Gansbaai (Goose Bay) is a town in the Overberg region, Western Cape, South Africa. By road it is 165 km southeast of Cape Town.
Gansbaai developed around a fresh water fountain frequented by wild geese. Later a harbour was built around the fountain and a (now abolished) whaling station was erected in De Kelders, just outside of town. Gansbaai is a quaint little fishing village that bloomed into the Great White Capital of the World. The bountiful landscapes and oceans around gives way to a multitude of outdoor activities and spectacular views to behold. Also, who can forget the two celebrities that lend Gansbaai the name Big 2 Town, the graceful Southern Right Whales and the famous Great White Sharks.
phone: +27 72 291-5564, +27 82 626-9037address: middle of Main St
From Cape Town, follow the N2 in the direction of Hermanus then take the R43 turnoff and follow that route until you come reach Gansbaai, about two hours driving time.
At the tip of Danger Point Peninsula is the Danger Point Lighthouse. Just a mile offshore is the Birkenhead Rock, place of doom of the HMS Birkenhead which wrecked in clear view of the coast with the loss of many lives of young English soldiers on their way to fight the Zulus.
The hinterland of Danger-Point-Peninsula is a mosaic of different habitats of the remarkable Cape Floral Kingdom ("fynbos"), ancient indigenous forest, agricultural lands, vineyards, flower-farms and rural communities. Many of these places can be visited. Experienced guides are available to take you to the highest mountain peaks or the deepest riverine gorges. Though there are many nature parks and reserves in the greater area, several animals, among which 6 antelope species, roam freely and the abundance of different bird species is due to a plethora of different landscapes.
The small seaside village of Franskraal has one of the quaintest museums in the country. An original "Strandveld-house" immediately on the sea harbors a special collection about the history of the area.
Baardskeerdersbos can easily be missed when passing this rural hamlet on the road from Gansbaai to Elim; it has only a small number of houses. It has however a magnificent position in the Boesmansriver-valley nestled in between fynbos-clad hills.
The neighboring village of Elim is an old Moravian mission station, established to function as a refuge for Khoi-people (the indigenous inhabitants of the Western Cape) in the 18th century. Visiting Elim is almost a time travel to the 19th century. There is a monumental church, a working water-mill and the only monument to celebrate the abolition of slavery in South Africa.
Gansbaai is world-renowned for great white shark cage diving, with peak times running from June to August.
phone: +27 83 300-2138address: KleinbaaiJoin Brian McFarlane on his boat - Apex Predator - on a face to face experience with the ultimate hunter, the great white shark. They offer cage diving, no previous experience needed, and surface viewing in the area surrounding Dyer Island, host to one of the densest populations of great white sharks in the world. You'll have a chance to see great white sharks, penguins, dolphins, whales, seals and a variety of marine birds.
Shark Diving UnlimitedShark cage diving
Walker Bay Nature Reserveaddress: just outside De KeldersHike the Klipgat trail and Visit de Klipgat cave.
Flower Valley TrustAn empowerment farm initiayed by UNESCO and a pilot project of the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative for sustainable harvesting of fynbos for the cut-flower industry.
Guided horse trails & treksGuided nature horse trails can be enjoyed along the coast of the Walker Bay and in the mountains behind Gansbaai. African Horse Company
Guided botanical walksaddress: Heidehof and Farm 215In the hinterland of Gansbaai, guided botanical walks through pristine "fynbos" (the indigenous and colorful vegetation of the unique Cape Floral Kingdom).
4x4 trails4x4 trails with a clear emphasis on the local nature (fynbos and indigenous forest) are organised in the Franskraal Mountains, accumulating with a rest on the "Aasvoelkop" (Vulture-peak) with stunning views over the Agulhas Plains and the Uilkraals-estuary.
phone: +27 28 388-0551address: Grootbos RdTractor ride through the fynbos in the picturesque Mt Dyer Reserve, or take a pub crawl to the hamlet of Baardskeerdersbos. The tractor takes up to 30 people, so this is perfect for birthdays, family outings or just a good day out with friends.
phone: +27 87 724-8341address: Geelbek Street, Van Dyks Bay, 7220The African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary (APSS) is a Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) project based in Gansbaai. A state of the art facility, designed and built by passionate experts, that strives to provide local marine avian species with a local rehabilitative center where injured, diseased or distressed birds can be treated and rehabilitated. Although the facility was purpose built for rehabilitation of marine birds, it also caters for creating awareness around the perils marine birds face out in the wild.
phone: +27 082 380 3405address: 5 Geelbek StreetShark cage diving experience. The onboard marine biologist will educate guests on all the marine life encountered while out at sea.
phone: +2782 801 8014address: 5 Geelbek StreetJoin Dyer Island Cruises for a Marine Big 5 trip and experience the ocean's marine big 5 - seals, sharks, penguins, dolphins and whales. The on board marine biologist will educate guests on all the marine life encountered while out at sea.
Baardies Food Wine Artphone: +27 73 210-6125address: 33 Main St, BaardskeerdersbosBaardies is an informal but stylish restaurant venue where one can enjoy food, wine and art, and tranquil views of the Baardskeerdersbos valley
There are various places in Main Street in Gansbaai, but one could also have a sunset-drink overlooking the harbour watching the fishing boats come home or on top of the cliffs in De Kelders watching the whales prepare for the night.
The Danger Point Peninsula area has strangely enough not developed a vast tourism infrastructure. There are no hotels or resorts and - contrary to Hermanus on the other side of Walker Bay - the total amount of beds in the area is restricted. Yet there are some lodges, guesthouse and nature reserves, spread around Gansbaai, offering comfortable to luxury accommodation.
Farm 215Private and secluded 4-star place in a fynbos reserve of 800 ha with sweeping views over the Agulhas Plains to the ocean. 2 rooms, 3 freestanding fynbos suites, 1 family house. All meals of the day.
phone: +27 28 388-0551Affordable farm-accommodation for groups of up to 85 in very tranquil fybos surroundings. De Uijlenes offeres tractor rides also for up to 30 people.
Klein PardijsA country house set amidst old milkwood trees with self-catering cottages. 5 rooms, 5 cottages, all meals of the day.
Aire del Mar GuesthouseA friendly place with 5 rooms and 4 self catering units.
Whale Song LodgeA modern and relaxed guesthouse with 4 contemporary rooms and 1 suite, all with sea views. Dinner served.
Cliff LodgeB&B, a stylish and intimate guesthouse with four luxury rooms and one suite all with seaview.
phone: +27 28 384-8053An upmarket 5-star lodge in a 1700-ha private nature reserve overlooking the Walker Bay. The lodge is between Hermanus and Gansbaai and provides an excellent retreat for travellers looking for luxury accommodation in the Overberg area.
phone: +27 28 384-1309address: 81 Main rd, De Kelders, (Gansbaai)A modern, small and intimate B&B in the peaceful village of De Kelders.
- You can leave the Gansbaai are in easterly direction to Bredasdorp and from there to Swellendam and onwards to the Garden Route or the Karoo.
- More to the east is Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of the African continent and the meeting place of Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. The newly established Agulhas National Park, stretching from Agulhas in the east to Buffeljagsbaai in the west is a sanctuary for several rare and endangered species of the Cape Floristic Region and the future home of all the animals that once roamed the Agulhas Plains, "the Serengeti of the Western Cape".
- The Victorian village of Stanford lies 24 km from Gansbaai in the direction of Hermanus. Located on the Klein River estuary, it is a birding hotspot of fame with over 300 different species.