marine life, facebrick holiday homes and sad shipwrecks.

Things To Do

  • Visit Danger Point Lighthouse and spare a thought for the many lives lost along this brutal coastline. At low tide, the infamous Birkenhead Rock stands visible a kilometre or so out to sea – Nature giving Man the symbolic middle finger?
     
  • For safe swimming, Stanford’s Cove, Pearly Beach and Uilenskraalmond are the best options. Pearly Beach, in particular, is made for long walks.
     
  • Locals will argue that Gansbaai has more whales than Hermanus. The best place and time to prove this is on the rocky cliffs above De Kelders, from June to November.
     
  • De Kelders is also famous for its caves, where Stone Age archaeological deposits have been discovered.
     
  • Q: What has two legs and an arm? A: A Gansbaai great white. Hee, hee! You too can pay to be human bait on a great white shark tour to Dyers Island. En route to “Shark Alley”, you will have the opportunity to see Jackass penguins, Cape fur seals, a diverse bird population and your life, pass before you. Actually, if truth be told, shark diving is a low risk activity and a unique opportunity to get a close-up view of these fascinating creatures from the safety of a reinforced steel cage. Google Gansbaai Tourism to put you in touch with one of several operators vying for your custom.
     
  • The Duiwelsgat hiking trail is a pleasant 7km coastal meander between Gansbaai and De Kelders.
     
  • We hear that Gansbaai has been trying to break away from its image as a great white macho hangout, and ex-shark operators might soon be kneeling in heather explaining the botanical intricacies of cross-pollination. Watch this space…
Getaways in and around Gansbaai
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From
R150pp

The Fisherman's Cottage

Gansbaai, Western Cape

Holiday house along the Pearly Beach seafront (200m from the water) - in Pearly Beach (20km from Gansbaai)

The Fisherman's Cottage is a neat  abode set a mere 200m from the crashing waves at Pearly Beach - a smallish holiday enclave 20km up the way from Gansbaai.  Best thing about Fisherman's ar...

From
R200pp

Fountainbush Cottage

Gansbaai, Western Cape

A rural-modern farm cottage with a private dam - 13km from Gansbaai and Stanford

Here’s a new Overberg getaway that has "Take me!" splashed all over it. With attention to simple detail, a decent price tag, plenty of farm action for the kids, oodles of comfort for the folks,...

From
R250pp

Klein Paradijs

Gansbaai, Western Cape

Farm near Pearly Beach with five rustic cottages (and an upmarket guesthouse) - 21km from Gansbaai

Q: What’s the quickest way of getting the Swiss flying squad to your house? A: Forget to take a library book back on time. Corny jokes aside, if the owners are Swiss you can bet the ...

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