South Africa

Gansbaai & Surrounding Accommodation

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Great White Sharks & Southern Right Whales!

Gansbaai (goose bay) or should it be called "Haaibaai" (shark bay) is a little fishing village at the foot of the Dynefontein Mountains. Renowned as the "big two" town, Gansbaai is where both Great White Sharks and Southern Right Whales are found in large numbers, east and west of the Danger Point Peninsula respectively.

The sea bird breeding colonies on Dyer Island and the Cape fur seals on Geyser Island attract sharks to the channel between, now known as "shark alley". July to December sees the annual return of the Southern Right Whale to the waters around Gansbaai to mate and calve. Boats may enter either area only with a permit and conservation is of prime importance.

This unpretentious town was named after the wild geese that frequented the freshwater fountain next to the present harbour in Gansbaai. Gansbaai is also in the heart of the Fynbos biome, home to thousands of plant-species, many of which are some of the rarest on earth. Most of the area is protected in conservancies and reserves but there are organised hikes in the region.

The holiday resort town of De Kelders is located 19 km south-west of Stanford, between Gansbaai and Hermanus. De Kelders gets its name from Afrikaans for ‘the cellars’, the name is derived from caves in sandstone cliffs there. De Kelders is also an excellent whale watching location and is very popular.

Another popular whale watching location is Kleinbaai which is located on the Danger Point Peninsula, 6 km from Gansbaai. The original gravel road that connects Kleinbaai to the Danger Point Lighthouse is now fully tarred, making it a must-see.