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'''Gansbaai''' is a town on Danger Point Peninsula in [[the Overberg]], the most southern region of the African continent, 200 km from Cape Town in the Western Cape.
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{{style}}
[[image:walkerbay1.jpg|thumb|view from De Kelders over Walker Bay]]
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Gansbaai (“Goose Bay”) on Walker Bay 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 an unpretentious fishing town. The harbour, where the fishing boats come and go and the fishmeal-factory now and than creates the typical “Gansbaai-smell”, is still the active centre-point of Gansbaai. Gansbaai itself is the centre-point of Dangerpoint Peninsula. This is where you get your petrol, find the banks, the shops and medical assistance.
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The people of Danger-Point–Peninsula are unpretentious, dynamic, welcoming, proud and –at times- all too real. Danger-Point-Peninsula is South-Africa in its truest form. In the working fishing village of Gansbaai, the fishermen still have the same sur-names as more than a century ago; in the rural hinterland the knowledge of the medicinal value of the different local plants is derived from ancient Khoisan ancestry; in Masakhane a vibrant community is tightly connected on the basis of old customs, yet firmly rooted in a modern society. [[Image:gansbaaiharbour.jpg|thumb|gansbaai harbour]]
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[[Image:view1.jpg|thumb|Fynbos covered slopes]]
  
Danger-Point-Peninsula has a raw and rich history. This is reflected in gruesome yet stunning stories of the many famous ships that wrecked in the area, living on today amongst the local descendants of the ship-wreck survivors and earliest residents as living proof of an intriguing melting-pot. Original homesteads on historical farm-lands show a surprising finesse in architecture in an area that was more or less isolated from the rest of the Cape until recently. This isolation is perhaps a reason for the many ghost stories going on in and around Danger-Point-Peninsula, though many residents will vehemently deny that these are just stories. Logically perhaps, since the coast between Danger-Point and the southern-most tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas, is one of the favourite hang-outs of the most famous ghost of all days: The Flying Dutchman. [[Image:Lipariasplendens.jpg|thumb|view on the lake of Kraaiboschdam and the mountains behind gansbaai]]
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'''Gansbaai''' (''Goose Bay'') [http://www.gansbaaiinfo.com] is a town in the [[Overberg]] region, Western Cape, South Africa. By road it is 165 km South East of Cape Town.
  
 +
==Understand==
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[[Image:gansbaaiharbour.jpg|thumb|Gansbaai harbour]]
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 +
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 an unpretentious fishing town. The harbour, where the fishing boats come and go and the fishmeal-factory now and than creates the typical “Gansbaai-smell”, is still the active centre-point of Gansbaai.
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* [http://gansbaai.news.com  Gansbaai News]
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* <listing name="Tourism Office" address="middle of Main street" phone="+27 (0)72 291-5564 or +27 (0)82 626-9037" email="" fax="" hours="M-F 9AM-1PM & 2PM-5PM, Sa 9AM-2PM" price="" url="http://www.danger-point-peninsula.co.za"></listing>
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
Danger Point Peninsula lies exactly mid-way between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of Africa. It is a two-hour drive from Cape Town over the N2 (turn of in the direction of Hermanus and follow the R 43 until you come to Gansbaai), unless you want to meander all the way along the coast from Cape town, which will take three hours.
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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.
Whatever route you take, you’ll end up in an area historically ruled by the sea and dominated by unique nature. Unpretentious people live in the fishing town of Gansbaai and the other six villages and hamlets of Danger Point Peninsula and its hinterland.
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Meet a diverse and dynamic community in a remarkable corner of the Western Cape. [[Image:Oystercatcher1.jpg|thumb|The Black oystercatcher, a rare bird, but common along the shores of Danger Point]]
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==Get around==
 
==Get around==
The Tourism Office in the middle of Main-street in Gansbaai gladly helps you to plan your trip around the Danger Point Peninsula and its vast and undisturbed hinterland, where the original nature is still master over the land. The office is in any case open from 09.00 hrs till 13.00 hrs and from 14.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs from Monday to Friday and on Saturdays from 09.00 hrs to 14.00 hrs.
 
If you need to contact us out of office hours, you can dial one of these two numbers:
 
+27 (0) 72 29 1 55 64 (Glenda Kitley, office manager) or
 
+27 (0) 82 626 90 37 (Abraham Newman, deputy manager)or visit the official website of Gansbaai Tourism :[http://www.danger-point-peninsula.co.za tourism bureau][[Image:Proteacompacta1.jpg|thumb|fynbos, the ancient local vegetation]]
 
 
The Tourism Office in Gansbaai serves the region between De Kelders in the West (the shore-caves with one of the earliest remains of modern man) and Buffeljagsbaai in the East (an isolated shore community, bordering a famous botanical landscape with some of the rarest and most localised plant-species in the world). In between: endless beaches and rocky shoreline overlooking the waters where the Great White Shark and the Southern Right Whale have their home. “Gansbaai: Big-2-Town.”
 
From whichever direction you enter into Gansbaai, you either have the treat of passing one of our two neighbours: the old Victorian village of Stanford with its impressive “commons” in the middle of town or the moravion mission village of Elim, a unique place that for centuries has placed its mark on the vastness of the Southern Overberg and the Agulhas Plains. If you –on your way to Gansbaai- do not pass either Stanford or Elim, you came to us via some back-alley-dirt-roads, the existence whereof is hidden even to many locals. You will have hit some pot-holes but will also have had a special drive and enjoyed the most spectacular of views.
 
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
One of the oldest finding places of remains of modern man, Klipgat Cave, lies just outside De Kelders, a coastal residential area bordering Gansbaai. The cave, located in the Walker Bay Nature Reserve [http://www.capenature.org.za/index.php?fSectionId=125 Walker Bay Reserve], is accessed by an endless number of steps down. From the cave you can enjoy the same view as your early ancestors had about 80'000 years ago. [[Image:Klipgat1.jpg|thumb|Klipgat Cave]]
 
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.[http://www.npa.co.za/salato/Danger%20Point.htm Danger Point Lighthouse]
 
  
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, amongst which 6 antelope species, roam freely and the abundance of different bird species is due to a plethora of different landscapes. [[Image:view1.jpg|thumb|fynbos covered slopes]]
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{{infobox|Trivia|The coast off Gansbaai is rumored to be the favorite hang-out of the ghost ship '''The Flying Dutchman'''. If you are lucky, you may also get to see it.}}
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At the tip of Danger Point Peninsula is the Danger Point Lighthouse [http://www.npa.co.za/salato/Danger%20Point.htm]. 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, amongst 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.
 
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.
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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.
 
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 [http://www.danger-point-peninsula.co.za/elim.shtml Elim]is an old moravion 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 abolution of slavery in South Africa.
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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]].
  
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. [http://www.stanfordinfo.co.za Stanford Tourism]. [[Image:Churchbaardskeerdersbos.jpg|thumb|Description]]
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==Do==
  
More to the east is Cape Agulhas, the Southernmost point of the African continent and the meeting place of Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. [http://capeagulhas.info Cape Agulhas Tourism] 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".
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[[Image:Klipgat1.jpg|thumb|300px|Klipgat Cave]]
[http://www.sanparks.org/parks/agulhas/ Agulhas National Park]
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==Do==
 
Shark-diving boats and whale-watching boats leave from the small harbour of Kleinbaai, a coastal village on Danger-Point-Peninsula, to the best spots to see the whales or find the sharks or –onwards- to the Dyer-Island-Group, which rocks are covered with thousands of Cape fur seals and African penguins and numerous other birds. [[Image:sugarbird.jpg|thumb|the sugarbird, a fynbos-endemic]]
 
If boats are not your thing, you are a lucky person. Several easy-to-reach spots along the shores of Danger-Point-Peninsula are famous for the southern right whales hanging out, frolicking and mating just a few metres from land. Recommended boat operators : Dyer Island Cruises  [http://www.WhaleWatchSA.com whale watching tours]Shark Diving Unlimited [http://sharkdivingunlimited.com Shark cage diving][[Image:Horsetrails.jpg|thumb|Horse rides along the beach in the Walker Bay Reserve]]
 
  
Klipgat Trail is a hiking trail between Gansbaai and the Walker Bay Nature Reserve, meandering around the rocks, coves and caves of this rugged coast of "De Kelders". The trail is also the best place to see Southern Right Whales just a few meters from the shore between August and December.[[Image:Whale1.jpg|thumb|A breaching Southern Right Whale under the coast of Gansbaai]]
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* <do name="Dyer Island Cruises" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.WhaleWatchSA.com" hours="" price="">Whale watching tours</do>
  
In the hinterland of Gansbaai, guided botanical walks through pristine "fynbos" (the indigenous and colorful vegetation of the unique Cape Floral Kingdom)are offered in the private nature reserves of Heidehof and farm 215 nature retreat.  
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* <do name="Shark Diving Unlimited" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://sharkdivingunlimited.com" hours="" price="">Shark cage diving</do>
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* <do name="Walker Bay Nature Reserve" alt="" address="just outside De Kelders" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Hike the Klipgat trail and Visit de Klipgat cave.</do>
  
Guided nature horse trails can be enjoyed along the coast of the Walker Bay and in the mountains behind Gansbaai. African Horse Company : [http://www.africanhorseco.com Guided horse trails & treks]
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* <do name="Flower Valley Trust" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.flowervalley.org.za" hours="" price="">An Unesco initiated empowerment farm and a pilot project of the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative for sustainable harvesting of fynbos for the cut-flower industry.</do>
  
The shores on the eastern side of Danger Point exist out of endless and undisturbed sand-beaches, inviting for long and refreshing walks. These beaches are home to the endangered Black oyster catcher , Cape clawless otter and various other creatures.
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* <do name="Guided horse trails & treks" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.africanhorseco.com" hours="" price="">Guided nature horse trails can be enjoyed along the coast of the Walker Bay and in the mountains behind Gansbaai. African Horse Company</do>
  
4x4 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.
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* <do name="Guided botanical walks" alt="" address="Heidehof and Farm 215" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">In the hinterland of Gansbaai, guided botanical walks through pristine "fynbos" (the indigenous and colorful vegetation of the unique Cape Floral Kingdom). </do>
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* <do name="4x4 trails" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">4x4 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.</do>
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*<do name="De Uijlenes Tractor Rides" alt="" address="Grootbos Road, Gansbaai" directions="On road to Baardskeerderbos from Gansbaai" phone="+27 (0)28 3880551" url="www.deuijlenes.com" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Tractor 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.</do>
  
Visit Flower Valley, a Unesco initiated empowerment farm and a pilot project of the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative for sustainable harvesting of fynbos for the cut-flower industry. [http://www.flowervalley.org.za flower valley trust]
 
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
Gansbaai is a working fishing town and the local restaurants serve a lot of fresh fish. Gansbaai is also crayfish town, of which there is plenty to enjoy during the crayfish season. Gansbaai is also famous for its "Perlemoen" (Abelone). It is a threatened shellfish and locally considered as a culinary delight, though some people might argue it is an acquired taste. The neighbouring victorian village of Stanford has a few very good restaurants.
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Gansbaai is a working fishing town and the local restaurants serve a lot of fresh fish. Gansbaai is also crayfish town, of which there is plenty to enjoy during the crayfish season. Gansbaai is also famous for its ''Perlemoen'' (Abelone). It is a threatened shellfish and locally considered as a culinary delight, though some people might argue it is an acquired taste. The neighbouring Victorian village of Stanford has a few very good restaurants.
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*<eat name="Baardies Food Wine Art" alt="" address="33 Main Street, Baardskeerdersbos" directions="25 km outside of Gansbaai, towards Elim " phone="073 210 6125 ‎ " url="http://www.baardies.co.za" hours="9AM - 6PM" price="Reasonable" lat="-34.590556" long="19.572378">Baardies is an informal but stylish restaurant venue where one can enjoy food, wine and art, and tranquil views of the Baardskeerdersbos valley</eat>
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==Drink==
 
==Drink==
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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.
 
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.
  
 
==Sleep==
 
==Sleep==
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 ou around Gansbaai, offering comfortable to luxury accommodation.
 
  
Some selected accommodation :
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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.
  
'''Located on the R 43 from Stanford to Gansbaai:'''
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* <sleep name="Foley's Self catering" alt="" address="Gansbaai" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.gansbaai-accommodation.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="">6 fully equipped self catering units in the middle of town.</sleep>
  
''Grootbos Private Nature Reserve'', an upmarket 5-star lodge in a 1700 ha private nature reserve overlooking the spectacular Walker Bay. Over twenty cottages / all meals of the day. [http://www.grootbos.co.za Grootbos]
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* <sleep name="Mosaic Farm" alt="" address="" directions="On the Hermanus Lagoon" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.mosaicfarm.net " checkin="" checkout="" price="">A 933ha property with 4 km of lagoon shoreline looking across to a towering mountainrange. Accommodation in 10-bedded luxury African-style lodge secluded in a grove of ancient milkwood trees. Dining and functions in newly restored stone manor house, known locally as the Spookhouse. Kayaking, birding, fishing, hiking, outings to the nearby deserted beach.</sleep>
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'''On top of the rocks in De Kelders, 5 km before Gansbaai, overlooking Walker Bay''':
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''Whalesonglodge'', a modern and relaxed guesthouse with 4 contemporary rooms and 1 suite, all with sea views. Dinner served. [http://www.whalesonglodge.co.za Whalesonglodge]
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* <sleep name="Farm 215" alt="nature retreat & fynbos reserve" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.farm215.co.za" checkin="" checkout="" price="">Private 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.</sleep>
  
''Cliff Lodge'', B&B, a stylish and intimate guesthouse with four luxury rooms and one suite all with seaview. [http://www.clifflodge.co.za Clifflodge]
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* <sleep name="De Uijlenes" alt="" address="" directions="On the road from Gansbaai to Baardskeerdersbos, Elim and Cape Agulhas" phone="+27 (0)28 3880551" url="www.deuijlenes.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Affordable farm-accommodation for groups of up to 85 in very tranquil fybos surroundings. De Uijlenes offeres tractor rides also for up to 30 people.</sleep>
  
'''In Gansbaai proper :'''
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* <sleep name="Klein Pardijs" alt="" address="" directions="Near Pearly Beach on the R 43 from Gansbaai to the east" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.kleinparadijs.co.za" checkin="" checkout="" price="">A country house set amidst old milkwood trees with self catering cottages. 5 rooms, 5 cottages, all meals of the day.</sleep>
  
''Foley's Self catering'' : 6 fully equipped self catering units in the middle of town. [http://www.gansbaai-accommodation.com Foley's self catering]
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* <sleep name="Aire del Mar Guesthouse" alt="" address="" directions="In Kleinbaai, seaside village on Danger point Peninsula" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.airedelmar.co.za" checkin="" checkout="" price="">A friendly place with 5 rooms and 4 self catering units.</sleep>
  
'''In Kleinbaai, seaside village on Danger point Peninsula :'''
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* <sleep name="Whale Song Lodge" alt="" address="" directions="On top of the rocks in De Kelders, 5 km before Gansbaai, overlooking Walker Bay" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.whalesonglodge.co.za" checkin="" checkout="" price="">A modern and relaxed guesthouse with 4 contemporary rooms and 1 suite, all with sea views. Dinner served.</sleep>
  
''Aire del Mar Guesthouse'', a friendly place with 5 rooms and 4 self catering units. [http://www.airedelmar.co.za Aire del mar]
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* <sleep name="Cliff Lodge" alt="" address="" directions="On top of the rocks in De Kelders, 5 km before Gansbaai, overlooking Walker Bay" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.clifflodge.co.za" checkin="" checkout="" price="">B&B, a stylish and intimate guesthouse with four luxury rooms and one suite all with seaview.</sleep>
  
'''Near Pearly Beach on the R 43 from Gansbaai to the east''':
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* <sleep name="Grootbos Private Nature Reserve" alt="" address="" directions="is on the R 43 from Stanford to Gansbaai" phone="+27 (0)28 384 8053" url="http://www.grootbos.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="E 19.41581" long="S -34.55067" email="reservation@grootbos.co.za" fax="+27 (0)283848042">An 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 travelers looking for luxury accommodation in the [[Overberg]] area.</sleep>
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** '''Garden Lodge'''
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** '''Forest Lodge'''
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** '''Villa'''
  
''Klein Pardijs'', a country house set amidst old milkwood trees with self catering cottages. 5 rooms, 5 cottages, all meals of the day. [http://www.kleinparadijs.co.za Klein Paradijs]
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*<sleep name="Ama-Krokka B & B" alt="" address="28 Vyfer Street De Kelders" directions="Gansbaai" phone="028-384-2776" url="http://www.ama-krokka.co.za/" checkin="14:00" checkout="11:00" price="R450" lat="p/p" long="per day">Private B & B accommodation over looking Walker Bay.</sleep>
  
'''On the Gravel Road from Gansbaai to Baardskeerdersbos, Elim and Cape Agulhas''':
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*<sleep name="Wheel and Anchor" alt="" address="16 Groenewald street, Gansbaai" directions="R43 coming from Hermanus turn right into Corporasie street" phone="028 384 2261" url="www.wheelandanchor.tk" checkin="11am" checkout="11am" price="" lat="" long="">Wheel and Anchor is a prized guesthouse in the hart of Gansbaai where it all happens, plenty of activities and attractions. Call us today for great deals !</sleep>
  
''De Uilenes'' , affordable farm-accommodation for groups of up to 40 in very tranquil surroundings. [http://www.angelfire.com/trek/deuilenes/index.htm uilenes]
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==Get out==
  
''farm 215 - nature retreat & fynbos reserve'' , a private 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. [http://www.farm215.co.za farm 215]
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*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 [[Africa]]n 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.  
  
==Get out==
 
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. [[Image:Whale2.jpg|thumb|]]
 
  
 
{{outline}}
 
{{outline}}

Revision as of 09:28, 10 May 2012


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Fynbos covered slopes

Gansbaai (Goose Bay) [1] is a town in the Overberg region, Western Cape, South Africa. By road it is 165 km South East of Cape Town.

Contents

Understand

Gansbaai harbour

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 an unpretentious fishing town. The harbour, where the fishing boats come and go and the fishmeal-factory now and than creates the typical “Gansbaai-smell”, is still the active centre-point of Gansbaai.


  • Tourism Office, middle of Main street, +27 (0)72 291-5564 or +27 (0)82 626-9037, [2]. M-F 9AM-1PM & 2PM-5PM, Sa 9AM-2PM.

Get in

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.

Get around

See

Trivia
The coast off Gansbaai is rumored to be the favorite hang-out of the ghost ship The Flying Dutchman. If you are lucky, you may also get to see it.


At the tip of Danger Point Peninsula is the Danger Point Lighthouse [3]. 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, amongst 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.

Do

Klipgat Cave


  • Dyer Island Cruises, [4]. Whale watching tours
  • Shark Diving Unlimited, [5]. Shark cage diving
  • Walker Bay Nature Reserve, just outside De Kelders. Hike the Klipgat trail and Visit de Klipgat cave.
  • Flower Valley Trust, [6]. An Unesco initiated empowerment farm and a pilot project of the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative for sustainable harvesting of fynbos for the cut-flower industry.
  • Guided horse trails & treks, [7]. Guided nature horse trails can be enjoyed along the coast of the Walker Bay and in the mountains behind Gansbaai. African Horse Company
  • Guided botanical walks, Heidehof and Farm 215. In the hinterland of Gansbaai, guided botanical walks through pristine "fynbos" (the indigenous and colorful vegetation of the unique Cape Floral Kingdom).
  • 4x4 trails. 4x4 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.
  • De Uijlenes Tractor Rides, Grootbos Road, Gansbaai (On road to Baardskeerderbos from Gansbaai), +27 (0)28 3880551, [8]. Tractor 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.


Eat

Gansbaai is a working fishing town and the local restaurants serve a lot of fresh fish. Gansbaai is also crayfish town, of which there is plenty to enjoy during the crayfish season. Gansbaai is also famous for its Perlemoen (Abelone). It is a threatened shellfish and locally considered as a culinary delight, though some people might argue it is an acquired taste. The neighbouring Victorian village of Stanford has a few very good restaurants.

  • Baardies Food Wine Art, 33 Main Street, Baardskeerdersbos (25 km outside of Gansbaai, towards Elim), 073 210 6125 ‎, [9]. 9AM - 6PM. Baardies is an informal but stylish restaurant venue where one can enjoy food, wine and art, and tranquil views of the Baardskeerdersbos valley Reasonable. (-34.590556,19.572378)


Drink

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.

Sleep

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.

  • Foley's Self catering, Gansbaai, [10]. 6 fully equipped self catering units in the middle of town.
  • Mosaic Farm, (On the Hermanus Lagoon), [11]. A 933ha property with 4 km of lagoon shoreline looking across to a towering mountainrange. Accommodation in 10-bedded luxury African-style lodge secluded in a grove of ancient milkwood trees. Dining and functions in newly restored stone manor house, known locally as the Spookhouse. Kayaking, birding, fishing, hiking, outings to the nearby deserted beach.
  • Farm 215 (nature retreat & fynbos reserve), [12]. Private 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.
  • De Uijlenes, (On the road from Gansbaai to Baardskeerdersbos, Elim and Cape Agulhas), +27 (0)28 3880551, [13]. Affordable 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 Pardijs, (Near Pearly Beach on the R 43 from Gansbaai to the east), [14]. A country house set amidst old milkwood trees with self catering cottages. 5 rooms, 5 cottages, all meals of the day.
  • Aire del Mar Guesthouse, (In Kleinbaai, seaside village on Danger point Peninsula), [15]. A friendly place with 5 rooms and 4 self catering units.
  • Whale Song Lodge, (On top of the rocks in De Kelders, 5 km before Gansbaai, overlooking Walker Bay), [16]. A modern and relaxed guesthouse with 4 contemporary rooms and 1 suite, all with sea views. Dinner served.
  • Cliff Lodge, (On top of the rocks in De Kelders, 5 km before Gansbaai, overlooking Walker Bay), [17]. B&B, a stylish and intimate guesthouse with four luxury rooms and one suite all with seaview.
  • Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, (is on the R 43 from Stanford to Gansbaai), +27 (0)28 384 8053 (, fax: +27 (0)283848042), [18]. An 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 travelers looking for luxury accommodation in the Overberg area. (E 19.41581,S -34.55067)
    • Garden Lodge
    • Forest Lodge
    • Villa
  • Ama-Krokka B & B, 28 Vyfer Street De Kelders (Gansbaai), 028-384-2776, [19]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Private B & B accommodation over looking Walker Bay. R450. (p/p,per day)
  • Wheel and Anchor, 16 Groenewald street, Gansbaai (R43 coming from Hermanus turn right into Corporasie street), 028 384 2261, [20]. checkin: 11am; checkout: 11am. Wheel and Anchor is a prized guesthouse in the hart of Gansbaai where it all happens, plenty of activities and attractions. Call us today for great deals !

Get out

  • 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.


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