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…
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Where You'll Also Find Us
Arniston (Waenhuiskrans) • Barrydale • Baviaanskloof • Betty's Bay • Bonnievale • Bredasdorp • Caledon • Calitzdorp • Cape Agulhas & Struisbaai • Cape Peninsula & Surrounds • Ceres • Citrusdal • Clanwilliam & Cederberg • Darling • De Rust • Elands Bay • Gansbaai • George • Grabouw & Elgin Valley • Greyton • Hermanus • Hogsback • Knysna • Ladismith • Malgas • Matjiesfontein • McGregor • Montagu • Mossel Bay • Napier • Oudtshoorn • Paarl • Plettenberg Bay • Porterville • Pringle Bay, Betty's Bay and Kleinmond • Riebeek West & Riebeek-Kasteel • Robertson • St Helena Bay • Stanford • Stilbaai • Sutherland • Swellendam • Tulbagh • Velddrif • Vermaaklikheid • Wellington • Wilderness • Worcester & Hex Valley • Yzerfontein