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Fynbos covered slopes

Gansbaai (Goose Bay) [23] is a town in the Overberg region, Western Cape, South Africa. By road it is 165 km South East of Cape Town.


Gansbaai harbour

Gansbaai developed around a fresh water fountain frequented by wild Egyptian 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 bustling little fishermen's village with humble beginnings and a Great White heart. The Gansbaai Fishing Co-op that was formed in 1952 is still the main industry and employment generator in the town. The views of the fishing boats coming and going still remains one of the town's unique sights.

In recent years the town has been discovered for the traveler's destination it truly with its many indoor and outdoor activities. Kayaking, land-based whale watching, horse riding, qaud biking, fynbos safaris, hikes and walks up the mountain and scenic flights can all be enjoyed in this busy village.

  • Tourism Office, on the Main road, +27 72 291-5564 or +27 82 626-9037, [1]. M-F 9AM-1PM & 2PM-5PM, Sa 9AM-2PM.  edit

Get in[edit]

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[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

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 [24]. Just a mile offshore is the Birkenhead Rock, where the HMS Birkenhead ran ashore in 1845. Many lives of young English soldiers were lost that fateful night, but it did give origin to the now essential "Women and children first" protocol. The HMS Birkenhead is one of almost 150 shipwrecks that line the coast between Gansbaai and Cape Infanta.

The hinterland of Danger-Point-Peninsula is a mosaic of different habitats of the remarkable Cape Floral Kingdom including fynbos, ancient indigenous forest, agricultural lands, vineyards, flower-farms and rural communities. Experienced guides are available to take you to the highest mountain peaks on foot or horseback, along the pristine beaches or through fields of fynbos. There are many nature reserves in the area and several species of antelope and an abundance of different bird species can be seen in the area. The rich diversity of the area is mainly due to the plethora of different landscapes. The diversity is not restricted to land however, but also includes our abundant oceans which is home to our Marine Big 5.

The small seaside village of Franskraal has one of the quaintest museums in the country. An original "Strandveld-house", the small museum now holds remnants of days long forgotten. The rich history of the surprising village can be found within the four walls and the knowledge of the owners.

Following the road from Gansbaai to Elim, the hamlet of Baardskeerdersbos (locally known as B'bos) can easily be missed. It holds a small number of houses but also houses some of the most talented and creative artists in the Overberg area. A biannual festival is held to celebrate their works. This picturesque hamlet is ideally positioned in the magnificent 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. Elim is also known for its outstanding wine estate and award-winning wines, a definite must-see along the way to Cape Agulhas.

Do[edit][add listing]

Klipgat Cave

  • Dyer Island Cruises, [2]. Whale watching tours.  edit
  • Shark Diving Unlimited, [3]. Shark cage diving.  edit
  • Shark & Safari - Tours and Shuttles, 0027 21 418 4873 (), [4].  edit Shark Cage Diving with transport from Cape Town.
  • Walker Bay Nature Reserve, just outside De Kelders. Hike the Klipgat trail and Visit de Klipgat cave.  edit
  • Flower Valley Trust, [5]. An Unesco initiated empowerment farm and a pilot project of the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative for sustainable harvesting of fynbos for the cut-flower industry.  edit
  • Guided horse trails & treks, [6]. Guided nature horse trails can be enjoyed along the coast of the Walker Bay and in the mountains behind Gansbaai. African Horse Company.  edit
  • 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).  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • De Uijlenes Tractor Rides, Grootbos Road, Gansbaai (On road to Baardskeerderbos from Gansbaai), +27 28 388-0551, [7]. 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.  edit
  • Ride a Bike (Mountain Bike), 4 well marked MTB trails in Gansbaai (Follow signs from the Tourism Office), 0825697924, [8]. There are 4 well marked Mountain Bike trails in the Greater Gansbaai area. They vary from very easy to extremely technical and are a lot of fun to ride. the Black Route is 30 Km and requires a permit to ride as it traverses private land.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

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), +27 73 210-6125, [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) edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

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[edit][add listing]

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.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • De Uijlenes, (On the road from Gansbaai to Baardskeerdersbos, Elim and Cape Agulhas), +27 28 388 0551, [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.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • Aire del Mar Guesthouse, (In Kleinbaai, seaside village on Danger point Peninsula), [15]. A friendly place with 5 rooms and 4 self catering units.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, (is on the R 43 from Stanford to Gansbaai), +27 28 384-8053 (, fax: +27 28 384 8042), [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) edit
  • Ama-Krokka B & B, 28 Vyfer Street De Kelders (Gansbaai), +27 28 384-2776, [19]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Private B & B accommodation over looking Walker Bay. R450. (p/p,per day) edit
  • Wheel and Anchor, 16 Groenewald street, Gansbaai (R43 coming from Hermanus turn right into Corporasie street), +27 28 384-2261, [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 !  edit
  • Haus Giotto Bed And Breakfast, 81 Hoofweg, De Kelders (5 km before Gansbaai, overlooking Walker Bay), +27 28 384 1309, [21]. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 10:00. A small and intimate B&B in the peaceful village of De Kelders, South Africa. R390. (-34.5594899,19.3613112) edit
  • Saxon Lodge (Saxon Lodge Gansbaai), 1 Muller Street Gansbaai (Turn Right off the R43 at ABSA), 0283840853, [22]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Saxon Lodge is centrally located in Gansbaai in the Overberg, sleeps 22 and is within easy walking distance from restaurants and shops. We provide a home from home B & B experience for groups, couples and individuals. The Saxon Arms is a private, well stocked, guest pub to relax in with friends. Saxon Lodge boasts fantastic views over Walker Bay towards Hermanus and Simon's Town. [email protected] for bookings R610.00pp. (34.584552,19.349031) edit

Get out[edit]

  • You can leave the Gansbaai in an easterly direction to Bredasdorp, soon on a newly tarred road via Baardscheerdersbos and Elim and from there to Swellendam and onwards to the Garden Route or the Karoo.
  • More to the east, around an hour's drive, 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. Stanford is home to a craft brewery, Birkenhead Brewery and many boutique wine farms offering tastings and sales

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