There’s more to Gaansbaai than just shark cage diving
Nestled along a stretch of coast called the Overberg, Gansbaai is a far cry from the hip, bustling city of Cape Town. The iconic lighthouse at Danger Point towers over a vast stretch of spectacular coastline with long, sandy beaches and offshore islands that are world renowned for great white shark cage diving.
Most visitors who arrive on great white shark cage diving tours often return to Cape Town the same day, which is a pity. As impressive as these creatures are, there is lots more to see and do in Gansbaai.
Walker Bay, situated between Gansbaai and Hermanus, boasts some of the best whale watching in the world. The bay is a spectacle in itself, a natural amphitheatre made of towering cliffs that plunge into the ocean. Southern Right and other species of whale come into the bay every year between June and December as they migrate along the South African coastline. October is the peak month for whale watching, and it’s not uncommon to see up to 30 whales close to the shoreline around Gansbaai on any given day.
Along with the sharks and whales, nearby Dyer Island is home to thousands of seals and there are abundant fish, soft corals and numerous shipwrecks for the avid diver. It’s hard not to get distracted by all these marine attractions, but you won’t be disappointed on land either.
Gansbaai boasts a number of incredible nature reserves – like Flower Valley and Grootbos Nature Reserve – that are home to a wide variety of fynbos and other endemic species. They also hold a number of spectacular hikes for the hiking enthusiast. The seven-kilometre Klipgat trail is a highlight, winding its way along the coast from Gansbaai harbour, past De Kelders and ending at the Klipgat cave.
Speaking of De Kelders, don’t miss out on these spectacular cliffs and caves that burrow deep into the coastal cliffs, or the dense milkwood forest trail that meanders through the conservation area. De Kelders is also a fantastic place for whale watching, and is less touristy than nearby Walker Bay. If you prefer taking in the scenery via pedal power, you’re in luck. There are a number of excellent mountain biking trails in the area.
Once night falls, there’s no need to rush back to Cape Town. Gansbaai offers a number of fantastic accommodation options, from B&Bs to self-catering cottages on the beach, where the sound of the waves will lull you to sleep in this low-key seashore paradise.
Best experience August, 2019
Sharky waters... August, 2019